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backing piece - A stiff material used to support the artwork in the frame and help to keep it close against the glass. Most backing pieces are made of corrugated cardboard, chipboard or foamcore. They should be the same size as the mat and, if it is a folder mat, be placed immediately behind it.

baked enamel finish - A heat-cured painted finish of enamel and suspended pigment that produces a smooth, hard surface that is more resistant to scratching and abrasion and protects the underlying surface (usually metal).

barrier sheets - Pieces of well-sized acid-free paper used as barriers to prevent the migration of acid or oil from one material to another. Buffered barrier sheets counteract acid migration.

basis weight - Weight, measured in pounds, of a ream (500 sheets) of paper in its basic size. The phrases basis weight and substance weight are often used interchangeably. Also note that a ream of some tissue grades and wrapping is considered to be 480 sheets.

basswood - A strong, lightweight, close-grained hardwood desirable in construction of cases, boxes and other storage containers because it is low in resin which can be corrosive to the materials enclosed.

binder's board - A heavy grade of single-ply solid paperboard used for book covers. It is made from mixed paper stock and low grade rags. Davy Board is a brand name. Kappa binder’s board a bookmaking board with no glue between layers.

bleaching - Pulp fibers are generally bleached to produce white fibers for papermaking. Other reasons are: to increase the chemical stability and permanence of wood fibers by chemical purification; and to obtain clean, sanitary fibers as required for food packaging papers.

bleed resistant - The ability of a color agent or coating (as in colored museum board) to resist transfer during contact with a paper stock or other material.

blind embossing - Design is stamped without using foil or ink. Also called debossing.

blotting paper - Specialized paper designed to absorb moisture from materials, to assist in the drying process. Uses include drying of fiber base photographic papers and various conservation procedures for other paper and fabric artifacts. Should be discarded after several uses due to cumulative contaminant build-up.

bond paper - A strong and durable paper with good absorbing and erasing qualities. It originally referred to paper used for legal documents, stock certificates and government bonds, now used for letterheads, basic forms and xerographic copiers.

bonding - A uniting or fusing, as by an adhesive. Holding together or solidifying by means of a bond or binding.

bowed cuts (e.g., mat): - The deviation, usually outward, from a straight line cut, creating an undesirable effect visually. Commonly caused by faulty technique or improper use of equipment in mat cutting.

Box - A paper or carton structure used to hold goods for storage, transport etc.

brads, wire brads - The small nails used to join small frames and to fasten the backings to frames of all sizes. They are sold by the length and the gauge of the wire from which they are cut. The larger the number the smaller the diameter of the wire. Typical sizes used for framing are 3/4 x 18, 1 x 18, 1 x 16, and 1-1/4 x 16.

bristol - A paperboard that is hard, strong and rugged and has a smooth surface suitable for writing. Index cards are an example.

buckram - A filled (coated) binding cloth with a heavy weave (poly-cotton) base. In the U.S., it is made to the specifications of the National Bureau of Standards. It is especially sturdy and can be cleaned with a damp cloth. Acrylic coatings are considered archival while peroxylin coatings break down in time to corrosive elements.

buffering - The addition of alkaline agents such as calcium or magnesium carbonate during the papermaking process in order to counteract the effect f acidic contamination; the degree of buffering (usually 2-3%) is measured by percentage of paper weight. See alkaline.

burnishing bone (or folding bone) - Smooth, flat, non-abrasive utensil used for smoothing and finishing of mat edges, especially at corners. Also used as a folding and scoring instrument in book binding and box making.