Making Sure Your Canvas Is Not Trash… or That It Is

Making Sure Your Canvas Is Not Trash… or That It Is

Acknowledging the ever-increasing amount of online stores that produce and sell wall art-related goods, the odds of an occasional dank purchase, whether we like it or not, are far greater than ever. Luckily enough, most of the contemporary services also provide the customer with a return policy option that ensures a quick and convenient exchange of the damaged goods in return for the promised quality. With that said though, it’s not always an easy task to determine whether you’re actually entitled to the exchange! This article will explore a couple of basic technical specs and requirements your canvas should meet in order to be considered a quality product. Or, quite the contrary, specs it has to lack in order to be considered a subpar item ready to be shipped back to where it came from!



Well, this surely isn’t the most delightful of headlines. Now, a high price is by no means a guarantor of high quality. However, price can often be an indicator of a very low one. Just make sure to avoid sensationally cheap offers as these can only be justified by low production values which, in turn, mean that the whole manufacturing process was artificially cheapened by utilizing second-rate materials.

The Way It’s Stretched


A lot can be revealed by the way the canvas itself is stretched over and stapled to the stretcher frame. If the staple pattern is scattered and the fabric barely stretches around the edges of the bars, or is scarcely attached, not reaching beyond the middle axis of each bar, you might have a reason to reconsider. A package like this means that the stretcher frame is not properly stretching the canvas, which will eventually lead to one declutching from the other.

The Bars Feel like You Could Snap Them with Your Little Finger



Obviously, one of the main indicators of a low or high-quality craft is the quality of the substances employed in the production. If the wooden stretcher bars feel suspiciously fragile, it might be so because they’re simply not made from proper material. Traditionally, stretcher bars are made from a specially dried Nordic pinewood. This is done to prevent your print from warping in the long-term prospect, something that other trees cannot guarantee with quite the same certainty. It is even better if the company uses the kiln-drying method. This provides that the lumber is arranged into kilns while the drying process is carried out with the help of heated air that circulates in between the stacks of lumber. Kiln-drying is the most effective way to reach the optimum EMC (equilibrium moisture content), which is essentially the recommended balance between the RH (relative humidity of the environment) and the MC (moisture content of the wood). An optimal EMC effectively makes the MC less prone to the effects of the RH, thus making your canvas less likely to suffer from durability issues in the future.

And Continuing About the Wood…


Now, it’s always worth it to double-check feedback and customer reviews on the web prior to the actual purchase as a bad stretcher frame usually means a very short life span for the canvas. You wouldn’t like to paint something on it only to find out that the bars have warped after only two months of use. An alternative scenario is to simply stretch your own canvas which provides considerable freedom over the choice of materials, stretching tension, and a plethora of other important aspects.

If Your Canvas Is Badly Primed…

An artist priming canvas. Selective focus

This one is easy. Simply put it up against a source of light. If the rays penetrate the gesso layer, you might have to prime it, well, once again. This, however, is not a critical issue, since gesso may not even be there in the first place and it’s solely up to you to buy primed or pre-primed canvas. Here, though, it’s worth noting that the 100% polyester fabric is hardly an advisable choice. If you find the 100% pure cotton version to not be an exactly wallet-friendly option, you can go for a cotton/polyester blend!

Sky-High Promises


Be aware of loud catchwords such as “museum quality” and “giclée print”, both of which essentially mean nothing much and can be interpreted as the manufacturer sees fit for the business. Regarding the possibility of acquiring a low-quality canvas, the quality will always seem lower if the promised one goes every length to persuade you to buy the item. Although not always used to express false premise, these phrases, by no means, should serve as the principal motivation for the purchase.

Now, the simple truth about a canvas is if it’s a cheap, low quality article, it will show instantly. Make sure to not save too much, as this is a perfect case of fleeing from a wolf only to run into a bear. Suspiciously cheap canvas will only lead you to extra spending in the very near future. Meanwhile, keeping the above statements in mind might help you to avoid some rather poor decisions!