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Ordering Chops and Frames

Fine Art Care and Treatment Standards (FACTS) has published a document detailing how to order chops and frames. Here are the highlights.


Shall A provision is mandatory
Should A provision is not mandatory, but recommended as good practice
May A provision is optional
Allowance Difference between the size of the objects being framed and the inside dimension of the frame
Designations Terms that shall be used when orders for chops or frames differ from the 1/8" standard allowance
Frame Size Measurement across the back of the frame rabbet (see diagram 1)
Rabbet Cut-out portion of the back of a frame that supports the art package (see diagram 2)
Back Rabbet Rear-most rabbet in a moulding with a double rabbet (see diagram 3)
Double Rabbet Moulding with a typical rabbet near the front and an additional rabbet near the back that supports the art or decorative backing
Inner Frame / Liner Secondary frame inside of another frame
Stacked Frame Frame assembly made of more than one frame
Exact Size Ordered size − no allowance
Outside Size Overall outside frame size (see diagram 2 or diagram 3)
Sight Size Measurement across the innermost opening of a frame (see diagram 2 or diagram 3)
Fit Outside Fit around a liner or frame (see diagram 4 or diagram 5)

Summary of Practice

  • The chop or frame supplier shall measure to the inside of the rabbet unless otherwise designated.
  • Mouldings with double rabbets shall be measured to the inside of the front rabbet
  • A standard allowance of 1/8" shall be added to all ordered sizes. Any other instructions shall use a designated term (see How to Order).

How to Order

Frame Size Orders shall be cut to the innermost rabbet with the standard 1/8" allowance added. If the back rabbet size is most important the order shall state "Frame Size to Back Rabbet." The cut shall have standard 1/8" allowance. (see diagram 1)
Exact Size No allowance shall be added
Sight Size Cut to the inside moulding lip; no allowance shall be added (see diagram 1 and diagram 2)
Fit Outside Fit around liners or inner frames, which should be ordered the size of the artwork/glazing package (see diagram 4 and diagram 5)
Outside Size Cut to the outermost dimension; no allowance shall be added (see diagram 1 and diagram 2)