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Cutting Your Own Mats

 Adding a color border (the mat) around your artwork enhances the picture and provides a restful area between the image and the frame. The color and size of the mat board must be decided first, as this will determine the overall dimensions of the frame.

Mats also keep your image off the glass, very important as over time an image will stick to the glass if framed against it.


Choosing the right mat cutter

To cut the mat use a good quality bevel mat cutter and ruler. Our cutting systems  suit various budgets and skill levels. The diyframed systems use a guide rule that the cutting head rests upon, essential for straight bevel cutting and good, clean corners.

Our systems are ideal for the DIY framer. If you are producing large quantities of mats you may decide to go with a baseboard mounted system such as the 860B, 1060B and 1260B. If you are only cutting a few mats here and there the 660 or 810 system (rule and cutting head) are perfect.

You need to consider what size mats you will predominantly be cutting as to what length mat cutter to consider. The 860B, 1060B (our most popular mat cutter) and 1260B are all the same in functionality but all are different in length. The 1060B is the most popular as it will cut full sheets of mat board.

This is also the case with the 660 and 810. Functionality is the same but the rules vary in length.

The baseboard cutting systems include a cutting length, hinged rail, squaring arm, production stops, 201 cutting head and a straight cutter.


Mat cutting tip:

Make sure the mat will cover the edges of the artwork, by subtracting approx. 3mm - 1/8" from the image size (length & width). Cut the mat following the instructions for your mat cutter. Attach the picture to the mat using 2 small pieces of acid free tape on the top edge only.


Choosing the right mat size and colour

Always select a color for the mat that is represented in the picture. On a Autumn landscape choosing a brown mat will make the picture look very different than if you chose an amber or shade of red. Or if you go for something more subtle why not try one of the whites, or even a double in the same colour?

The size of the border is important. The wider the border the more you see of the image. Smaller borders usually distract from the image (e.g. 40mm). Small frames only require small borders but a general rule of thumb of 60mm is a good guide.

Double mats sharpen the image but increasing the contrast between light and dark in the image making it easier to see. The use of a double mat is both functional and decorative. A darker inner mat will sharpen the image and make it clearer.