Canvas stretching has becoming an increasingly popular service in the last ten to fifteen years in the picture framing industry, mostly because of holiday makers buying rolled up artworks painted on canvas on overseas holidays including Bali, Phuket, Vietnam and Europe to name a few.
Artworks on canvas are a very cost effective way of getting beautiful artworks to decorate your walls in your home or office especially when they are purchased on overseas holidays. When holiday makers return, a professional picture framer is usually their first phone call to get a quote on canvas stretching so they can enjoy their new artwork. Before venturing out to get the cheapest quote you can find, there are a few options to consider when getting your artwork stretched over a frame.
The first option is to simply get the canvas stretched over a frame or what is technically called a stretcher bar. This will essentially give you a frameless look to your canvas and it lets the artwork speak for itself. As with all things in the picture framing industry there are many different types with varying prices so its important to choose the right one and also the right picture framer that uses the correct products. A stretcher bar should be solid pine and be the correct size bar to take the tension of the stretch without requiring a brace in the middle of the frame to prevent bowing. Some framers will brace the frame so they can use a cheaper stretcher bar that isn’t designed for larger canvases. A reputable framer will use a stretcher bar that is to art gallery standards that will not require bracing as it is large enough to support the size of the artwork. It is recommended to use the correct size stretcher bar because if you opt for the cheaper “braced” option, your canvas may look fantastic when you pick it up but unfortunately it will eventually warp and bow after time and usually well after any warranty period has expired. You will then need to get the canvas re-stretched in order for it to sit flush on your wall.
If you are looking for a little more style to your stretched canvas than the frameless look, a custom picture framer will also offer canvas frames that can be added to your stretched canvas. There are two options you can consider if you would like to add canvas frames to your artworks.
Firstly, you can choose a regular picture frame where your canvas will sit inside the rebate of the frame. You typically lose around 5mm of your artwork on all sides where the canvas sits into the rebate to hold it in the frame. When choosing this option it is highly recommended that you choose a frame with a depth that will cover the stretcher bar so when you walk past your artwork hanging on the wall you get a stylish, sleek look of the frame instead of the back of the canvas.
Secondly you can opt for a frame commonly called an “L-Bar” which are specifically designed canvas picture frames. “L-Bars” look exactly how the name suggests and the canvas sits inside the L Bar and gives a floating appearance. The frame does not touch the front of the canvas and simply sits flush to the front of the artwork and covers the sides giving an elegant finish to any artwork. The width of the front of the frame ranges from 5mm to 10mm and the depth will cover and wrap around the back of the canvas. Whilst not the cheapest option for framing a canvas, it can certainly take a cheap artwork purchased on holiday into a true, elegant piece of artwork.