what is a matboard

What is a Mat Board?


What is a Mat Board?

A mat board is a piece of dense cardboard with a window cut-out which surrounds the artwork like a border inside a photo frame or a picture frame. A mat board (also sometimes referred to as a matboard, matt board, border or mount board) is commonly white or off-white but can come in different colours.

A matboard and can also be multi-layered, such as a double-layered matboard, which is used in our popular Elegant Deluxe range of photo frames, as picture below: 

Matboards Framed

A mat board can also have more one window opening, creating a multi-window collage effect such as our popular Collage Frame series as pictured below. 


What is the Purpose of a Matboard?

A mat board can provide a couple useful purposes inside a picture frame:

1. Balance and Distance - A mat board can provide visual distance between the edges of the artwork and the inside edges of the picture frame, to help provide an aesthetic balance and proportion for viewing the art or photo. Different colours or tones in matboard can also help highlight and enhance the artwork it surrounds as well.

2. Spacing away from the glass - A mat board helps to protect the photo or artwork by slightly lifting the glass away from any direct contact with the artwork or photo inside a picture frame. When glass directly touches artwork inside a frame, it can possibly stick to the photo or the artwork over time, causing permanent and irreparable damage to it. This can be caused when the frame and glass are exposed to any severe changes in humidity, causing moisture and condensation build-up on the inside of the glass. Lifting or spacing the glass away from the art will help prevent any moisture from reaching the art. For this reason a double-layered matboard is even better, because it provides even more space and distance away from the glass. A double-layered mat board also looks more refined as well.

Does the Quality of a Mat Board Matter?

Quality - There are different qualities when it comes to mat boards, and some mat boards can be made from poor quality cardboard which can deteriorate by becoming acidic and going brown over time. This acid can cause damage to the artwork. A good quality mat board should be made from high quality cardboard which is buffered to be acid-free and will last much longer.

Mat boards can also be affected by fading from light. Better quality mat boards will be more resistant to fading and hold their colour longer than cheaper mat boards, which may fade in colour more rapidly.

At Profile, we only use mat boards that are premium quality and acid-free to ensure you can properly protect and elegantly display your treasured memories for years to come.

How is a Mat Board Made?

All of our mat boards used in our photo frames are precision cut to perfection on one of our Swiss-made computerised mat cutters, located in here in our factory in Sydney, Australia. 

Are Mat boards Sustainable and Environmentally Friendly?

Profile Australia only uses mat boards which are eco-sustainable and made from environmentally sourced wood-pulp. Mat boards are are also a recyclable product, because they are a high-quality dense cardboard. Profile has also take steps recycle the matboard waste create in our production process. 

Shop Now! You can buy individual pre-cut mat boards cut-to-size in a variety of different colours from our online store.

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This article was written by Jared Davis - www.jareddavis.com.au

Jared Davis is one of only a few qualified Master Certified Picture Framers in Australia with over 30 years of custom framing experience.

Jared is published author, writer and an industry-recognised educator who teaches classes and workshops to professional picture framers all around the world.