A Site for Photographers by Photographers

Community > Forums > photo.net > Framing > Tape print to mat or backing...

Tape print to mat or backing board? and other framing q's...

Shayok Mukhopadhyay , Jul 01, 2001; 12:52 a.m.

Going through the archives here, some people seem to be taping the print to the back of the mat, while some advice taping to the backing board. Any reason for choosing one over the other? For a newbie working through my first framing kit from American Frame, the latter seems easier to do accurately. Either way, I'm using acid-free linen tape.

Q 2. What is the purpose of hinging the mat to the backing board? In any case, they're going into the frame. I would understand sticking the mat to the board – that'd reduce chances of any buckling/spaces appearing between the photo and the mat.

Q 3. What is the general opinion on mounting prints onto plexi glass? Is this archival? What kind of tape to use?


    1   |   2     Next    Last

Malinda Welte , Jul 01, 2001; 04:10 a.m.

Most of the time, photographs are mounted to a mounting board, usually acid-free foam board or mat board if there isn't room in the frame. An alternative to the linen tape is acid-free artist tape, I think it's a little less expensive. I also use mylar mounting corners. My framer friends advocate dry heat mounting for photos that aren't limited edition prints that you paid a gazillion dollars for. They won't buckle with a humidity change and it's archival. You will be fine either way, though. I do highly recommend using an acid-free rag mat, I have had photographs discolor under regular Crescent mats.

Q2 You hinge the mat and mount to keep them from shifting while you are mounting the photo if you are using corners or hinge tape. You can remove the photo for reframing if you need to easier also, I do this for unframed photos I sell at shows, it gives the customer some flexibility (I put a copyright notice on the photo itself also as well as the mount). Once you position the photo, you can still stick the mat and mount together with double stick tape if you like.

Q3 Why? No, you never want a photo in direct contact with glass or plastic, the emulsion can stick to it and it needs air space.

Paul Ashton , Jul 01, 2001; 09:09 a.m.

I agree with Malinda. Much depends on the paper quality of the print itself as to whether or not you hang it from or permanently bond it to the substrate. Also the relative changes in humidity in your environment will have a lot to do with how much buckling would affect a hanging print. All my inkjet prints (which I guess are not archival anyway, unless Epson is right!) seem to buckle in the Houston humidity so I bond them to archival mounting board.

With respect to plexiglass, I do sometimes use it in place of glass when sending framed pictures overseas or across country. But I am not "mounting prints on plexiglass" and I don't see much point in doing that. Plexiglass is about five times more expensive than regular glass so you have to have a good reason to use it.

Shayok Mukhopadhyay , Jul 01, 2001; 10:20 a.m.

Much depends on the paper quality of the print itself as to whether or not you hang it from or permanently bond it to the substrate.

I think I need to clarify my question. I'm not asking if I should permanently bond my print to the backing board. I'm going to hang my print (using a T-hinge) either from the backing board or from the back of the overmat. Which is prefered and why?

Steve Hovland , Jul 01, 2001; 10:57 a.m.

I get acid-free 12" by 16" mats from Stu-Art for about $3, with a custom cut of 7.5" by 11.5" for 8" by 12" machine prints.

I use a T-square to draw alignment lines on the back of the mat board.

I use three 1/4" wide strips of Lineco Archival Linen tape (from an art supply store) to hold the top of the print to the back of the mat board. No hinging- I just have about 1/8" of the tape on the print and the rest on the mat board.

I don't think that the perfect flatness of dry mounting is required because you can't see slight buckling of the print at normal viewing angles.

I use 3/16" foamcore for backing and then put the prints in ready-made 12" by 16" frames I get at Cheap Pete's for about $15.

I know there are more sophisticated ways of doing this, but I think this appropriate for what I am doing at the moment.

I worked in a large manufacturing company for about 10 years and I really learned to think in terms of "cost of goods sold."

I have the impression that some people are spending hundreds to produce and mount one picture.

I think that is fine if your pictures are actually selling at a price that justifies the cost.

The retail price should be at least 4 times your cost of producing the final work- materials and labor.

M. Huber , Jul 01, 2001; 11:01 a.m.

Backing board. Flatter and easier to work with.

Bruce McElhaney , Jul 01, 2001; 12:18 p.m.

Interesting array of answers. Hinging prints to a backing board at the top only is the preffered archival method of mounting expensive or fragile documents, prints, photos etc. Hinging allows the print to "float" expand or contract naturally with heat and humidity changes. the print can later be safely removed and reframed without damage. Hinges should be weaker than the print material, so if the frame should be dropped or damaged the hinges would tear instead of the print.

That being said, we mount our Fiber base archival B&W prints to ragboard mount board with Seal's archival dry mount tissue, in a press. Customers hate wrinkled photographs. If you tape, tape to the back/mount board, not the cover mat. Put the print on the mount board put the cover mat over and line up the print. Put a soft weight on the print after it's lined up so it doesn't move. Remove the cover mat. Mark the print location with a soft pencil, than mount or tape the print to the mount board. Then hinge or tape the cover mat to the mounting board. There you have it.

Jeff Kennedy , Jul 01, 2001; 01:10 p.m.

If you are t-hinging, you hinge to the mat and not the backing board. First of all it would be tough to make the mat match the print if it was floating in front of it and not connected to it. Secondly, hinging to the backing board would require you to tape the front of the print.

Q2 - There is no purpose to attach to the backing board. As a matter of fact it defeats the purpose of t-hinging which is to allow the print to float.

Q3 - Why whould you want to mount it on plexi-glass? If you t-hinge you don't want to mount the print on anything. I don't think plexi-glass is archival any way.

John Davis , Jul 05, 2001; 07:34 p.m.

An internet search on the terms photo, art, archival, and mounting popped up a university site-cannot recall the name or locate the articla-northern something univer... sorry.

They recommend t-mounting with some Japanese mounting tape on the backing board, then hinging that to the front mat. They also suggest using archival corners-either clear poly-plastic... or paper.

I like the corners, here's why: By carefully aligning the bottom corners and more loosly aligning the top corners I can reuse print, backing, and mat whenever. Hinging is often needed when prints are shown without frame/glass. Like in quick shows, contests etc. You know-to keep the whole thing together!

As for the plexiglass-it's chemical-material, manufactured etc. I wouldn't put it near anyones prints for more than a few days (at best) I think even nothing in front would be preferable; glass seems best (Real occupation is not photographer-it's chemical engineer!)

Shayok Mukhopadhyay , Jul 15, 2001; 10:34 a.m.

Is Plexiglass Archival?

For those concerned (or voicing concerns) about the archival properties of plexi glass, I managed to dig up a couple of archived threads where people seem to be authoritatively recommending plexi over glass for certain purposes; only one thread I saw had a poster talking about plexi "outgassing".

    1   |   2     Next    Last

Back to top

Notify me of Responses