You'll Like this New Cutting Mat the First Time You See it, and Enjoy Every Time You Cut With It, for Years to Come...

Unlike a canvas for painting that gets "used up," a good cutting mat lasts for years. It's an investment for your projects that pays itself fast.

However, if you buy and use an inferior mat, you're likely to be stuck with it for a long time, too... It'll ruin the enjoyment. It pays to be informed before you make a buying decision...
When Health & Safety are a Concern, You Want to Know What's in Your Mat...
There are mats that cost little. What these manufacturers do is to source low quality, untreated materials that are laden with heavy metals (lead, mercury, etc) and toxins (VOCs).

Typical Chinese imports are like this, which can cause all sorts of health issues. Even name brand mats are no exceptions - they're made in China and cheap for a reason, and it's a very bad one.

A tell-tale sign of bad materials being used: the mat smells horrible, even from a distance. Opening the window to air it out doesn't work because chemicals are TRAPPED inside and can leach out very slowly, into your lungs.
Scientists Confirmed Our Mats are Safe for a 3-year-old
We always treat materials with high pressure to remove impurities prior to manufacturing. This is why our mats are odorless.

We then send our mat sample to an internationally recognized testing lab and undergo stringent ASTM tests to prove its safety.

The latest results (Nov 2014) are in: The lab scientists again certified our mat batch to be free of heavy metals and other health hazards, and safe even for a 3-year-old.

Knowing whether it's Safe matters a lot, especially when you have kids at home. Don't believe in safety claims without seeing some proof.
 

Cutting Mat Size Guide

There is One Perfect Mat Size for Each Project

Size A1, 24 x 36 inch

If Table Space is No Issue...

Recommended as the first mat for a beginning quilter, because you only need to fold yardage once and thus avoid cutting the ugly 'dog leg'

Buy Size A1 from Amazon

Size A2, 18 x 24 inch

The Most Versatile Size of All

Perfect for scrapbooking, DIY and school projects - huge workspace not required. Works well for cutting fabric strip, too (fold yardage once).

Buy Size A2 from Amazon

Size A3, 12 x 18 inch

Great for Cutting Small Blocks...

Perfect size for the second mat - this is best suited for trimming smaller units and blocks, and to keep next to your machine for quick cutting.

Buy Size A3 from Amazon

Size A4, 9 x 12 inch

Doubles as Writing / Mouse Pad...

(close to letter size) is great for office use and kid's art class. You can store this mat easily in a drawer or a backpack to take it with you.

Buy Size A4 from Amazon

Why Calibre Art® Over Other Brands?

Here is What We Do Better Than Our Competition

Making of the Mat

I'm going to make some bold claims here and back them up with details later. Our mats...
  • self-heal better so they last longer,
  • protect your blade so your blade lasts longer, and
  • facilitate cutting so cutting feels easier
In simple words, our mats have higher material density. It's the density of material that gives the mats self-healing capability. It means we pack more self-healing material per square inch into the mats, and this requires expertise that most others don't have.

This can easily be verified: our mats weigh much more than similar-sized mats from the other brands. For example, our largest mat weighs 5.8 lb on average, while other same-sized mats weigh between 4 to 5 lb (roughly 15~25% less in density).
Our cutting mats are 3mm (0.1") thick of pure self-healing material. The manufacturing process involves laying a thin layer of material, waiting for it to stabilize before laying on another. And we repeat this process at least 15 times to get the desired thickness.

There are mats out there that are made of multiple layers of non-self-healing materials sandwiched together. They only have a thin layer of self-healing material on the surface, and if you cut through the top layer and damage the inner layer, the cuts won't heal.
There are mats that specify "Rotary Cutter Only." These mats either have very low material density or are so thin that they get damaged if you apply too much force (e.g. with a utility knife or exacto knife). They're not versatile.

There are also mats that have a hard, shell-like top finish that reflects light a bit. These mats will dull your blades quickly and crack under direct sunlight.

A good cutting mat should feel firm and resilient. It will provide enough friction to the blade to make cutting effortless, but not at the expense of being so hard that dulls the blade.
A good cutting mat lasts for years. We have seen cases of our mats being used for more than 20 years without replacing in studios in Taiwan. Of course, the gridlines were long gone due to the heavy commercial usage, but the mats held up fine against the cuts. We recognized the mats by the logo which survived because it was printed close to the corner.

To make your mat last longer, do not iron your fabric on it. Do not saw or chop stuff with it. Use the mat only for the intended purposes.

The Self Healing Compound

You should look into it because...
  • even though you don't typically put food on the mat, your skin comes in contact with it
  • typically you use the mat in your home, and you can't really guarantee you have perfect ventilation
  • because of its intended use, your fabric or paper comes in full contact with it, and can therefore transfer toxins
In simple words, our mats are made with refined compound that don't contain toxic impurities.

First, we purchase refined compound that are safer to begin with, and then we treat the compound with high pressure to eliminate impurities, such as VOCs (volatile organic compounds), before manufacturing.

Once the mats are made, we send samples to a test lab to verify that our mats comply with the ASTM safety standards.
Yes. But we had no way to find out until a third party lab has tested our mats for us. One important consideration when we requested mat test was that since you're likely to use the mat at home, we wanted to make sure that the mat was safe even for small kids, even if they don't use the mat.

We have the test results to prove it: our mats are free of heavy metals and other health hazards, and are safe even for a 3-year-old.
Here's a very simple explanation: The reason these mats stink so badly is that they use some solvent in the making of the self-healing compound, but they didn't clean it up properly. As a result, the highly volatile solvent is trapped in the compound in solid form, and can only leach out slowly which is sure to make you sick (headache, asthma, allergy).

We treat the self-healing compound with high pressure to push these solvent out of the compound in the factory, prior to manufacturing. This is why there's no odor even if you put your nose an inch or 2 above our mat.
It's very easy to tell - use the sniff test and you'll know in 2 seconds.

But you can't really be sure until you see a safety report like this. Heavy metals such as lead are often used in making cheaper compounds but they are odorless.

Other not so apparent signs of bad material used - the mat doesn't stay flat. This is often an issue when the material contains impurities. Due to the fact different stuff react differently to heat during shipping, the mat can warp and the surface can become uneven.

About Calibre Art®

We have been making cutting mats since 1951, so it has been more than 65 years.
Our manufacturing facilities are ISO 9000 and UKAS QM certified for standard compliance and quality. Our mats are ASTM certified for safety.
Our cutting mats are a product of Taiwan. Both the source of material and the manufacturing facilities are in Taiwan.
We currently sell our cutting mats exclusively on Amazon, so you get free two-day shipping if you're a Prime member. If you're not a Prime member, you can choose a variety of shipping methods on Amazon.

For Size A1 and A2 of our mats, you can get free shipping without a Prime membership.
We are new to the US market, so we sell exclusively on Amazon at the moment. Amazon provides a 30-day money back guarantee, so your investment is protected.

During the product launch phase, we're offering free extended warranty if you register your purchase on our site.
Calibre Art® Cutting Mat