hinging mats with duct or masking tape

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okay, this is one of those questions that is going to illicit groans and rolled eyes from some; i'd probably have that reaction if i weren't asking it:

is there any good reason that i couldn't use masking tape to hinge front and back mats together? i currently use the same linen tape with which i hinge my photos, an expensive use of expensive tape. i started wondering why i couldn't just use masking or even duct tape to hinge the front and back of the mat together. the tape will be no where near the image, and i can't imagine that chemicals would leach several inches through the mat into the print. the only potential problem i can think of is the possibility that the mat would eventually discolor on the side opposite the tape.

anyhow, any opinions?


-- brad daly (bwdaly@hiwaay.net), August 01, 2000


Unless they are rich, everyone here has probably used every manner of tape found in the world today. I have and still use masking tape as well as carpet tape, cloth linen tape, book binders tape and even white glue. What ever I find first depending on where it is going. As long as it doesn't touch my print. James

-- james (james_mickelson@hotmail.com), August 01, 2000.

I guess I got the archival paranoia, but won't the masking tape (which has a definite odor) be stuck under glass floating around in about a cubic inch of air? Then it may crystallize and crumble down? Mind you I'm paranoid on the last step of the picture (which makes up for my slip-shod technique at the front end). Dean

-- Dean Lastoria (dvlastor@sfu.ca), August 01, 2000.

Henry Wilhelm has written that Scotch Magic tape (green plaid dispenser) is safe, but I've never seen anything else that would tend to support or disprove that statement.

-- John Hicks (jbh@magicnet.net), August 01, 2000.

Those are the decisions we all have to face in life. So far all the different kinds of tape I've used that are still around my house have held up well. Better than the RC printing paper I used once a long time ago. If it makes a difference to you then I'd opt for the slight cost difference and go for the cloth linen book binder tape. It'll last a long long time. James

-- james (james_mickelson@hotmail.com), August 01, 2000.

Both for my mats and photos I use a tape called 'Artists Tape' that I get at the art supply store. It is white, sort of has a plastic feel, and isn't all that expensive.


-- Christian Harkness (chris.harkness@eudoramail.com), August 02, 2000.

I'm with Dean on this one... You spend the time and energy on archival processing, matts ect. Why not give the customer the whole ball of wax and stick to what has been good for years! In other words, protect your name... raise your prices if need be but protect your name. This is something that really could come back at you in the years to come. Cheers

-- Scott Walton (scotlynn@shore.net), August 02, 2000.


The simple answer is: don't. IF you don't believe what other have to say about using duct tape, find some that's been stuck to something for a couple of years and you'll be a believer.


-- Pete Caluori (pcaluori@hotmail.com), August 02, 2000.

Am I overlooking something here? My Light Impressions catalogue shows the price of l inch x 50 yards of their acid free #1 Linen Tape to be $10.95. That would make it cost just over 7 cents per foot! You would need about 18 inches to hinge the long side of a 16 x 20 mat. In other words, it would cost around 10 cents to hinge.

This tape is advertised as perfect for hinging large window mats and guaranteed not to flake or become brittle. The price per foot drops to just over a nickel if you buy 300 yards at a time.

-- Joe Miller (jmmiller@poka.com), August 02, 2000.

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