that would be covered if the artifact were
sling matted, as they would then become
The artifact is held to the window mat in a
sling of polyester (mylar), which has been
attached by double-sided tape9. This type
of mat necessitates the artifact having a
large border around the image area, however,
as this is what will hold the artifact
from falling through the window.
This mat can also be used as temporary
housing for artifacts not normally stored
in mats, when they are to be exhibited, as
the artifacts can be very easily removed
by carefully slitting open the mylar envelope
along the taped edges.
Modified Sink Mat with Hinged Flaps:
See figure 7.
inch for the purposes of this discussion.
Now, bend one of the cards (call it card
B), so that it arches. Its apparent thickness
has now been increased to, perhaps,
1/2 inch, because of the curvature of its
surface. While card A would be matted in
a conventional mat because it was flat and
uniformly thin, card B would need a sink
mat, because it would be too "thick" for a
The mat is built up in layers, equal to the
thickness of the artifact, which "frame"
the artifact, before the top or window portion
is attached. This allows for viewing
and framing while keeping the artifact below
the level of the top mat, thereby offering
protection from abrasion if the surface
of the artifact were to come into contact
with glass or another surface.
Double-Sided Mat: See figure 5.
This mat, primarily a display mat, is designed
to allow viewing of both sides of
an artifact without the danger of handling
the artifact in the process. It is simply two
window mats hinged together along one
side. The windows can be the same size,
or different sizes if the area to be viewed
on each side of the artifact differs.
Sling Mat: See figure 6.
This configuration is used as a long term
housing for artifacts that cannot be hinged
using traditional adhesives, such as RC8
photographs, or where the application of
adhesives is not warranted. It should not
be used, however, if there are notations
along the non-image areas of the print
This mat was devised to hold a very fragile
oil on paper on which had been rebacked
onto thin Japanese tissue. The oil
had a slight buckle to it, and needed to be
held down by boards along its edges. The
traditional sink mat configuration did not
accommodate this need for restraint, so
the built-up sink borders were extended to
cover the backing, which projected from
the artifact for approximately 1/2 inch on
all sides. The built-up edges were hinged
to the back mat along the outer edges, and
opened like flaps. This allows study of the
back of the artifact and facilitates removal
at a later date if needed.
Mylar Gutter for Artifacts: See figure
The mat construction is that of the standard
mat. However, where the artifact is
especially heavy, a Mylar "gutter" is
added for protection in the event that the
hinges give way. This gutter would, in
effect, support the slipping or loose artifact.
A strip of mylar is attached to the
back mat, behind and level with the bottom
edge of the artifact, with doublesided
tape. This mylar strip is folded into
a V shape, into which the artifact will fit.
The gutter may extend to just past the
window opening in a floating artifact so
that the window mat will hold the gutter
closed. If the gutter is used in an overmatted
print, the top window mat will
hold it closed.
HERITAGE * Fall 1985
Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 2, Number 4, Fall 1985. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45445/. Accessed April 28, 2016.