Archival Solution of the Week | Bright White 100% Cotton Museum Mat Board



mat board



Archival Solution of the Week: Bright White 100% Cotton Museum Board



So, mat board is mat board, right?



mat board
Do you see the yellowish bevel in this mat board? It’s a sure-fire way to know that this mat IS NOT made of acid-free materials. The acids and lignin (lignin = a naturally occurring acidic material in the wood pulp used to make “bargain basement” mat board) are attacking the board itself from the inside. If you mat your important artwork, photographs, documents or collectibles in a cheap mat like this then you’re just asking for trouble, as these acids have a tendency to “migrate” to the point where your piece itself can become contaminated with these acids.
(Please click on this image to go to our short video that fully explains “acid-free” materials.)



The stuff you find at your local arts & crafts outlet is “good enough,” right?

Well, I’m here to tell ya, folks, that there is a world of difference between your “average everyday” mat board and Archival Methods’ Bright White 100% Cotton Museum Board.



mat board
Compare this mat cut from 4-Ply Bright White 100% Cotton Museum Board to the mat pictured above. From the top surface of the mat to the bottom, and the mat’s core in-between, everything about this museum-quality board offers solid acid-free archival protection for EVERYTHING in your collection, portfolio or archive! (Please click on the image for more information.)



Containing NO wood pulp byproducts at all, Archival Methods’ Bright White Museum Board is instead made of 100% cotton fiber. This “museum-quality” mat board, as its very name suggests, is acid- and lignin-free, incorporates alkaline / neutral sizing, and is buffered with calcium carbonate. (Puzzled by all this terminology? Please click here to see our full explanatory blog on Archival Definitions: Acid-Free / Buffered / Unbuffered).

All this ensures protection from the damaging and destructive effects of acid migration from the matted work, and from a potentially polluted environment that might cause the pH of the mat board to decrease (become more acidic) with age. 



mat board
(Please click on this image to see our fully illustrated blog that explains
“acid-free” / “lignin-free” / “buffered” / “unbuffered”.)



In addition, NO optical brightening agents are used in the manufacture of our 100% Cotton Museum Boards. While the concept of having a chemically “brightened” mat board may seem on the surface (no pun intended) to be a good idea, these chemicals often yellow with age — completely defeating their purpose! — and can contaminate the very things you wish to archivally mat and protect. No brighteners = no such problems!



Bright White 100% Cotton Museum Board: Quality Manufacturing



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From 100% pure cotton slurry …


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… to sheet forming and pressing …


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… to careful drying …


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… to museum-quality finished material …


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… and finally to archivally protecting and displaying YOUR important images and collections! (Please click on the image for more information.)



Archival Methods’ Bright White 100% Cotton Museum Board is the PERFECT acid-free choice for quality matting, mounting and preservation of fine prints, precious documents, artwork, collectibles, and traditional / digital photographs.



Bright White 100% Cotton Museum Board: 3 Helpful Hints




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Helpful Hint #1: when looking to mat and mount your materials – whatever they may be – consider using 4-ply Museum Board for both your window mat and for your mat’s backing board (see pix above). This is often considered the “industry standard” in both museums and commercial frame shops, as this will create a safe 1/16’’ separation between your artwork and its glazing (glass or plexiglas) if framing, and will provide a flat, supportive backing while in storage. (Please click here to go to our fully-illustrated blog on Matting, and click here to go to our full blog on Mounting. Each will provide you with in-depth information on “best practices” that are easy to follow and archivally safe for your materials and collections.)



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An elementary school diploma from 1944 (yeah, that was / is a thing) in an 11 x 14″ resealable Crystal Clear Bag with a sheet of 11 x 14″ 2-Ply Bright White Museum Board added to give the diploma structural support and added rigidity. (Please click on the image for more information.)



Helpful Hint #2: If you are storing delicate or valuable — either monetarily or sentimentally valuable — materials, consider placing each item you wish to store in an individual Crystal Clear Bag or archival Polyethylene Bag with a correctly-sized sheet of 2-ply Bright White 100% Cotton Museum Board added for structural stability and protection (see pix above).



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Archival Methods’ inexpensive ($2 bucks) Mat Board Sample Kit will allow you to find the EXACT colors and thicknesses you need to match whatever it is you’re looking to mat! (Please click on the image for more information.)



Helpful Hint #3: All mat boards, especially white mat boards, have small tonal shifts in color that cannot be reproduced accurately on computer screens, as each monitor will display colors differently depending on its calibration. To make the best selection regarding the color of the mat board you wish to use, it is best to evaluate an actual mat board sample and your artwork together under the same lighting conditions. To make this an easy and painless procedure, please order Archival Methods’ inexpensive ($2 bucks!) Mat Board Sample Kit to see our full range of colors (and thicknesses!) available. 

Whatever you need to mat or support, consider using Archival Methods’ Bright White 100% Cotton Museum Board. It’s the “professional’s choice” for elegant matted presentations and archival preservation!





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