Canvas art has become a popular way to display photographs, paintings, and other artwork in homes and galleries. When it comes to choosing a canvas, there are several options available, each with its own unique characteristics and benefits. In this article, we'll explore two popular canvas types: gallery wrap and stretched canvas.
We'll take a look at what each type is, how it's made, and the pros and cons of each. By the end of this article, you'll have a better understanding of which type of canvas is best suited to your needs.
Gallery wrap is a term used to describe a canvas that has been stretched and wrapped around a wooden frame. The edges of the canvas are then tucked under and secured to the back of the frame. This creates a seamless, professional-looking finish that does not require framing. Gallery wrap canvases are typically available in a range of sizes and thicknesses, and they can be hung on the wall as is or placed in a frame for added protection.
Gallery wrap canvases are typically made using high-quality, artist-grade canvas that is stretched over a wooden frame using a process called "stretcher bar stretching." This involves attaching the canvas to the frame using staples or tacks, making sure that it is taut and evenly stretched across the entire surface.
Once the canvas is securely attached to the frame, the excess material is then wrapped around the edges and tucked under the back of the frame.
There are several advantages to using gallery wrap canvases:
Professional look: Gallery wrap canvases have a sleek, professional appearance that is well-suited to galleries and other high-end settings.
No framing required: Since the edges of the canvas are wrapped around the frame, there is no need to purchase a separate frame. This can save time and money, and it also allows you to display your artwork without the added bulk of a frame.
Easy to hang: Gallery wrap canvases are easy to hang, as they come with hardware already attached to the back of the frame. Simply screw in a couple of nails.
Stretched canvas, also known as "stretched art canvas," is a type of canvas that has been stretched over a wooden frame using a process similar to that used for gallery wrap canvases. However, unlike gallery wrap canvases, stretched canvases do not have the excess material wrapped around the edges.
Instead, the edges of the canvas are left exposed, revealing the raw canvas and frame. Stretched canvases are typically used in conjunction with a frame, which helps to protect the edges of the canvas and give it a finished appearance.
Stretched canvases are made using the same process as gallery wrap canvases, with the exception that the excess material is not wrapped around the edges. The canvas is stretched and secured to the frame using staples or tacks, ensuring that it is taut and evenly stretched across the entire surface.
Once the canvas is attached to the frame, it is ready to be framed or hung on the wall as is.
There are several advantages to using stretched canvases:
Flexibility: Stretched canvases offer more flexibility in terms of framing, as you have the option to choose from a wide range of frames in different sizes, styles, and materials.
Customization: Stretched canvases can be customized to fit specific frames or spaces, making them a good choice for those who want a more tailored look.
Versatility: Stretched canvases are versatile and can be used in a variety of settings, from galleries to homes to offices.
There are also some potential drawbacks to using stretched canvases:
Expense: Stretched canvases can be more expensive than gallery wrap canvases, as they require the purchase of a separate frame.
Size limitations: Stretched canvases are limited in terms of size, as they must fit within the dimensions of the frame.
Increased weight: Stretched canvases are generally heavier than gallery wrap canvases due to the added weight of the frame.
Now that we've explored the differences between gallery wrap and stretched canvases, let's take a look at how they compare in terms of appearance, durability, cost, and ease of framing
In terms of appearance, both gallery wrap and stretched canvases offer a professional, finished look. However, there are some key differences to consider:
Gallery wrap canvases have the excess material wrapped around the edges, giving the appearance of a continuous image or design. This can be particularly effective for abstract or non-representational art, as it allows the image to flow seamlessly from edge to edge.
Stretched canvases have exposed edges, which may be left raw or finished with a decorative border or frame. This can be a good option for more traditional or representational art, as it allows the artwork to stand out as a distinct piece.
Both gallery wrap and stretched canvases are relatively durable, although there are some differences to consider:
Gallery wrap canvases tend to be more durable, as the excess material helps to protect the edges of the canvas. This can be particularly useful for canvases that are prone to wear and tear, such as those displayed in high traffic areas or those subjected to rough handling.
Stretched canvases are also durable, but the exposed edges may be more prone to damage. This can be mitigated by framing the canvas or by taking extra care to handle it gently.
When it comes to cost, both gallery wrap and stretched canvases have their pros and cons:
Gallery wrap canvases tend to be less expensive, as they do not require the purchase of a separate frame. This can make them a good choice for those on a budget or for those who want to save on framing costs.
Stretched canvases are generally more expensive, as they require the purchase of a separate frame. However, the added cost may be worth it for those who want more customization or versatility in terms of framing options.
Both gallery wrap and stretched canvases are relatively easy to frame, although there are some differences to consider:
Gallery wrap canvases are ready to hang as is, with no need for a frame. This can be a convenient option for those who want a quick and easy solution for displaying their artwork.
Stretched canvases require the purchase and installation of a separate frame, which can be more time-consuming and labor-intensive. However, the added effort may be worth it for those who want a more tailored or personalized look.
In conclusion, both gallery wrap and stretched canvases have their own unique advantages and disadvantages. Gallery wrap canvases offer a seamless, continuous look and are more budget-friendly, while stretched canvases offer more customization and versatility in terms of framing options. Ultimately, the best choice will depend on your personal preferences and needs.