We work with canvases a lot, we’re really good at it.
What is canvas stretching? Easy really – it’s the framing process of putting a loose or rolled-up canvas artwork (or even a blank, brand-new canvas ready for the artist to work on) onto a bespoke wooden frame. This frame is called a “stretcher”, and the act of putting the canvas onto that stretcher frame is called (you guessed it) “stretching the canvas”.
If you’re googling it, you might also hear a stretcher referred to as a “strainer” (which is kind of the technically correct term) but “stretcher” is what the vast majority of people call them.
In reality the canvas is not being literally stretched – it’s more an expression that dates back to the origins of painting on canvas and getting the canvas onto some kind of frame, puled taut and flat.
Stretching a canvas requires special pliers specifically for the purpose, and a whole lot of skill and experience on the part of the framer, to get the tension perfect and even right across the canvas fabric, as it’s wrapped around the stretcher and stapled in place at the back, tiny section at a time.
Uneven tension or too-tight areas in the canvas (e.g. if a framer has been sloppy with the tensioning and stretching process) can result in creases across the canvas, or slack baggy areas – not good!
Once your canvas is stretched, you can hang it exactly like it is, if that’s the look you’re after.
Or, you can add a ‘floater frame’ to your canvas artwork, which absolutely takes the art to another level. We have dozens of style options for floater frames in store. You might also hear floater frames referred to as ‘tray frames’.
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