It is very hard to get real good data on this because there are too many variables. What I have noticed is that custom framers will almost never use paper mats (wood pulp) to frame anything because even though customers want it framed cheap, they dont want the customer suing them because the artwork was permanently damaged in few years. They will however use alpha-cellulose products such as the Crescent Select and the Bainbridge Alphamat. A believe that this type of mat is generally considered good for a lifetime. A museum will mostly use Museum Rag mat board because they need the artwork to be good for many lifetimes. My guess (and this is a guess) is that many customer framers would have no problem using alpha-celluslose mat boards on limited edition artwork, but will hesitate if it is one of a kind, and hesitate even more if it is very valuable one of kind artwork that future generations of family are looking forward to inheriting. Of course if it is limited edition but at price points over $1K per edition, then it will make sense to consider Rag even though it is not limited edition.
Originally Posted by tkamiya
As far as our customers are concerned, most of them selling their work will use Alpha-cellulose except those selling in more at the flea-market level than artshow or gallery level. Flea market price points demand inexpensive paper mat to maintain margins. We also sell a lot of rag mat but it is roughly double the cost of alpha-cellulose so it is mostly going to be photographers that are able to sell their work at the higher price points so they can maintain their margins.
I have noticed that a lot pre-framed artwork at department stores such as bed-bath-and-beyond used mat board with a cream colored core. This indicates that it is not only paper mat board, but the least expensive paper mat board. It will also have a cardboard backing which is full of acid.