Canvases & Canvas Fabric

A varied selection of artist canvases, canvas art boards, canvas fabric, primers & gesso.

The Stretched Canvases are primed and ready for painting with oils, acrylics or alkyd and are available in both cotton and linen with the additional option of a deep edge. We include here a large choice of canvas sizes to order through the website and you can buy larger sized canvases from our showroom near Guildford, please call in advance if you are looking for a specific size.

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Canvas fabrics include ready primed cotton canvas in a choice of weights and grains, unprimed cotton duck canvas, and primed or unprimed linen canvas fabric. To make your own rectangular or square shaped stretched canvases, we also include stretcher bar pairs in a choice of lengths.

Canvas Board is made up of primed canvas stretched and glued onto a high quality board. They offer an economical alternative to stretched canvases.

Choosing a Canvas Fabric

The choice of material depends both on the fibre it is made from, cotton or linen, the weight of the yarn used and on how finely the fabric is woven.

Although cotton fibre is not as strong as linen fibre, it does make an adequate painting surface which will last for a long time. Cotton has the advantage over linen in that it can be stretched more easily and is lightweight in comparison. As cotton fibre is so absorbent, the canvas needs to be prepared with a gesso primer to help prevent the binder leaching from the paint and reducing adhesion of the pigment.

Linen fabric, which is woven from flax fibre, is stronger and more durable than cotton. The fabric retains much of the naturally occurring oils which help it remain supple to give it a long life. It is quite difficult to stretch linen for large canvases because of the tension bearing on the stretcher bars. In some situations a heavy weight cotton canvas provides a suitable alternative. As with cotton canvas, linen canvas should also be primed before painting.