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What is the blackest mat board on the market?

theotheo

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Jun 23, 2020
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I had a beautiful piece framed recently. The edges of the print are so black that the black mat board the framer used looks grey by comparison. I'd like to find the darkest mat board available. The piece has museum conversation glass. The actual print is floated so I think maybe conservation mat board is less important in this case (?).
 

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JFeig

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To answer your question question first Theo "that is not true". Any material within the frame package should be of conservation quality. That includes the mat, backing board risers, and fillets. This also includes the stiffening board behind the backing board. In addition, if the frame moulding is made from wood, it should be isolated from the contents with an impermeable coating or barrier tape.

As for the the darkest black mat board, a glossy (reflective) finish will look darker than a flat finish. The third image indicates that the art is comprised of a glossy finish in comparison to the flat finish of the mat board.

IMHO the mat does nothing for the art as it is almost the same width as the frame. I would eliminate the mat and replace it with spacers to keep the art off the glass.
 

wvframer

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Crescent has some boards in their Select series that have a black semi-gloss finish that might look better.

But really, JFeig is right that this mat is not doing much for the design. It would look better without a mat and a spacer.
 

DVieau2

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Welcome to the Grumble.

Black Suede.

Not that you asked....... but the design is fine.

I've used smallish mats as spacers many time.
 

Ylva

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Welcome to the G!

If I understand correctly, you are the customer and not happy with what your framer did?

It is extremely difficult to match a black to a black. The black of the art will never match the matboard.
I usually look at textured mats, fabric mats show deeper in color and might be a better black. Suede could work, but not everyone likes the look of it.

As a framer, I would probably have steered away from the black. There are some awesome metallic mats that might have worked better.

Have you had a conversation with the framer? Maybe something could be worked out?
 

Joe B

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I my opinion for a non-decorative board the blackest is Crescent 1115. I know that some decorative boards like suede, fabric, or gloss brushed boards may be a little blacker but Crescent 1115 is more of a mat finish that will work in most applications that some of the decorative blacks will not.

The actual print is floated so I think maybe conservation mat board is less important in this case
Why would you think that? How is the print floated - is it on a pedestal or is it floated on the mat? if there is a pedestal what type of materials are used for the pedestal? if floated on a mat is the mat meeting conservation standards? What I am trying to say, if you want conservation framing all components of the frame project should meet the conservation standards.. If you want partial conservation, that is another story but with partial conservation techniques you are not totally, if at all, protecting the art. With that said, not all art needs conservation framing, only you and the art can dictate what you need/want to do to protect the art or you may not even care about protecting the art. If the art is valuable I would definitely follow strict Conservation Standards, if it was a $3.00 poster I more than likely wouldn't unless there was some sentimental value to it. That's what I mean when I say only you and the art can decide how much protection is needed.
 

wpfay

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Get someone to print out a sheet (or at least the border area surrounding the art) of matching gloss paper with the same black, and have that mounted for your background. Any other black in any other finish will have contrast of some kind with the photo. Maybe the artist will be helpful in the process.
 

theotheo

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To answer your question question first Theo "that is not true". Any material within the frame package should be of conservation quality. That includes the mat, backing board risers, and fillets. This also includes the stiffening board behind the backing board. In addition, if the frame moulding is made from wood, it should be isolated from the contents with an impermeable coating or barrier tape.

As for the the darkest black mat board, a glossy (reflective) finish will look darker than a flat finish. The third image indicates that the art is comprised of a glossy finish in comparison to the flat finish of the mat board.

IMHO the mat does nothing for the art as it is almost the same width as the frame. I would eliminate the mat and replace it with spacers to keep the art off the glass.
Honestly I think you guys are right. The guy who was helping me was pretty insistent that it wouldn't like right without mat board, but it doesn't look right with it. Is it possible to cut down the frame and the glass or does everything have to be started from scratch? This thing was expensive to frame lol.
 
Vermont Hardwoods solid wood picture frame molding

shayla

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Honestly I think you guys are right. The guy who was helping me was pretty insistent that it wouldn't like right without mat board, but it doesn't look right with it. Is it possible to cut down the frame and the glass or does everything have to be started from scratch? This thing was expensive to frame lol.
Is the frame metal? If so, it can be cut down, but depends on whether he cuts his own metals. Some shops do, while others only order them pre-cut. At any rate, it could be done. (And definitely yes, if wood, but it looks metal to me.) I hope you go easy on the guy who framed it. He was probably trying to do his best to give you a great design. Around the idea of framing without the mat: Is this photo mounted to foam core or matboard, which has been reverse-bevel trimmed, then glued to the float back? If so, and if you ditch the mat, those back-angled edges will need some support, to brace better against glass spacers. And if you do lost the mat, they'll need to be careful not to put any pressure on the surface of the photo in the process.
 

Keith L Hewitt

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Just asking .........Someone at WCAF show a few years ago told me that the blackest black can be obtained by ink jet printing.
Do any of you experts on here have an opinion about this claim. I'm NOT suggesting its the answer to theotheo's question
Just saw this as an opportunity to ask.
Don't want to hijack the thread.:(
 

artfolio

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Despite my dislike of skinny matts I don't think this design is necessarily bad.

If I had paid serious money for the job I would be inclined to hang it as is and live with it for at least a couple of months before thinking about changing anything.
 

David Hewitt

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does everything have to be started from scratch?
No, your framer can remove the mat and keep everything else the same. It would needs sides built to act as spacers and to hold the glass in place. The sides could be painted or fabric wrapped to color match.
This of course is assuming the art goes to the frame edges.

Also, for a very black gloss look, you could have the glass painted black on the back side to cover the mat area. The mat could still remain underneath and protect the painted area. The term is glass mat.
 
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wvframer

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You can match any color with Photoshop and a good printer. And Epson in particular can make a true black. It probably is blacker than any matboard.

There are some guys retrofitting worn out Epson 9000 series printers to print black & white photographs exclusively. They claim it is nearly impossible to tell these b & w prints from the film versions.

The b & w prints I typically produce on my Epson 9890 are not truly b & w, and it shows when you hold one up next to a print produced from film. They are more than adequate for the photo restoration work I do, but for a professional photographer, I would need to change out the black ink, which is a pretty expensive process.
 
Vermont Hardwoods solid wood picture frame molding

wvframer

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Keith L Hewitt

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I have often suggested that with advances in wide format printers, inks becoming better and hopefully cheaper, further development in CMC's we will see the end of mfgs churning out 100's of different colours of mat boards. Framers will simply stock 2 white mat boards, one smooth and one with a texture, ink jet receptive, and print what ever colour needed for the job. And only print the area needed , leaving the fall out unprinted, for use on another job.

I know a few go ahead framers already doing this, but the big question is when will it become more widely used
 

alacrity8

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I have often suggested that with advances in wide format printers, inks becoming better and hopefully cheaper, further development in CMC's we will see the end of mfgs churning out 100's of different colours of mat boards. Framers will simply stock 2 white mat boards, one smooth and one with a texture, ink jet receptive, and print what ever colour needed for the job. And only print the area needed , leaving the fall out unprinted, for use on another job.

I know a few go ahead framers already doing this, but the big question is when will it become more widely used
With this tech, we will need a commensurate ability to color match.
It is currently hard enough to match colors to a project previously done by another framer.
Now try to match to an infinite possibility of colors.
If the color from the previous project has faded, and is continuing to fade, try matching that fading.

This sounds like a neat idea for the future, but I know that color matching can be very complicated for people who do it for a living.
One of the reasons we do not offer printing.

Brian
 
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Framar

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I cannot imagine how fragile the surface of printed matboard might be. Some prints are so delicate they scratch just looking at them!

And can you imagine how much they would charge for Vantablack matboard? Oh my!
 

wvframer

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I have often suggested that with advances in wide format printers, inks becoming better and hopefully cheaper, further development in CMC's we will see the end of mfgs churning out 100's of different colours of mat boards. . .

I know a few go ahead framers already doing this, but the big question is when will it become more widely used
Wizard was experimenting with this a few years ago, about 2010. And someone was doing a blind survey in 2016 and that was a big part of the questions. I think the problem is getting it to the point where it is economical.

It costs considerably more to print solid sheets of color. There are a couple of white matboards that my printer can print directly on. I only do it in extreme cases to match a customer's color choice and I charge a premium for it.
 

wvframer

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I cannot imagine how fragile the surface of printed matboard might be. Some prints are so delicate they scratch just looking at them!
The matboard would need to have a different surface paper that would be equal to the matte finish papers. I actually print on paper then dry mount it to the mat board. Saves any problems with printing directly on the mat board.
 

Keith L Hewitt

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It costs considerably more to print solid sheets of color.
Greg, no need to print solid sheets of colour. Did you pick up that the framer only prints the part of the board he needs. The rest is left un printed + the fallout and can maybe be used for other jobs
 

wvframer

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Greg, no need to print solid sheets of colour. Did you pick up that the framer only prints the part of the board he needs. The rest is left un printed + the fallout and can maybe be used for other jobs
Actually I do that on large jobs. I don't always explain myself well. :)
 
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theotheo

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Firstly, thanks for all your input I greatly appreciate it.

Second, what's the consensus? Should I keep the border but add a dark fabric/suede, or should I get rid of that space all together and just add spacers. The photo is raised on sintra. I had done that as that's what the artist recommended. I liked the idea of this rock floating in space but that's not the effect I got.
 

Framar

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The more I look at it, the less I see wrong with it.

But here's a question.

How deep is the frame? How far off the matboard is the mounted print floating?

Maybe if the print were raised up (say if it is at 1/4" make it 3/4") it would look more like floating.

Maybe that is the problem?
 

echavez123

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...
I know a few go ahead framers already doing this, but the big question is when will it become more widely used
Answer: when it is cost effective to do so. Ink is still very expensive. True cost = cost of ink, cost of your time, cost of white matboard with receptive coating.
 

DVieau2

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Second, what's the consensus? Should I keep the border but add a dark fabric/suede, or should I get rid of that space all together and just add spacers. The photo is raised on sintra. I had done that as that's what the artist recommended. I liked the idea of this rock floating in space but that's not the effect I got.
I think I get what your looking for but I don't believe it will happen by reworking the mat alone.

Your constrained by preserving the original print.

Now, ........if you could make copies, cut out the round rock, raise it above the background image, and stand off from the background. you would have your floating rock. Still use spacers with a deep enough frame and Museum glass would help with the effect.

No big deal except the price goes up by a factor of three. ;)
 
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