Made from an annually renewable resource.
Why use 100% cotton “museum” matboards for your personal framing projects? One excellent reason: Cotton is an annually renewable resource. When harvested, it poses far less of a burden on the environment than other material. Large forests that serve as ecosystems for countless inhabitants aren’t destroyed in the production of cotton as they are in the processing of wood. Cotton doesn’t need to be shipped over land, then mechanically shredded and treated with chemicals the way logs do. And cotton is naturally acid-free, so the processing required to produce the necessary quality of alpha cellulose is cut in half.
For professional art collectors, worth every cent.
During my time as a framer, I worked in a shop to which expensive works of art were brought to be framed. Our clients rarely asked the price of framing. Rather, their main concern was that the framing be done properly, and that the highest level of preservation quality be adhered to. It became my obligation to ensure that their art would look the same in 100 years as it did the day I framed it. Instinctively, I always used museum boards, which have been proven to stand the test of time. No other matboards protect artwork so well. It’s no wonder cotton garments 3,000 years old have been found in Egyptian tombs completely intact. Acids simply don’t decay cotton as they do other materials.
Why are the colors of museum boards so limited?
Curators of the most prestigious collections gravitate toward the simple elegance of museum boards so that the art remains the focus. Additional color can only detract from their goal. When was the last time you were in an art gallery and saw a red mat around a Picasso drawing, or a green mat with a Chagall watercolor? Cotton boards of decidedly neutral colors are a simple and elegantly understated framing style.
Solid, consistent color throughout.
A unique trait of cotton matboards is their solid composition. Consistent, unbroken color right up to the edges of the image means one less design element competes with the art for the attention of the viewer. Thickness of museum boards is expressed in layers, or “plys,” with 4-ply (.06 inches in thickness) being standard. Like many custom picture framers, I’ve become a fan of using double-thick, or 8-ply (.120 inches) museum boards. They add depth and elegance to the presentation of the framed piece with minimal distraction.