Acetate is transparent or translucent plastic sheet material that is used for artwork and overlays. It is not acid free and tears easily.
However, you will hear altered book artists using the term when they are really referring to polyester plastic.
Polyester is a strong plastic that will not damage your photographs and documents. If your plastic sheet does not tear readily, it is likely to be polyester. Any plastic sheet labelled acid free or archival will be safe to use.
Altered book artists use plastic sheets for various purposes -- including rubber stamping, shaker boxes, transfers and more. In the picture above, I have stamped a rose onto a plastic sheet, then mounted the rose on cardstock and decorated with paper.
Plastics containing polyvinyl (PVA) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC) will damage your photographs over time.
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