Picture Framing Glossary Part 3

21st Mar 2016

The third part of this article explains the terminology associated with framing terminology, including framing pictures in black oval picture frames, oval photo frames and oval wood picture frames.

  • Non-Glare Acrylic – Acrylic with a matte finish etched on one side to reduce glare from lighting. It is optically pure (no tint), and may cause a slight loss in sharpness. When purchasing with non-glare acrylic remember that the matte side goes away from the artwork.
  • Non-Invasive Mounting – Means the bonding technique remains totally reversible allowing the art to be returned to its original state without any adhesive residue remaining upon removal. Examples of non-invasive mounting techniques are: hinges, edge strips, natural starch, and corner pockets.
  • Overlap – A term that refers to how much of the artwork will be covered by the mat board. A standard mat window opening overlaps anywhere from 1/8" – 1/4" of the artwork.
  • Pantone Color Guide – A standardized color matching system used by artists, designers, printers, manufacturers, marketers, and clients in all industries worldwide for accurate color identification, design specification, quality control, and communication.
  • Paper – A material made of cellulose pulp, derived mainly from wood, rags, and certain grasses, processed into flexible sheets or rolls by deposit from an aqueous suspension, and used chiefly for writing, printing, and drawing.
  • pH Scale- A logarithmic scale that measures how acidic or basic a substance is. The pH scale ranges from 0 (acid) to 14 (alkaline); the neutral point is 7.
  • Picture Frame – Provides an attractive border and functions as a structural support for the artwork.
  • Picture Frame Size – This refers to the size of matted/mounted artwork. Framers will cut the picture frame moulding approximately 1/16" – 1/8" larger to accommodate the matted/mounted artwork and the glazing. Occasionally, this can refer to the outside frame size, which is the exterior dimension of the frame with the moulding. Galleries will often ask for this dimension because they need to know how much wall space to allow for in an exhibition.
  • Ply – A ply (plural - plies) is a layer within a mat board. High quality mat boards are manufactured in plies, dyed for color and laminated together. Mat board comes in 2-ply, 4-ply, 6-ply and 8-ply. Standard mat board is 4-ply and is 1/16" thick. Some mat board is not manufactured with separate plies, but will often be referred to as 4-ply to give a relative indication of the approximate thickness.
  • Point Driver – A hand-held device that fires points with pneumatic-like force into a picture frame. To operate, press the nose of point driver against the rabbet and squeeze the handle. For the most accuracy, make sure the bottom of the point driver is flat against the surface of your table.
  • Point Squeezer – Avicing tool that squeezes the point into the rabbet. Point squeezers have an adjustable magnetic anvil that holds the point in place while squeezing. The opposing jaw is fitted over the frame, then the handle is squeezed, closing the jaws and pressing the point into the rabbet. This is also known as a Frame Fitting Tool.
  • Points - Thin metal tabs used to hold the mat, mount board and/or glazing inside of wood picture frames. Some points are stiff while others are flexible to allow access into the frame.
  • Polypropylene (PP) – A thermoplastic polymer used in a wide variety of applications including packaging, textiles, plastic parts and reusable containers of various types. We sell photo corners made of 100% safe polypropylene for mounting images on mat board or foam core and polypropylene ClearBags for protecting and storing artwork and photographs.
  • Portrait – A depiction of an individual's likeness. Portrait styles include: head-and-shoulders, bust, three-quarters and full-length.
  • Riser – The amount of distance between the top edge of the stretcher bar and the broad flat top of the stretcher bar. The riser determines how much distance you will have between the canvas and the top face of the stretcher bar.
  • Sawtooth Hangers – Small metal bars with a serrated (sawtooth) edge that are used in place of hanging wire. Sawtoothed hangers are best for lighter weight picture frames.
  • Screw Eyes – Screws with a loop at the end. They are used to attach hanging wire to the back of a wooden picture frame.
  • Shadow Box Frame – A deep frame with glass or acrylic in front traditionally used to display personal mementos such as military medals, antique jewelry, old coins, sports memorabilia and children’s toys.
  • Single Mat – One (1) mat whose window (opening) surrounds the image.
  • Spacer – Holds the artwork away from the surface of the glazing. Spacers can be made of plastic, wood, mat board or foam core.
  • Ultraviolet (UV) Energy – An invisible portion of the light spectrum. Ultraviolet energy fades artwork and causes paper to become yellow and/or brittle. Using ultraviolet-filtering glazing helps minimize potential UV damage to artwork. ISO 18902, the ISO standard for framing display photos, recommends using glazing that blocks at least 97% of UV energy.
  • UV-Filter Acrylic – Acrylic with a UV-filter that will block most ultraviolet radiation. It has a slight yellow tint, which may create a warming effect on the artwork.
  • UV/Non-Glare Acrylic – Acrylic that blocks ultraviolet radiation and has a matte finish etched on one side to reduce glare from lighting. When framing with non-glare acrylic remember that the matte side goes away from the artwork.
  • Wall Bumpers – Small, felt-covered or soft rubbery plastic adhesive-backed disks that provide a cushion between the frame and the wall. Bumpers also help the frame hang flat against the wall.