View Full Version : Making a linen mat

05-28-2004, 11:07 AM
I'm thinking of matting one of my paintings with a double matt, the first (the closest to the painting) with gold foil painted edge, and the second with a linen covered matt. Has anyone ever covered a matt with linen? I have done it with photos with other fabric before, but just for personal use. I'm going to give it a try, just thought I'd see if anyone had any tips.

Deborah Secor
05-28-2004, 11:41 AM
I've done it and personally I find it to be a major pain...especially when you can buy those nice, fairly cheap oil frames with the liner in place already! I cut a fomecore mat, sprayed it with spray glue and fit the linen over it. It takes a lot of careful cutting and you really need to make sure the back isn't lumpy, but you've probably discovered this from making the other ones.

(I'm wondering if this thread might not want to go into the Pastel Talk section...? I'll ask the mods what they want, okay?)


05-28-2004, 08:26 PM
Deborah, thanks for your reply. I'm gonna try it, I may be asking for trouble tho. I got the material today and I'll let you know how it turns out.

Maggie P
05-28-2004, 09:27 PM
So how do you make those linen liners with the nifty looking gold fillet on the inside? Anyone know how to do those?

05-28-2004, 11:16 PM
Hi Maggie, I did a search and found a website with detailed instructions on attaching a fillet to a mat.


I also found a site for making fabric covered mat at 3M,


I hope this helps with your question, other than looking up and printing instructions, I havn't done this yet, wish me luck.

05-30-2004, 10:40 AM
Hi, I finished one of the mats and frames I was working on and wanted to show you. On this painting I really wanted the gold, linen, gold look because of the colors of the painting. I know I still need to improve on cutting the mats, but the linen one turned out well and wasn't as hard as I thought.

I cut the mat, dyed the linen (it was stark white, couldn't find the exact shade I wanted), the brushed the mat with "Yes" paste, thinned down a tad with warm water, laid the linen over it, making sure the grain was straight, then rolled over it with a foam brayer. After drying, I was able to cut out the middle leaving enough material to overlap the back, then repeated the gluing, braying, drying.

Anyways, I'm very pleased with the result, and think this looks nice with this painting. I'm thinking the 2nd one I ready to frame is a little more contemporary and still may go with the gold painted inner mat, but not the linen outer mat.

05-30-2004, 11:52 AM
I'm very impressed. Nice job and thanks for sharing the links.


Deborah Secor
05-30-2004, 11:57 AM
Um, PJ, could we talk about the possibility of a trade? You can make linen liners and fillets for me in exchange for, um, more classes? Paper? Workshops? Whaddaya need? Even money? Let me know...!!

This looks terrific!


05-30-2004, 11:59 AM
Deborah, if you're serious, classes, classes and more classes! I learn so much from you. Give me a call when you have time.

Deborah Secor
05-30-2004, 12:05 PM
I also wanted to mention here that I saw your response in the 'how do you frame' thread, and notice you're putting the glass over the linen. I've seen it done both that way and by putting the glass under the liner, especially when using museum glass--which is nearly invisible! Looks like an oil painting that way. Just another thought for ya!

I'll call............

05-30-2004, 12:47 PM
wow, thanks for the threads! and wonderful job!! looks terrific!

and hey, i musta missed that framing thread, where is that?

one question--what did you dye the linen with? i've heard of using coffee, but not sure that's a good idea. i think this may be something i'll be trying out! and, what color of mat did you use? i am thinking it wouldn't matter a whole lot, as long as it wasn't a crazy hot-pink or something! may be a great way to use up some of those mats i got that aren't the color i'd wanted.(i must order everything, and the swatches are not always very good!) and from what i could see, i think you framed up a lovely work too! looks very fitting.

05-30-2004, 01:33 PM
Deborah - I've seen them like that with the linen with a fillet edge outside the glass, I like that look alot. This one just has a gold painted inner mat, not a fillet edge, so I'm thinking it will look better under the glass, not sure though.

Chewie - I dyed the linen with rit fabric dye, I thought of tea or coffee staining but was not sure of color bleeding, so went with the fabric dye, added some salt to the hot water, and rinsed the heck out of it. I used a cream mat on this, but other colors may work as well, I cut a few squares of
linen to experiment on, to dye different shades and glue to mat board, so you could always try that with the stronger colors of mat board and see how it looks.

The painting I framed (in case you want to peek at the full painting) is in the soft pastel section, probably a couple pages back titled "2 for the show, C & C needed) Still working on finishing the second one, hoping to finish this weekend, they both need to be delivered on the 4th, wish me luck.