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"Rag" is a papermaker's term dating back to the 15th century when cotton rags and trimmings were the principal raw materials used for papermaking. The term continues to be used to describe papers and boards made of 100% cotton fiberThe Gutenberg Bible, the drawings of Renaissance masters, Shakespeare's first folio, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights exist today because they were printed or penned on cotton fiber paper. Cotton fiber paper is specified for currency, stock certificates and government documents because of its permanence.  Cotton is used to make the finest type of paper and mat boards because it is the purest form of natural cellulose. Rag is strong, requires less processing, has a history of performance and it is an annually renewable resource, making it a better product for our planet. Both Rag and Rag "100" are 100% Cotton Fiber.  The benefits of using Rag Mat are clear:

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Pure, natural 100% cotton fiber offers the ultimate in conservation of art on paper.

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Naturally Acid and Lignin -Free - All components of Rag Mat Board are completely acid-free and do not contain alum, ligninor pollutants that would degrade artwork..

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Buffered with calcium carbonate, resulting in a pH of 8.5 - 9.5 according to independent laboratory TAPPI cold extraction test results.

The term 'ply' refers to the thickness of the matboard. The higher the number, the thicker the board. The most common thickness used is 4 ply (around 1/16th of an inch). You can tell the difference in thickness by saying 2 ply is 1/2 the thickness (1/32") of 4 ply. 6 ply (1/8") is 4+2 ply, so it would be 1 1/2 times as thick. 8 ply (1/4") would be 4+4, or 2 times as thick. It is double the size of 4 ply (double the thickness). Which ply should you use? That depends on what you are doing!  98% of all mat board sold is 4 ply.  6 and 8 ply mat is often used in museums or galleries for special presentations of artwork or photos. The 45 degree bevel allows the extra thick core to show and gives a dramatic effect.  Double matted means you will have 8 ply mat on your artwork if you use the 4 ply board. In most cases, 4 ply works great, and anything more is up to you! If you choose a thicker or thinner matboard, you must adjust the blade on your mat cutter to avoid over or under cuts. If you are just starting out in mat cutting use 4 ply only. Also, some mat cutters (both manual and computerized) will not cut 8 ply. If you're interested in a great machine that can handle an 8 ply board, check out the Logan 650 and 850 line of mat cutters!

Rag Mat Solids:  100% Rag, Acid & Lignin-Free, Solid Color When you cut the board, the color is the same all the way through. 

2 Ply 32"x 40"

 

4 Ply 32"x 40"

 

   

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