You can thank modern technology for the fantastic art form that is photo canvases. They’re a beautiful way to display family photos, nature scenes, or artistic photographic images. They’re much more durable and more sophisticated-looking than paper prints, and they make wonderful gifts or conversation pieces for your home. But before you send your jpegs to the printer and have a canvas print made, it’s important to know a little bit about them and which type you should order.
What is canvas?
You probably already know what canvas is to some degree. It’s a heavy-duty fabric that is made of either cotton or linen, and woven very tightly. A long time ago, it was sometimes woven out of hemp. Canvas is typically used for making things like tents and sails on sailboats. But it’s also the same fabric many artists use to paint on. And now, technology has made it possible to print photographic images on it.
What is a rolled canvas?
In order to display a canvas print, it is first stretched and stapled to a thin wooden frame. This gives it the smooth, professional appearance you’re used to seeing on a wall or in a frame. The rolled canvas prints are just those same canvas prints before it’s stretched. If you order a rolled canvas, it’s usually shipped to you inside of a tube. Then you have to stretch it yourself in order to display it.
Why would someone prefer rolled canvas prints?
The main reason you might opt for rolled canvas rather than stretched is because it’s usually much less expensive. Not only is the product itself cheaper, it’s also much more economical to ship. But many people also prefer to order rolled canvas because there’s a much lower risk of damage during shipping. The frame which the canvas is stretched over is often flimsy and easy to break.
How to stretch a canvas
Stretching a canvas is actually not too difficult once you have the proper setup. That’s why a lot of people don’t mind doing the work themselves and saving a little money on the product. First of all, you have to build your frame, using the wood of your choice. You want to be sure to reinforce the corners and secure the edges well. You then wrap the edges around the frame and fold the corners like gift wrap. Then you simply use a heavy duty stapler to secure the canvas to the frame.
Keep in mind that your photo will be smaller once it is wrapped. So order your prints accordingly. For example, if you want a finished print that measures 8 inches by 10 inches, you probably want to order at least the next size up. Of course, these dimensions also depend largely on the thickness of the wood you use to build your frame. If it is an inch thick, you need to account for at least an inch on the edge of the photo that won’t be seen. And that’s if you plan for the canvas to just overlap the frame and staple it on the edges. If you plan to wrap it over the frame for a clean-edge display, you’ll lose a little more. This might be what you would do if you simply hang the canvas without framing it.
If the process of wrapping a canvas print is a little too intimidating for you, you can always take it to a local frame shop. They sometimes even do it free of charge with the purchase of a frame to put it in.