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mat board

All are fine for normal preservation framing. Artique is only available through LJ. Bainbridge tends to change the line often (discontinueds). Cresent boards are a little softer in my opinion and I don't like to cut them as well as the other 2. Cost wise the Bainbridge boards are more expensive. Mat board price generaly doesn't matter at the design counter if the board is the best one the customer don't seem to notice.
I show four lines, but I'm gradually switching over to Bainbridge when the colors overlap.

I believe the ArtCare/Zeolite technology works, I love the extensive (and growing) selection of solid rag boards and the overall selection of c/p boards is about the size of the other three lines combined.

I also like the color wheel references and use the system at my design counter, even with the non-Bainbridge mats.

I think they are addressing the rapid-turnover concerns and have made a commitment with the latest specifier to maintain the line for a longer period without the frequent discontinueds.
You are vewy optimistic, Mr. Eggers. I lean toward Bainbridge more, too, and hope they settle down with all that disc. stuff.
We can always hope!

As you will see in Atl, I am marked with the scarlet "B" for basement, home based, whatever ya wanna call it that some of us must wear, so , I am not privvy to Artique.
TruVue used to be my go-to mat because everything was available oversized. I may go back to them once the change over to Crescent gets the bugs worked out.

The first mats I show customers are Crsecent linens and Bainbridge silks. With fillets. If they balk at the price, I'll show them regular mats. Very often they'll return to their original choice. Yes, they're more expensive but they look so much nicer.


I have mainly shown Crescent paper, select, and rag. And Specialty for the unique patterns. That is, until my local supplier who carried the Specialty went out of business. So, in searching for some cool patterns, I added in Tru-Vue, which the other local supplier carried

So far, I haven't had a problem getting any of them. And I too, am switching to only showing the rags.

See what an influence you all have had on me?

Hey GG, some people have or move their businesses into their homes. We're getting to move our home into our business!

I prefer the "feel" Bainbridge when cutting it. Crescent "feels" like fingernails on a chalkboard, as well as softer, to me. But the color selection of crescent beats Bainbridge, they just seem richer and more "alive".

But I prefer Bainbridge because the boards seem cleaner. I really hate that I will cut a Crescent mat and find something stuck in the fibers of the mat. I've had to pick out what looks like dye and bits of grit out on Crescent mats and never have to with Bainbridge. Anyone else have that problem?

Speaking of imperfections in materials, has anyone else had to deal with "bubbles" in DenGlas? or TruVue? I can "see" the bubbles and one fleck to date in the DenGlas but not in the TruVue, they may be there but I can't see them!
I had a couple of cases of TruVue with "bubbles" in them, but usually there's no problem. I haven't seen it in the Denglas yet. I was told it is usually a by-product of the temperature during the float process. It can happen to any of them. For some reason the automated Quality Control device can miss "certain" shaped and/or colored bubbles. If you see one in a case, watch the case closely.

Note: it was like one small dot in a few of the lites of the whole box, it wasn't like they were polka-dotted or anything.
This is one of those discussions we see every so often. It reminds me of which do you like better, Coke or Pepsi?

Did you notice that no one indicated that they had any experience with one brand outselling the other? Or that the consumer had any preferences? Or, that the shade of blue from one was superior to the other?

They all make a quality product and most of us probably buy what is most convienent or which shade we like or which supplier we like or whose marketing campaign hits.

In essence, we mostly buy on an emotional basis.

Typically, not the most sound judgement
Bob, I think this is one area where emotion out weighs anything else. We sell what we show, and we show what we like. In this particular case, the customer doesn't know anything about brands, only which color works.

I don't think a study can even be done on which brand outsells another, because none of the brands are marketed to the consumer, only the framer, and the framer chooses on likes and dislikes - which are emotions.

If the customer doesn't know the difference and they are so similar then why not buy the cheapest you can get that meet your requirements.
On the flip side, If you use a standard mark up based on cost. Why not carry the most expensive and make more profit?

Better yet buy cheap, sell high.

If the customer wants a mat and is willing to pay your price, what difference is there to the client. They don't care who makes the matboard. They only care that it gets the job done at the price they are willing to pay.

Same thing goes for mouldings. LJ has some brand recognition, but not much. The other vendors have none.
That reminds me of one sales lady that made a comment about me buying so many Crescent Selects instead of the International White TV's when they are both "Acid Free". I just sighed and said "I dunno". The truth of the matter is that I couldn't get the FACTS page opened while I was on the phone to look up that rule. THANKS friend. I'll be right back I have to go make a call.
I agree will Betty. The only thing that I think would change a framers opinion on a certain mat company, would really be if thier supplier is able to keep them stocked. If you start having a problem with one supplier not keeping one company in stock, then you could do a comparison on which is a better seller, solely on which company keeps up with demand, not which company has a better product.
I had one company that didn't carry the whole line of tru vue mats,
and I have NO source for the whole line of Speciality mat boards.(I love thier stuff, I just can't get it delivered. And I'm not about to pay shipping on mat boards)

We get designers, decorators and people who have probably seen all the $80,000 full page ads by LJ.
Only one person in all my years has EVER come in, shown me a picture and said "I want that frame". And it happened to be a Bombay catalog.... go figure. My cost was 3x the Bombay, and he went for it. Twice.

Bob, you're right as usual. No one keeps that kind of info..... and when I get to work, I'll mention it to my partner who will go into the management section of Fullcalc and give me exactly THAT breakdown. I know this because I recently asked the critical question:
Fact: we stock 1-3 sheets of paper mats both C & B.
What percent of our mats do we sell paper? 21%
What percent of mats "I" sell are paper? 1%
Which has more profit when they are BOTH same mark-up?
What percent of total mats are fabric wrap? 16% and growing.

We grew the business only 14% this last year, but reduce the number of frames made and fit.

<marquee><font color=red>
Hippo Birdie 2 Ewes, Hippo Birdie 2 Ewes, Hippo Birdie 2 GG, Hippo Birdie 2 :D Ewes</font></marquee>

I'm an education consultant for Bainbridge so will obviously have bias, BUT, I sell my expertise to the customer and when they bring me a signed numbered or anything of value (what isn’t?) as I look through the mat boards for the colors I need, I tell them what they have and that I will be using a matboard with Artcare which will prolong the life of their art and UV filtering glazing. I don’t talk cost yet, just the FACTS folks, just the FACTS. No pun intended.

I don’t do hand wrapped fabric mats because Bainbridge has some very nice linen and denim that meet the FACTS PMMB-2000 for preservation materials and they also have Artcare. Lots easier to cut a hole, showing a nice crisp white bevel than hand wrapping dubious fabric over a blank. I want to save time and use fabric mats, especially if I use a fillet.

When you compare the cost of a plain paper mat and a preservation grade one, it’s not enough for the difference in quality that the preservation grade has. www.artfacts.org has the PMMB 2000 standards that preservation matboard must have to be preservation, Everything I frame doesn’t need preservation grade, but it’s not worth carrying the regular boards when the preservation ones aren’t that much more and I don’t have to worry about them. The Artcare technology in the Bainbridge mat is an added bonus that really does make a difference for the art.

Just my opinion and that plus a dime won’t buy a cup of coffee, but hey I think the Bainbridge board is MUCH better.

Nona Powers, CPF
I like the way Bainbridge cuts. It is less likely to get dinged up while I am working with it. Overall, I don't have a preference of one over the other. Give a choice though, I still prefer Bainbridge or Crescent over Artique. Artique is made in Europe and Crescent and Bainbridge are USA made. I hope that statement stands. Correct me if I am wrong. However, Artique does have some really nice colors.
Originally posted by Baer Charlton:

<marquee><font color=red>
Hippo Birdie 2 Ewes, Hippo Birdie 2 Ewes, Hippo Birdie 2 GG, Hippo Birdie 2 :D Ewes</font></marquee>

Sorry, folks. I may have created a monster. I notice Baer is getting carried away with the url codes and it's my fault.

In my defense, he promised me a delicious home-cooked dinner the next time I'm in Portland.

Not only do I like the Bainbridge Artcare mats better, I LOVE their Suede Mats. The Bainbridge cuts clean, and is sturdy.

(I stopped carrying regular mats about 10 or 11 years ago.)
I am pretty keen on the most recent scrolling marquee, but that's just me.

I would've made him swear to use it only in case of emergency. For example, if someone uses the word irregardless or the term "acid free." Well, then, you asked for it.
I have used Crescent exclusively for years now, switching from paper to rag about two years ago. I just decided to give Bainbridge a try, cause I do like the Artcare technology, so I ordered 5 sheets of the whitest white I could find : Spanish white vellum.

Problem: since there is no marking on the back (like Crescent) I cannot for the life of me determine which side is "up." Does it matter? Plus, in the world of whites, it is not the cold, icy white I needed. Cuts pretty good, but then again, I have not had any problem with Crescent for years...

But I want COLD WHITE!!! It is the only thing that matches all these cold white papers people are printing on nowadays.
Is that the cold white which is almost blue? I use Baker's White by Tru-Vue for photos and stuff where a really icy look is needed. Maybe that's not what you are discussing but it has worked for me in the past. I think it's 5928.
Because I like neutral, paper-base white mats with many framing projects, I can never have too many whites. I'll look through my impressive selection of white mat samples in the morning and find a really COLD one for ya.

Mar, the AlphaMats are normally labeled, but sometimes they forget. I got a bunch in today, and almost none of them were labeled.

The Alpharags, on the other hand, are NEVER labeled and both sides are usable. (Well, I guess EITHER side is usable.) Since there are some subtle differences in some of the tones, checking in a shipment of solid rag boards can be an adventure. The first thing I do is label them.

I have received a few Tru Vue mats that were labeled, but incorrectly. At least once, it caused a very big problem because I believed them.

Edit: Yes, Baker's White 5928 is a unique tint and one of the Tru Vue mats I won't be able to phase out. It's off-white, without turning yellow. Really a VERY pale neutral gray.
Hmm - The cold white I have been using is Crescent 1613, Very White. I have stayed away from any boards other than C & B due to the fact that either one is MORE than enough (colors, textures, etc) and I don't need any more matboard temptations!

It is nice to know that the Alpharags are reversible. I think...
Anyone get your new shipment of Bainbridge Alpha samples yet with the free piece of temporarily permanent speedmount board sample and Nielsen teaser? The new mat colors are nice, esp. deep tinted "colored blacks". The neutrals have a nice subtle texture to the paper. The coming-soon Nielsens will be pricy but look very nice. Tell you what, though- I'd like to have a nickel for every dollar they spent on the packaging of this set.
:cool: Rick
Rick, I thought the same thing! I liked the mat colors a lot, but why did they spend so much on the packaging! It has to cost a fortune. I'd MUCH prefer if they reduced their prices or put the money into consumer advertising!

They DON't need to impress me. Get the consumer in my shop please!
Mar, here - as promised - are the brightest white mats in my arsenal, according to my subjective eye.

In no particular order:

  • TV 1922 chalk</font>
  • Alphamat 8463V Spanish white</font>
  • Artique 4918 snow white</font>
  • Crescent solid rag 1153 white</font>
  • Crescent rag 1613 very white</font>
  • Crescent rag 1664 script white</font>
  • Crescent Select 9500 white glove</font>
Of those, I only stock the Alphamat. The rest are redundant.

Was it Mae West who said, "I used to be Snow White but I drifted?"
Ron - thanks for the list of white boards.

Now can someone tell me who exactly is Bainbridge trying to impress with that over-the-top package - for 11 new mat colors, no less!!! Is this the reason why Crescent is cheaper across the board (in price, that is!)?

And the "teaser" for the Neilsen frames to come. Gorgeous but totally a waste of their money! Just send the samples please!

Can anyone estimate how much those darned presentation packages must cost? WOW!!

I do like the boxes, however, I line them with Permalife and store my lesser ephemera collections in them! LOL!!!

Of course, I just remembered that Crescent has started publishing stupid, pretty and useless little (and big) pamphlets crowing about their new colors. Yikes. Is everyone going crazy or what???

I heard the other day that the drug industry spends more money on advertising than it does on R&D!!! (This info came from the former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine, or some such)

I think the phrase that comes to mind here is "preaching to the choir."
Hmm, around here it seems the Crescent is more than the Bainbridge. Bainbridge is the first thing I go to, usually the Alpharags. I must admit though, I do like the colors Artique has, and the surface texture as well. I don't care for the waffle texture that many Bainbridge mats have.
There's a certain surface look and feel of the Artiques that I can't explain that I like. I use a CMC so the cutting feel isn't so important to me. It all cuts fine for me.
We carry Tru-Vue as well, but we don't pull them out unless we get stuck on finding a color; we don't have a lot of space to store scraps, and the possibility is greater that you'll use them if you limit the line you carry.
Also, I don't mind so much that Artique is made in Europe; I'd rather there than Indonesia or Bangledesh--in Europe I'd expect the wages to be higher for the workers there than in the third-world countries. I really do wish that all of our wood moulding was made here out of domestic hardwood from harvested forests, actually, but we are dealing with the free-market here...
One thing to consider when making a decison about which mat lines to carry is cost of goods. If you carry more than one line, you'll wind up with more shorts that you keep in your inventory far longer than necessary. I carry almost the entire line of Bainbridge (no paper mats), have incredible mat storage capabilities, and I think that contributes to a lower cost of goods.
In reply to something FrameMakers said way up at the top of this discussion:
"Cost wise the Bainbridge boards are more expensive."
I use one supplier for Bainbridge and Cresent mats, and with the discounts Bainbridge is far cheaper.
However, as this is a taste test... I find Bainbridge better for cutting due to their thickness and density (Cresent tends to jump around a bit too much), but Cresent has a better selection of colour, especially the colour cores. Bainbridge looks like they took their core colours from a bad photocopy.

Supply and demand, I would have to stick with Bainbridge. Cresent mats tend to be back ordered too frequently for my taste.
Peter- Some of the new, expensively packaged, Alpha colors have a subtle surface texture similar to that of the Artiques. I like that too. I'm a big fan of subtle textures. the first group of mats I usually go to for top mats is the flannel textures. Sure wish Bainbridge would bring back the variety of these that used to come on the color cores. We sold the heck out of those. One of our top colors is still 8881 Feldspar on the blue core. Hope they wait a long time before discontinuing that one.
:cool: Rick