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Frameworks Berlin makes an absolutely one-of-a-kind frame at a highly professional level. All frames are hand made from colorful and unique recycled wood found in Germany. Frames from new wood are also hand made, in order to cover all desired framing styles for our customers. You will receive knowledgeable advice and together select wood, paper, mattboard, and glass for your most favorite piece of art.

We aren’t just artists, we are highly skilled professional picture framers, experienced with the highest standards of preservation, and working to make a sustainable product that has history.


Category Archives: Mat Boards

Acid Free: Archival and Conservation

As glass isn’t just glass (Link to Blog Post on Glass) paper isn’t just paper. There are two types of paper used in the majority of custom picture framing. Paper that is Acid free, meaning it has  neutral pH level, and cheaper paper or older paper that is wood based and is known to be acidic. This is an important piece of the frame, as the acidity of the paper has a direct impact on the piece of art.

Without proper materials, “mat burn” can occur, looking like brown waves that surface from the outside towards the centre of the photograph, print, artwork, etc. Some art can be restored by a professional restaurateur, however that is dependent on the extremity of the Mat burn and what the original artistic material was (water soluble inks and paints such as watercolour cannot be restored fully.

Basic Science:

“Acid-free papers are made using alkaline paper making technology. This means the pH of the pulp that is used to form the paper is above 7 (neutral). The paper is also buffered with an alkaline reserve, such as calcium carbonate, to neutralise acid compounds absorbed from the atmosphere or formed through natural aging.” Quoted from http://www.strathmoreartist.com


Museums Board is the highest quality marital available, in that it is arguably 100% acid free, is cotton. Paper made out of 100% cotton finer will be the best buy for your custom picture frame. It will be consistent over the long term, and although it is more expensive, it is relatively worth it when you consider the damage that could potentially done to your art print.

Second to Museums Board is Museums Mat or Rag Mat. This is made out of a combination of cotton and wood pulp, making it less expensive but still providing the archival & conservation standards excepted.

Third is conservation or archival mat boards that are made out of 100% wood pulp. Followed up by material that is lined with acid free material but has an alternative material for its core. This can be problematic long term because the although the surfaces are acid free, the core can leach out the acid from the side and over time potentially impact the art.

Frameworks uses acid free archival materials in all its custom framing, from paper to the mounting tape that is used to mount the image. Don’t forget to take a look at our blog on taking care of your frame, to help enhance the longevity of the materials used to make the frame. Improper hanging locations could cause damage to your art & picture frame.

Contact Frameworks Berlin today for all your custom picture framing needs!

Mat Boards

Custom Picture framing offers many types of mourning techniques, one of which is the classy Mat Board. The Mat board, Mount, or simply Mat, is a piece of thick paper, thickness from 1mm-5mm in size that has several functions, both practical and visual.

Decoration (& Protection)

Mats are from the customer perspective, mainly a decorative enhancement, with many options to choose from. The matt in addition to the frame, is meant to draw the attention towards the artwork, enclosing, finalising, and protecting the entire piece of work. The Mat’s inside edge can sit on top of the image covering up a couple millimetres of the image below (see below Example of a “top mount” with a Vintage Berliner Moulding Frame), or the image can sit within the window of the Mat, leaving a couple millimetres around the image and the edge of the mat board (see below Example of a float mount with Frameworks Berlin custom moulding).

Top Mount
Float Mount














picture-frame-mat-examplesIn some cases, you have have several mats layered on top of each other, creating an additional design. These mats can vary in color or width, adding to and enhancing the overall design of the picture frame. The mat board themselves can be decorated by hand, wrapped with fabric, or even carved into, since they are thick and dense, becoming a piece of the art.

An example of a mat that has been painted on is known as a French line or French panel. In this example, a line is drawn directly onto the mat with ink or paint and follows the cut out all the way around. When the line is thick, it is known as a “panel” versus just a “line”. Gold, ink, paint, or pencil can be used to draw the line or fill in the panel.

A typical mat is rectangular in shape, following the normal cuts of a piece of paper. However, mats that are oval in shape can also be cut, although this is not common. Various shapes can be cut into a mat, depending on the customer desire. More common are multiple window mat boards, allowing for multiple images to be framed by a mat within one picture frame.

Mat boards come in an astonishing variety of colours and sizes. An intense color mat can distract from the art, and therefore it is common that high end galleries, art collectors, and museum use white based Mat boards to defer to the art itself. Frameworks Berlin specialises in using the white spectrum of Matt boards, and when desired, additional colored mats can be ordered.

Lastly, concerning distance around the image, matting usually has the same distance all the way around the image. The other common method is known as “bottom weighting” or “off sets.” This is prioritized when the visual center of an image is lower than the actual center of the piece of paper. In this case, the bottom is made larger than the sides and top (when the remaining three sides are made equal, this is know as “Top Center”). This has the visual effect of drawing the eye to the center of the image.








Protection (& Decoration)

All the aesthetics are great, but for the professional framer, the Mat board has the primary function of separating the glass from the art, photograph, print, image, etc, which is being framed. This distance if for archival or conservation purposes. As discussed in the Protect your Art article (click here for more) without any breathing room, moisture, mold, condensation, humidity, will be trapped and absorbed into the piece of artwork, resulting in damage to the artwork. Photographs are particularly vulnerable to destruction when in contact with glass, and should always be frame with space left between glass and image. Pastels or chalks easily smudge, and also should conclusively always be framed with a space between.

For images that are on paper that is stable, mat boards are resourceful because they allow for the use of photo corners, which are then hidden behind the mat board. This way, the image itself does not need to be mounted, but instead can easily be removed in the future from the corners which hold it in place.

Conclusively, whether you have a newly made oak frame, a vintage baroque frame, an up-cycled Frameworks Berlin frame, or a contemporary wooden picture frame—with Custom framing options, Frameworks Berlin can offer you what you want.

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