Abbey Glass and The Fine Art Trade Guild (FATG)

Abbey glass are proud to be supplier members of the Fine Art Trade Guild. Formed in 1910, FATG encourages and promotes the best in art and framing, developing standards to guide the professional trade and to enable consumers to make informed choices.

Fine Art Trade Guild Quality Standards for mountboard 2020 (mat board) – a summary

In 2003 the Fine Art Trade Guild launched its standards for mountboards, distinguishing between three different qualities, and using the terms Cotton Museum, Conservation and Standard. A review in 2019 took account of some changes in manufacturing and in the market. 

As part of the review, the international Mountboard Standards Group also considered how our names for the quality levels may affect countries where framing traditions do not comply with that used by the Guild. For example, in Belgium conservation framing is done to a higher standard than museum, and 100% cotton boards are called conservation mountboard. As a result, the quality levels will now be distinguished by numbered Levels, with Level 1 being highest and Level 4 the lowest. Manufacturers will be able to develop and use their own product names and descriptions, within agreed guidelines and subject to approval by the Guild.

The new standards will gradually be introduced by manufacturers and suppliers, with full compliance agreed by members of the Group by 2024.

Simultaneously, the Framing Standards and Qualifications Committee (FSQC) undertook a review of the Guild’s Framing Standards – the Five Levels of Framing – and have now aligned the framing levels directly with the mountboard quality standards. Guild members will find specifications for the Four Levels of Framing here; they can also be found in the 2021 GCF Study Guide available for purchase in the Guild Shop.

The Fine Art Trade Guild Quality Standards for Mountboard lay down specifications for:

  • Pulp composition and purity, testing methods, pH value, alkaline reserves and fillers
  • Facing paper colourants, bleed, lightfastness, abrasion resistance, testing methods; sizing
  • Lamination adhesives
  • Moisture content
  • Board markings
  • Thickness and Board Dimensions
  • Quality Control
  • Packaging

Abbey Glass supports the Guild Certified Framer programme, which is internationally recognised as the qualification for the framing industry. Qualified GCF’s are now framing in 25 countries worldwide. Employers use GCF to set standards, as well as to assess the skills and aptitudes of staff framers. Framers use GCF to confirm their abilities to employers and customers, as well as to enhance their standing in the industry.

To gain the GCF qualification a framer must pass the GCF exam. A key part of preparing for the exam is obtaining the Guild Certified Framer Study Guide, stocked by Abbey Glass. The study guide is the syllabus for the exam and provides essential information needed to gain the qualification.

The annual Art & Framing Industry Convention and Awards recognises the best in the business. We are honoured to have been chosen by our customers for the Art & Framing small business customer service awards and which we won in 2018 & 2019. Thank you to all who voted for us and the whole Abbey Glass team for making this possible.

Read more about The Fine Art Trade Guid on their website here.

We supply a range of machinery, equipment and tools including:
– Fletcher
– Morso
– Keencut
– Cassese


For more information on our products E-mail or phone 07724215475