Glossary

Acid Free
There is a lot of confusion over the terms "acid-free". Technically, only mat board made of cotton fiber commonly called "Cotton Rag" is truly acid-free. All other mat board, the majority produced in the United States, is made from trees, which is a naturally acidic material. This mat board is treated with calcium carbonate so it tests "acid-neutral". Calcium Carbonate retards the aging process not only due to the mat board material, but the environment as well. All mat board will deteriorate in time with "rag" deteriorating the least. Please beware of products touted as "Archival Mats", as they are often standard core "acid-neutral mats".
Backing Board
Backing board, or backing, can be a piece of cardboard, foam board, or matting that sits behind the artwork. Blank mat boards (a mat board with no opening window) can be used as backings.
Bevel Edge/Cut
Typically a 45-degree inside cut that creates the opening window of the mat board, which also allows for 1/16" of the mats core to be exposed.
(May or may not be present on the outside cut depending on order size, type, and speed of production.)
Bulk Packs
Standard or common size mat boards, with common size openings sold in bulk packs for most standard size prints or posters. Available in all our mat board types and colors.
Custom Size Mats
Custom Size Mat Boards are available from our website in any of the mat board styles listed, and may be ordered in 1/16" increments up to 32" x 40" in size. Customers can select the Matting Type, Color, Outside Dimension, Type of Opening (also has Blank No Opening for Backing use), Opening Dimension for one cut with an Opening Position which is set at Centered. If there are different configurations needed that are not available, Contact us for more details about Bulk Custom Mat orders.
Double Mat
Two mats are stacked together, with the opening on the top mat slightly larger than the bottom mat, which allows part of the bottom mat to be seen. This is called the 'reveal'.
Image Size
The exact size of the artwork you need to mat.
Inside Cut Dimension
The window size, or window opening of the mat. This is where you can see the exposed core of the mat due to the bevel cut. For more information visit How to Order Mat Board.
Mat Board Core
The center material of the mat board, usually around 1/16" thick. The mat board core is revealed when a mat board has a beveled edge.
Mat Board Core Color
The color of the mat board core. Generally, the mat board core colors are white, back, and cream.
Outside Cut Dimension
The outside dimension of the mat. Most outside cuts will also typically have a bevel cut for speed of production. For more information visit How to Order Mat Board.
Overlap
The measurement by which a mat board overlaps your artwork. A typical overlap is 1/8" or 1/4" on each side of the mat. The overlap prevents the artwork from falling through the mat, and also allows you to easily mount your artwork to the mat.
Ply
The thickness of the mat board. All of our mat boards are 4-ply (.052" - .060" thick).
Standard Size Mats
Standard or common size mat boards, with common size openings for most standard size prints or posters. Standard Size Mat Boards can be purchased in any of the mat board styles listed, and may be ordered in any of the many available standard sizes listed. Don't see your mat size below? Visit our Custom Size Mats page to customize your own mat!
Window
The opening in the mat board in which the artwork will be visible.