Picture Framing Glossary

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Picture Framing

term applied to papers that absorb water solutions or other liquids. Examples of absorbent papers are blotting and toweling products. Many mat boards tend to have absorbent properties.

a chemical substance with a pH less than 7.0. Acids can react with paper products such as photographs causing discoloration and shortening their lifespan.

Acid Burn
a permanent yellow or brown stain on paper art. Acid Burn occurs when artwork is framed with paper materials that are not acid-free.

Acid Etched
in glazing and decorative work, acid etching alters one or both sides of the glass sheet to change its reflective qualities. When the etching is completed, all acids are neutralized and the surfaces are cleaned.

a term that describes paper materials with a pH of around 7.0. These materials are considered acid-free and are less likely to harm artwork or discolor over time. Paper materials with a pH below 6.5 or above 8.5 are not considered acid-free for the purposes of picture framing.

Acid-Free Paper
paper manufactured such that active acids are not included or are eliminated. A paper that has a neutral pH factor of 6.5 to 7.5 at the time of manufacture. Acid-free paper can be produced from virtually any cellulose fiber source (cotton, wood or others) if measures are taken during manufacturing to eliminate active acid from the pulp. No matter how acid-free a paper may be immediately after manufacture, over time chemicals from processing or pollutants from the air may lead to the formation of acid in the paper. The presence of an alkaline buffer will reduce or eliminate damaging effects of these acids for the duration of the buffer's effectiveness. The most common buffering additive is calcium carbonate. Some acidic materials are chemically neutralized with the addition of alkaline products; other materials are processed to remove the acid.

Acid Migration
the movement of acid from an acidic material to a material of lesser or no acidity.

a clear, industrial plastic used as a substitute for glass in picture framing.

Acrylic Paint
a fast-drying synthetic paint made of pigment suspended in an acrylic polymer emulsion. Works of art created with acrylic paint that are unvarnished should be framed with glass or acrylic glazing to protect them .

trade name for high quality conservation grade acrylic glazing.

Actinic Degradation
a type of chemical and physical degradation to artwork resulting from exposure to light rays in the ultraviolet and visible spectrum. Actinic degradation can be slowed by reducing a work of art’s exposure to light and/or using glazing that contains a UV filter.

a bonding agent, such as glue or paste, for joining two materials.

Adhesive Coated Boards
a board with an adhesive coating on one side that may be heat-activated or pressure sensitive.

Adhesive Release
a chemical solvent used to remove artwork from its mounting.

an acronym for the American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works. This is an organization of conservation professionals dedicated to preserving cultural heritage objects and materials.

Air Space
the space between the art and the glazing in a picture frame.

Albumen Print
a photographic printing process popular from the 1850s to early 1900s that uses an egg white-coated paper support. Albumen prints are fragile and should be framed with unbuffered cotton rag boards.

in picture framing, the allowance is the difference between the inside dimension of the frame and the outside dimension of its contents. The allowance is typically an 1/8”, which allows room for the contents to fit comfortably inside the frame.

a substance with a pH greater than 7.0 is considered alkaline. Alkaline substances added to acidic materials will help neutralize the acid.

Alkaline Paper
paper manufactured with sheet alkalinity, most commonly associated with the presence of calcium carbonate filler.

Alpha Cellulose
the purest form of cellulose. Cellulose is the chief constituent of all plants. Cellulose has three chemical forms or classifications: Alpha, Beta, and Gamma. The Alpha form of cellulose has the longest, and therefore the most stable chemical chain, in turn creating the longest and strongest paper-making fibers.

Animation Cel
a transparent sheet onto which images are drawn or painted for traditional animated films.

a metallic surface (such as a picture frame) that has been electrolytically coated with a protective or decorative oxide. Anodizing protects the aluminum parts by making the surface much harder than natural aluminum.

an acronym for the American National Standards Institute.

Archival Components
are framing materials such as mat board, mount board, and acrylic that are designed to help preserve and protect the artwork from the damage and degradation caused by acids, light, and pollution. This includes components made pH neutral or slightly alkaline to help with acidity, those with UV protection to help with light, and those with zeolites to help with pollution.

Artwork Sandwich
the stack of components, ex. mat board, backer board, and glazing.

Artwork Size
the measured size of the actual image, not including borders or paper size. For example: you can have an image with an 8”x 10” artwork size printed on an 8.5”x 11” sheet of paper.

an acronym for the American Society for Testing and Materials, a nonprofit organization that develops and publishes technical standards covering procedures for the testing and classification of materials of every sort.

a name brand for adhesive transfer tape, which is similar to double-sided tape. ATG actually means Adhesive Tape Gun, and ATG tape is dispensed from the Adhesive Tape Gun. Used for photos, framing, matting, crafts and scrapbooking.

also known as a dust cover, is a liner paper adhered to the back of a frame. The back paper keeps dust and insects out of the frame package. It also helps reduce fluctuations in humidity, limits the infiltration of environmental gases, and gives your framed artwork a professional look.

a German art school in the early 1900s that combined crafts and the fine arts. Objects done in the Bauhaus-style tend to feature clean, simple geometric shapes and lack elaborate decorations.

in framing, a small round form that is used for decorative purposes.

Beveled Edge
when the inside edge of the mat board window is cut to a 45-degree angle. All of Frame Destination's mat board windows are cut with a beveled edge. This allows about 1/16" of the core color to be visible.

Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene (BOPP)
polypropylene that has been biaxially oriented, which causes it to become crystal clear making it an excellent packaging material for artistic and retail products.

to give up color when in contact with water or a solvent. Undesired movement of materials to the surface or into an adjacent material.

dull or cloudy areas on artwork resulting from moisture build-up.

Bone Folder
a tool made from animal bone that is used to crease tape and paper without causing damage or leaving shiny marks.

Botanical Art
a type of artwork that focuses on accurate depictions of the plant and fungi kingdoms. Botanical art and illustrations are executed in variety of different media including – watercolor, graphite, colored pencil, and pen and ink.

Bottom Mat
the mat board that is closest to the artwork.

when the bottom border of the mat board is wider than the other borders. The concept of bottom-weighting is based on the fact that the optical center (the place where a viewer's eye spends most of its time) is slightly above the true geometric center in a rectangular region.

Bristol Board
a type of smooth, uncoated, machine-finished paperboard that is used for art and illustrations.

a process where calcium carbonate or magnesium carbonate is added to mat board to make it more alkaline and therefore more likely to absorb acids and other environmental pollutants.

Buffering Agent
chemical added to regulate the pH of paper. The most common buffering agent is calcium carbonate (CaCO3).

a type of tree growth that results in wood with a whirled, highly sought-after grain that is used decorative woodworking applications.

Calcium Carbonate
a chemical (CaCO3), occurring in nature as oyster shells, calcite, chalk, limestone, etc. or obtained commercially by chemical precipitation. Calcium carbonate is used as a filler in alkaline paper-making, as coating pigment and as a buffering agent.

a support for painting consisting of a heavy woven fabric such as cotton or linen. Canvas must be adhered to a stretcher frame for display.

Canvas Pliers
a pair pliers with elongated jaws used to stretch canvas onto a stretcher frame.

a type of custom frame used to display a gallery wrap canvas. This frame allows the entire front surface of the canvas to be visible. Any color applied to the canvas wrapping the sides of the stretcher bars will be somewhat visible in the ‘float’ space.

Canvas Transfer
a print or poster image that has been transferred and fixed to a canvas surface.

Chop (chopping)
the act of cutting a picture frame moulding to a specific length needed for framing.

a genre of art in which the urban environment is the principal subject. Cityscapes, the urban equivalents of landscapes, include street scenes and skylines.

Clip Frame
a framing package without a picture frame. Clip frames are usually two pieces of glass or acrylic clipped together on the edges with the artwork sandwiched inside.

Cold Mount
a technique for mounting artwork without using heat. Cold mounts are done with spray, wet, and pressure-sensitive adhesives.

a term used to describe the contents of a picture frame and includes mat board, glazing and/or mount board. For more information about picture frame components, check out our Visual Guide to Custom Picture Frame Ordering .

Conservation Framing
a type of framing that keeps the artwork as unaltered as possible while using materials which minimize the artwork’s deterioration by environmental factors.

Conservation Grade Framing Materials
materials such as mat board, mount board, glass and acrylic that are designed to minimize the artwork’s deterioration by environmental factors. An example of a conservation grade framing material is Bainbridge’s Artcare™ 4-Ply Alphamat.

a professional who specializes in the restoration and conservation of artifacts such as photographs, artwork, and documents. Conservators examine artifacts, determine their condition, suggest methods for treating them and recommend preventive conservation techniques to their owners.

in matboard, the central or innermost part; the material between the face paper and the backing paper. Less expensive paper mats may have a cream color core; some mats have a white or black core; high end rag mats have a core the same as the top and bottom.

Cotton Rag Paper
a high-quality paper made from cotton fibers. It is primarily used for art, important documents, and money. Cotton rag paper holds pigments and inks better than wood-based papers.

tiny, hair-like cracks on the surface of an acrylic sheet resulting from high internal stress. The effect results from chemical exposure in combination with mechanical forces or impact.

a picture hanging device. Two d-rings are needed to hang a picture, one on each side. The hangers are normally positioned 1/3 of the way down the from the top of the frame. A screw driver is used to tighten the set screw and the hanging wire is threaded through the eyelet.

Distressed Finish
a type of decorative painting technique where the result is an aged appearance.

Double Mat
consists of two (2) mat boards (top and bottom). The window (opening) of the bottom mat surrounds the image. The top mat covers the bottom mat. It has a larger window, which allows a small border of the bottom mat, called the reveal, to be shown.

the application of artwork to a substrate, such as foam core, using heat-activated adhesives in a heat press.

a liner paper adhered to the back of a frame. The dust cover keeps dust and insects out of the frame package. It also helps reduce fluctuations in humidity, limits the infiltration of environmental gases, and gives your framed artwork a professional look.

Easel Back
frame with a backing board containing a folding leg so it can stand on a table without additional support.

items, normally made of paper, created for a specific, limited purpose. Some examples of ephemera include advertisements, tickets, brochures and receipts. People often collect ephemera because of their association with a person, place, event or subject.

in matting, the ability of a surface to withstand the removal of light pencil lines with a rubber or gum eraser.

a gradual change in the color of a paper due to the changes produced by light.

also called enhancers or slips, fillets are thin, decorative pieces of picture frame moulding. Fillets are often placed inside a larger frame or in between mat boards.

Finger-Jointed Wood
many picture frame mouldings are made with finger-jointed wood. Finger-jointing is a process where short lengths of timber are bonded together to produce longer lengths. Finger-jointing reduces wood waste by utilizing shorts to create a dimensionally stable and environmentally friendly product.

a solution that is sprayed on charcoal or pastel art to help bind loose particles to the support.

Flat File
a cabinet specifically designed for flat items such as drawings, prints, maps and large documents.

Flat Head Screwdriver
a screwdriver that is designed to fit into slotted screws.

Float Mount
a mounting technique where the edges of the artwork are left uncovered by a mat board. With this application the artwork appears to be floating within the frame or mat board window. Artwork can also be float-mounted on a piece of black or white foam core without a mat.

Floater Frame

the board on which artwork is mounted upon inside of a picture frame. Foamcore mount board is a light, but stiff material that is commonly available in white and black. Acid-free varieties are available for conservation framing. See also Mount Board .

spots and brown discolorations that occur on paper as part of age-related deterioration.

Frame Size

Gallery Wrap
a modern style of displaying art in which a canvas is stretched so that it wraps around the sides of a thick wooden frame and is secured to the back of the frame. It is suitable for displaying without a picture frame, or can be mounted in a Canvas Floater Frame .

a heavy-duty, extruded polystyrene foam board bonded between two layers of Luxcell® wood-fiber veneer. Also known as Gatorboard, Gatorfoam comes in sizes ranging from 3/16" - 2" thick.

traditionally a mixture of animal glue binder, chalk, and white pigment used as primer coat on wood panels, canvas, and sculpture. Modern gesso may be acrylic or soy-based and comes in a variety of colors.

a high-quality fine art print created with an inkjet printer.

bright and dazzling reflected light.

a type of glazing used in picture framing. Glass is commonly composed of sodium carbonate, lime and silica (sand).

a smooth, glossy paper that is resistant to air, water, and grease. Can be used to temporarily protect artwork.

the generic term for the glass or acrylic used to cover and protect artwork in a picture frame.

adhesive of animal origin, composed of complex protein structures. In modern usage, the terms, "glue" and "adhesive" are used interchangeably and may also include petrochemical adhesives.

Gold Leaf
gold that has been hammered into very thin sheets, suitable for decorative applications such as gilding.

Gouache Paint
a water-soluble paint consisting of pigment, water, and a binding agent such as gum arabic. Also known as opaque watercolor.

Graphic Arts
art based on the use of line and tone such as drawing and printmaking.


contains the components necessary to hang an assembled picture frame. A wood frame hanging kit will contain screw hole hangers with screws, hanging wire and protective wall bumpers. A metal frame hanging kit will contain D-ring hangers for attaching the wire to the frame, hanging wire, and protective wall bumpers.

the hangers, brackets, screw eyes and other materials used to assemble a metal picture frame.

a term for adhering the components of a picture frame together including: hinging the mat board to the mount board, hinging the picture to the mat board, or hinging the picture to the mount board. See also T-Hinge and V-Hinge .

Image Size
the horizontal and vertical dimensions of an image, not including any surrounding support or paper.

Infrared Energy
is located below the color red on the light spectrum. Infrared energy exists in sunlight and tungsten. It heats artwork, which can dry it out prematurely and accelerate decay. Keeping artwork out of direct light in cooler areas can help reduce damage from infrared energy.

Invasive Mounting
saturates the art during bonding and residue will still remain after removal. Examples of invasive mounting techniques are spray adhesives and commercial wet glues.

Japanese Paper
a high-quality paper made from fibers of the mulberry tree. Japanese paper makes great hinges because it is strong without being bulky and does not discolor or weaken with age.

a genre of art in which the natural outdoor environment is the main subject, using natural features as the basis of the composition.

Landscape Orientation
a layout that is wider than it is high.

an organic substance found in all vascular plants. Papers containing lignin give off acids as they deteriorate which can damage art.

a textile made from the fibers of the flax plant, Linum usitatissimum. Linen fabric is one of the preferred traditional supports for oil painting, it is preferred to cotton for its strength, durability and archival integrity.

a material that covers and protects the image. Mat boards have a window (also known as the exact mat opening) cut in the center through which the image can be viewed. In addition to protecting the image, mat boards are available in many different styles and colors for the purpose of enhancing artwork.

a term that refers to synthetic fibers that measure less than one denier. (A denier is a measure of linear density used to describe the size of a fiber or filament.) Microfiber is used to make non-woven, woven and knitted textiles, such as our Microfiber Smooth Towel and Microfiber Terry Cloth . The shape, size and combinations of synthetic fibers are selected for specific characteristics, including: softness, durability, absorption, wicking abilities, water repellency, electrodynamics, and filtering capabilities.

a self-contained environment within a larger environmental system. A framed piece of artwork is considered a microclimate.

Miter Saw
a saw designed to make angled cuts for frame moulding and other woodworking applications.

the material (either wood or metal) of the picture frame. Moulding can be very ornate and decorative, or it can be very simple.

the board on which artwork is mounted upon inside of a picture frame. Foamcore mount board is a light, but stiff material that is commonly available in white and black. Acid-free varieties are available for conservation framing.

the act of attaching artwork to the mat board, mount board, backer or display board. One way of mounting is by using hinging . See also Dry-Mounting , Pressure-Sensitive Mounting , and Wet-Mounting .

Multi-Opening Mat Board
a mat board with more than one window opening. Multi-opening mat boards are often used for photo collage projects.

acrylic with a matte finish etched on one side to reduce glare from lighting. It is optically pure (no tint), and may cause a slight loss in sharpness. Frame Destination sells 1/10" (.098) framing grade Non-Glare acrylic. When framing with non-glare acrylic remember that the matte side goes away from the artwork.

Non-Invasive Mounting
means the bonding technique remains totally reversible allowing the art to be returned to its original state without any adhesive residue remaining upon removal. Examples of non-invasive mounting techniques are: hinges, edge strips, natural starch, and corner pockets.

Offset Clip
z-shaped metal plate with pre-drilled screw holes used to adhere a canvas to a canvas floater frame.

Oil Paint
type of paint consisting of colored pigments suspended in a binder such as linseed oil. Traditional oil paint must be thinned with a solvent and has a long drying time.

Optical Brightening Agent (OBA)
a dye that absorbs light in the ultraviolet and violet region of the electromagnetic spectrum. OBAs are used in many papers, especially high brightness papers, resulting in their strongly fluorescent appearance under UV illumination.

Optical Center
the point approximately ten percent above the true geometric center of a two-dimensional object.

the release of gases from a material.

a term that refers to how much of the artwork will be covered by the mat board. A standard mat window opening overlaps anywhere from 1/8" – 1/4" of the artwork.

a picture that depicts a wide, horizontal view, particularly a landscape. Panoramas are significantly longer in the horizontal dimension than the vertical dimension.

Pantone Color Guide
a standardized color matching system used by artists, designers, printers, manufacturers, marketers, and clients in all industries worldwide for accurate color identification, design specification, quality control, and communication.

a material made of cellulose pulp, derived mainly from wood, rags, and certain grasses, processed into flexible sheets or rolls by deposit from an aqueous suspension, and used chiefly for writing, printing, and drawing.

an art medium in the form of a stick, which is used for drawing onto a support. Pastels come in many different forms including hard, soft, pan, oil, and water-soluble.

pH Scale
a logarithmic scale that measures how acidic or basic a substance is. The pH scale ranges from 0 (acid) to 14 (alkaline); the neutral point is 7.

Phillips Screwdriver
a screwdriver that is designed to fit into Phillips head screws (cross-shaped screws).

Photo Activity Test (PAT)
this is an international standard test (ISO18916) developed by the Image Permanence Institute that evaluates photo storage and display products. For more information about the PAT, visit the Image Permanence Institute.

Picture Frame
provides an attractive border and functions as a structural support for the artwork.

Picture Frame Size

this refers to the size of matted/mounted artwork. Framers will cut the picture frame moulding approximately 1/16" – 1/8" larger to accommodate the matted/mounted artwork and the glazing. Occasionally, this can refer to the outside frame size, which is the exterior dimension of the frame with the moulding. Galleries will often ask for this dimension because they need to know how much wall space to allow for in an exhibition.

Plein Air Picture Frame
"en plein air" is a French term that translates to "in the open air". In the art world it is used to describe the acting of painting outdoors. Plein air painting is often associated with the Impressionist art movement. A plein air frame is usually a wide flat moulding with a raised and rounded top edge. Plein air frames are ideal for canvas art.

a brand of conservation grade acrylic glazing.

a ply (plural - plies) is a layer within a mat board. High quality mat boards are manufactured in plies, dyed for color and laminated together. Mat board comes in 2-ply, 4-ply, 6-ply and 8-ply. Standard mat board is 4-ply and is 1/16" thick. Some mat board is not manufactured with separate plies, but will often be referred to as 4-ply to give a relative indication of the approximate thickness.

Point Driver
a hand-held device that fires points with pneumatic-like force into a picture frame. To operate, press the nose of point driver against the rabbet and squeeze the handle. For the most accuracy, make sure the bottom of the point driver is flat against the surface of your table.

Point Squeezer
a vicing tool that squeezes the point into the rabbet. Point squeezers have an adjustable magnetic anvil that holds the point in place while squeezing. The opposing jaw is fitted over the frame, then the handle is squeezed, closing the jaws and pressing the point into the rabbet. This is also known as a Frame Fitting Tool.

thin metal tabs used to hold the mat, mount board and/or glazing inside of wood picture frames. Some points are stiff while others are flexible to allow access into the frame.

Polypropylene (PP)
a thermoplastic polymer used in a wide variety of applications including packaging, textiles, plastic parts and reusable containers of various types. We sell photo corners made of 100% safe polypropylene for mounting images on mat board or foam core and polypropylene ClearBags for protecting and storing artwork and photographs.

a depiction of an individual's likeness. Portrait styles include: head-and-shoulders, bust, three-quarters and full-length.

Portrait Orientation
a layout that is taller than it is wide.

a printed illustration that is usually mass-produced and intended to be framed and hung as decoration.

Preservation Framing
The Library of Congress Preservation Guidelines for Matting and Framing defines preservation framing as the appropriate housing to display the intrinsic beauty and interest of an object while prolonging its life by securing the object in a mechanically and chemically stable environment."

Pressure-Sensitive Mounting
the application of bonding artwork to a substrate, such as foam core, using an adhesive that activates when pressure is applied.

Print Size

a term describing how picture frame moulding looks when viewed from one end. A picture frame moulding’s profile includes its height, width, contour and rabbet .

the inner lip or groove of the picture frame, which holds the frame’s components, including the glazing, mat(s), artwork and backing.
Rabbet Depth
the height or depth of rabbet . This measurement tells you how much room you have inside for the frame’s components.

Rabbet Width
the width of the underside of the lip of the frame’s moulding.

Rag Board
matboard from non-wood products such as cotton linters, or cotton which are naturally lignin-free, stable and durable. Our rag board is Bainbridge AlphaRag Mat Board.

Ready-Made Frame
a picture frame package that includes everything needed to frame and hang an image including the frame, backer board, glazing, a hanging kit, and/or mat board.

Removable Tape
a pressure-sensitive tape containing a low-tack adhesive for easy removal from artwork.

a term used to describe the small bottom or middle mat border left visible in a double or triple mat application.

Reverse Bevel
a reverse-bevel cut positions the bevel inside of the mat window so that it is not visible. It gives a straight edge to the mat window.

describes the ability to undo a framing or mounting treatment, returning the object to the condition it was in before treatment.

Rice Starch Paste
a museum quality adhesive made from rice.

the amount of distance between the top edge of the stretcher bar and the broad flat top of the stretcher bar. The riser determines how much distance you will have between the canvas and the top face of the stretcher bar.

Sawtooth Hangers
small metal bars with a serrated (sawtooth) edge that are used in place of hanging wire. Sawtooth hangers are best for lighter weight picture frames.

a clay-coated substrate finished with India ink. The artist scratches through the ink with a sharp tool to reveal the white layer and create dramatic black and white drawings.

Screw Eyes
screws with a loop at the end. They are used to attach hanging wire to the back of a wooden picture frame.

Sectional Frames
typically sold in pairs of equal length, sectional frames are available in both wood and metal.

Security Hangers
a display hanging system that prevents framed artwork from being removed from the wall. Most often used by museums, some security hangers feature a key for the highest security level.

Shadow Box Frame
a deep frame with glass or acrylic in front traditionally used to display personal mementos such as military medals, antique jewelry, old coins, sports memorabilia and children’s toys.

Sight Measurement
the dimensions of a frame measured from the inside edge of the frame’s lip.

Silver Leaf
silver that has been beaten into very thin sheets, suitable for decorative applications.

Single Mat
one (1) mat whose window (opening) surrounds the image.

Southern Pine
a wood used to make picture frame moulding. The name refers to those species whose major range is in the United States south of the Mason-Dixon line and east of the Great Plains. There are four principle species that make up 90% of the Southern Pine timber – Loblolly (P. taeda), Shortleaf (P. echninata), Longleaf (P. palustris), and Slash (P. elliotii).

holds the artwork away from the surface of the glazing. Spacers can be made of plastic, wood, mat board or foam core.

a rectangular frame with an oval opening.

Spray Mounting
the application of artwork to a substrate using glues applied with aerosol sprays. We sell an excellent spray adhesive by Scotch, 3M Super 77 Spray Adhesive .

Spring Clips
dome-shaped metal strips that hold the contents of a metal frame in place.

acrylic with no coatings, finish, or tint. It is translucent and optically pure. Frame Destination sells 1/10" (.098) framing grade acrylic.

Stretched Canvas
a canvas that has been mounted onto a stretcher bar support framework in preparation for framing or hanging.

a type of heavy wooden frame designed for a canvas to be wrapped and secured around it.

Stretcher Bars
the four (4) pieces of wood material that make up a stretcher bar frame.

a method for attaching artwork to the mount board. The top of the artwork is adhered while the bottom hangs free. Used when the mat board will be covering the edge of the artwork.

Tempera Paint
also known as egg tempera, is a type of fast-drying paint composed of colored pigments mixed with egg yolks.

an artwork made from plant, animal, or synthetic fibers.

a characteristic of the grain in the surface of various paper, especially drawing papers, handmade papers, and other papers of low finish. A patterned roughness in the form of minute depressions between fibers or groups of fibers on the surface. Tooth can be produced on the paper machine during forming or pressing.

Triple Mat
consists of three (3) mat boards (top, middle and bottom). The window (opening) of the bottom mat surrounds the image. The middle mat covers the bottom mat and it has a larger window which allows a small border of the bottom mat, called the reveal , to be shown. The top mat covers the middle and bottom mats and it has an even larger window which allows a small border, also called the reveal , of both lower mats to be shown.

a type of artwork that is made up of three separate pieces. Triptychs often portray a narrative or depict variations on a theme.

Ultraviolet (UV) Energy
an invisible portion of the light spectrum. Ultraviolet energy fades artwork and causes paper to become yellow and/or brittle. Using ultraviolet-filtering glazing helps minimize potential UV damage to artwork. ISO 18902, the ISO standard for framing display photos, recommends using glazing that blocks at least 97% of UV energy. Frame Destination sells UV-filter acrylic and UV/Non-glare acrylic with 99% UV protection.

UV-Filter Acrylic
acrylic with a UV-filter that will block most ultraviolet radiation. It has a slight yellow tint, which may create a warming effect on the artwork. Frame Destination sells 1/10" (.098) conservation grade UV-Filter with 98% UV protection.

UV-Filter Glass
framing glass with a UV coating on one side that will block up to 99% of ultraviolet radiation.

UV/Non-Glare Acrylic
acrylic that blocks ultraviolet radiation and has a matte finish etched on one side to reduce glare from lighting. Frame Destination sells 1/10" (.098) conservation grade UV/Non-Glare with 98% UV protection and non-glare matte surface. When framing with non-glare acrylic remember that the matte side goes away from the artwork.

a type of matboard cut where a thin line is cut around the top mat’s window opening. The v-groove exposes the matboard’s inner core color. It’s a purely decorative cut done for the sole purpose of generating extra focus on the artwork.

a method for attaching artwork to the mount board. Similar to the T-hinge except it is used when the mat board will not be covering the edge of the artwork.

metal flanges that holds the mitered joints of picture frames together.

a liquid, transparent film that serves as a protective and/or decorative coating for artwork. Varnish typically comes in matte, satin, or glossy finish.

a registered trademark name for a type of woven nylon hood and loop fastener.

a term that refers to (1) a mat board with a smooth, texture-free surface. (2) a type of smooth-surfaced animal skin used for writing, bookbinding, and painting.

a decorative overlay applied to a wood frame’s inner core.

Wall Bumpers
small, felt-covered or soft rubbery plastic adhesive-backed disks that provide a cushion between the frame and the wall. Bumpers also help the frame hang flat against the wall.

Water White Glass
a type of low-iron, scratch-resistant framing glass that provides optimum clarity of the image.

Watercolor Paint
a type of paint made of pigments suspended in a water-based solution.

Weight (Paper)
also known as basis weight and/or grammage, it is the area density of a paper product.

the application of bonding artwork to a substrate, such as foam core, using wet glues and pastes with a press or weight.

Wheat Starch Paste
a special type of glue made from wheat starch powder and water that is used for adhering paper.

also known as the exact mat opening, the window is the opening cut in a mat board through which the image can be viewed. The average ready-made, retail store frame for an 8" x 10" image will have a window of 7-1/2" x 9-1/2", which allows the mat to overlap the image by 1/4" on all 4 sides. Custom frame shops will typically cut a window for an 8" x 10" image at 7-3/4" x 9-3/4" so that less of the image is covered.

aluminosilicate substances added to mat board that help it absorb harmful environmental pollutants.