We’ve put together this video to explain what is a mat border, why you might include one, and how to choose a colour that works well with your item. If you’d rather just read, we have a text version of the video below as well.

What exactly is a mat border?

A mat border is basically a thick paper-like material that sits between the item you’re framing and the acrylic. It provides two core functions:

1. It gives you more creative freedom

When you add a mat border to your frame, it allows you to get more creative in terms of the finished frame. You can play around with the width of the mat border, and also try different colours to match your artwork or home interior. There are many situations where including a mat border will make your finished item look considerably more desirable.

For example, these two items below are the same size, but the frame with the mat border is much more appealing. Generally speaking, a smaller item will benefit a mat border.

Same image with and without a mat border

2. It enables separation between your item and the acrylic glazing

In a humid climate like Singapore, it can be good to include a mat border to create separation between your item and the acrylic glazing [i.e., a small air pocket between the two]. Consider for example a glossy photograph, if this is in direct contact with the acrylic for a long period of time, it may end up sticking to the acrylic. In a modern, well-ventilated property, this is unlikely to be a major concern, but in some older properties, where you might suffer from damp, its something you might want to consider to help with preservation.

What colour mat border should I choose?

The decision will somewhat depend on your personal preference but generally speaking, you want to select a colour which maps to one of the primary colours in the item you’re framing. For example, if you have a picture that is white, red and blue, you could choose a mat border that is any of these colours and it would likely work.

The most popular colour on FrameIT is typically just the standard white as it works in contrast with the majority of items. If you do need any advice, feel free to drop us an email at hello@frameit.com.sg. You can also upload a digital image of what you’re planning to frame and play around with the different mat colours in our frame builder to see how it looks.

We show a fairly limited range of common colours on the online builder, but we do have many other colours, so if you want to try something not shown on the website, please just get in touch and we’ll see what we can do for you.