Cross Stitch Patterns from Fine Art by Scarlet Quince
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To Mat or Not To Mat?

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Joined: 26 Oct 2006
Posts: 88
Location: St. Louis, MO
To Mat or Not To Mat?     Reply with quote  
8:49 am Apr 07, 2009

I've finished the Holy Family picture I've been working on for the past 2 1/2 yrs. (before I found this wonderful site)! It's wonderful to have it finished so I can start on 1 of the SQ patterns that have been patiently waiting in my closet for their turn. I plan to take it to Michael's (during the next 50% sale) for conservation mounting (no adhesives to break down fabric/fibers) and they have spacers which can leave room for stitches not to get crushed. So my question is does the mat serve any purpose or is it strictly a preference thing? Even when you look at paintings, some have a mat & some don't so I'm not sure. Confused
Joined: 16 Apr 2004
Posts: 420
Location: Hamilton, Ontario
Re: To Mat or Not To Mat?     Reply with quote  
10:26 am Apr 07, 2009

If you're going to have glass in the frame, then the matte serves the purpose of lifting the glass out of contact of the stitching.
Joined: 27 Aug 2006
Posts: 633
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Re: To Mat or Not To Mat?     Reply with quote  
9:00 pm Apr 07, 2009

It also helps put a bit of distance (and often a complimentary colour) between the image and the frame so they don't drown each other out.
Joined: 06 Feb 2009
Posts: 21
Location: Richmond Virginia
    Reply with quote  
4:42 am Apr 08, 2009

I'm working on 'Tea". Someday (ten years from now!) I'll finish it and frame it. I'm wondering if a mat will make it look too "modern" or "contemporary". Anyone here not used a mat?
Joined: 16 May 2005
Posts: 639
Location: North of Atlanta
    Reply with quote  
9:27 am Apr 08, 2009

If you have the spacer, then the mat is purely an aesthetic device. But if you have a mat, then you do not necessarily need any additional spacer. I have framed several things with no mat, but have a spacer (of varying thickness, depending on if the piece has embellishments - beads - or not): - this piece has a spacer that is 1/8" tall, as this has size 8/0 beads, and a big ss spider charm attached. , , and all are framed without mats, and have a 1/16" spacer between the glass & the work, as they are all just stitched, no embellishments. There's a thinner spacer material available, which I would have used if I'd had any...
This piece is framed with mat, no additional spacer.

So long as you have one or the other at a minimum, it's up to you whether or not to mat a piece - and take into account the added expense in the materials to accommodate a mat. That last one I linked, the one with the mat, is a Quaker piece, and traditionally, Quakers don't have mats, the frame goes right to the edge of the stitching - but as I did that over-1 on 32ct, it would have been pretty small without the mat - and I'm not really much of a traditionalist anyway Smile

And of course, this isi all dependent on having glass in the frame - a LOT of people do not put glass in the frame, but as I live with animals and a smoker, glass is a must.
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