A Guide to Photo Mats

Photo mats describes the process of photo mounting to a mat board that has an opening that is cut the same size as the photo. The photo is then actually attached with framing tape to the board's back. This is a very important process, particularly for those who like to sell their photos whether they are framed or not.

Matting your photo will assure you that the photo itself will not be in touch with the glass of a photo frame. The matted board provides space between the frame glass and the photo. When a photo is matted, it sells more easily than one that is not. Matted photos are all ready to be framed. All one needs is to just find a photo frame. It saves them from having to pay for custom mats. Since the most common frame sizes are 11x14, 8x10, 16x20 and 20x30, offering your photos already matted in this size will allow the customer to go ahead and just purchase the frame in this size. They can frame the photo themselves, which will save them money. 

Cutting Your Own Photo Mats

There are few ways to cut a photo mat. You can actually purchase the already-cut mats. Cutting your own mat will be cheaper price wise, and also allow you to make any of your own opening designs. Cut mats come in one opening size. You can cut your own mats anytime you need time without the hassle of trying to order them and wait for them to arrive.

When you cut your own mats, you will want to ensure that the edges are smooth and not rugged or ragged. Changing out your blade after each mat you cut will give you smooth mat edges. Blades are not that expensive at all to buy when you buy them in bulk. It may be a good idea if you buy your mat board already cut, to purchase it in a full sheet size of 32x40. When you do this, you can still cut them down to size yourself. The larger pre-cut mats will more than likely give you a better color variety than the smaller ones. 

Mat Cutters

You can purchase a hand held mat cutter or a table mat cutter. Straight edge ruler or a knife called X-Acto is what most people choose to use when cutting their own mats. The knife is the best starter cutting tool to use when you are a beginner at matting your photos. 

If you have decided to do photo matting regularly, upgrade to Dexter Cutter Mat. This is also a handheld mat cutter, but its blade is placed at a 45 degree angle. This makes your cuts beveled. The Dexter takes a few years practice to make perfect mat cut results. The Dexter is good if you are a low volume user. If you want your cut to be a little more sophisticated, upgrade to a table top cutter mat.

The table top cutter mat is a more popular professional approach. The C&H Pro Advantage is a great mat cutter. It provides speed, reliability and better precision. A table top cutter will hold the mat down to the table and its cutting blade will be guided along a rod steel. You will no longer need to hold down the mat board, nor use a ruler. You can also cut more decorative cuts. Once you upgrade from the table top cutter mat, you will have graduated to the computerized mat cutter. This is the most advanced and the most expensive mat cutting approach. 

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