Canvas Stretching, Stretcher Bars
Paintings on canvas are usually painted on – and displayed on – specially-made wooden frames, called stretchers, that hold the canvas tight and flat. Paintings on canvas can be removed from their stretchers and rolled up for transportation, and then re-stretched onto a new stretcher frame. Modern digital printing methods also allow for digitised images to be printed onto specially prepared canvas surfaces that can also be shown on stretchers, with or without a frame (e.g. float-frame), reproducing the look and feel of a painting-on-canvas.
When re-stretching canvases onto new frames – it is important to assess the canvas and artwork – to check how the painted face of the canvas will fit on the new stretcher – as paintings made on irregular (out-of-square) stretchers require some parts of the painted canvas to be wrapped around the edges of the new stretcher. The size and weight of the canvas also influence the size and type of stretcher-bar needed to support the canvas.