Which canvas should I buy for painting? A comparison between cheap and expensive

Which canvas should I buy for painting? The cheap from the hardware store, or the expensive from the shop? If you are dealing with painting, you have certainly already asked yourself this question. In this article, I want to show you the difference and give an assistance for the purchase of the right, ready-covered canvas.

When we talk about canvas, we usually mean a fabric-covered stretcher frame. This consists of the fabric, a stretcher and the clamping wedges.

This is the actual image carrier. Most of the tissue is already white primed and clipped on the back of the stretcher. The cheap canvases are predominantly made with a simple, thin blended or cotton fabric with a medium structure. For the production sometimes uneven threads are used. The woven surface is then dirty and can have small thickening or loops in some places.

The higher-priced canvases come here logically different. The woven surface is clean and smooth, which suggests higher quality materials. In addition, there are a selection of different fabrics in this price range. Coarse or fine. Cotton or linen. Primed or raw …

The skeleton of the finished canvas is mainly made of wood and yet there are serious differences here. Let’s start with the material, the wood. The stretcher frames of the cheap canvases are usually very simply made. The single strips consist of a single piece, often fast-growing and light wood. The problem here is that these stretcher can sometimes be extremely forgiving. If the temperature or humidity changes slightly, it may later become difficult to hang the finished image flat against the wall.

The high-quality and therefore more expensive stretcher frames consist of multi-glued wooden strips, which have an elevated, rounded outer edge, so that the stretched fabric does not rest on the last. Due to the multiple gluing a delay is almost impossible. Due to the higher-quality wood these stretcher frames are usually a bit heavier. The milled construction for later tensioning with the wedges works here, in contrast to the cheap, very good. Which brings us to the next point.

With the included clamping wedges you can tension the fabric by knocking. The wedge shape and of course the slits in the stretcher can vary depending on the manufacturer. For the cheap screens, clamping usually works only theoretically. Here are the wedges of a soft wood which can be used only conditionally. When knocked in, they break easily or can not be hammered into the stretcher at all. At the very cheap are soft plastic wedges here, which can be wonderful in the trash can knock.

If you spend more money, then here are high-quality wedges here. Often made of hardwood. Wedges and the slits in the stretcher are matched to each other so that the fabric can be stretched very well, in some cases even like a drum.

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