How To Print On Canvas

The use of offset printing has been used to reproduce original artwork onto canvas for a very long time now.  Other print processes involved also include dye sublimation or inkjet (often referred to as Repligraph and Giclee). The materials commonly used for the reproduction of photos are cotton or an alternative plastic based poly canvas.

For wall art printed on canvas – the weight would be around 400 gsm.  For printing larger images a modern large format printer would be used to print onto canvas rolls measuring 60″ or more.

Once the image is printed the canvas is trimmed to size then glued or stapled onto a traditional stretch bar or a wooden panel.  Most prints designed to continue round the edges of a stretcher frame once gallery-wrapped is referred to as full-bleed. If you are looking for a three-dimensional effect of the mounted print then this process is very effective.

Gallery Wrap Canvas Print

Gallery wrap

Gallery wrap can produce an image on canvas seen on the side and front of a canvas.  It is usually a continuation or the main image.  This is a method of stretching a canvas so that the canvas wraps around the sides and allows for a frameless presentation of a finished painting or print.  It is secured to the back of a wooden frame. Most frames are usually 1.25″ thick. The tacks or staples used to secure the canvas are not then visible on the sides. The sides of the canvas are prepared in the same manner as the face.  The face can then be painted a solid color or painted to continue the image appearing on the face.

The difference between a gallery wrap and a stretched canvas:

The difference between these two alternative technques is easily explained.  Gallery wrap means that there are no visible staples or nailes holding the fabric in place – which means that the painting or print can be hung unframed.

Whereas a stretched canvas is something entirely different. Firstly it needs to be stretched across stretcher bars. Plus stretcher bars are thinner to allow the staples to show on the sides of the wood. Therefore it does not have a finished look to hang an oil painting on the wall.

With gallery wrap, about two inches of the painting from each side are lost in the wrap and are wrapped over the thick bars.   That is unless the canvas is prepared with enough extra size so that not too much of the print or painting is lost. Various photo editing techniques are employed to fabricate additional image or material to be form part of the wrapped edges so that not too much minimise the loss of too much of the print.

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