Your Cart is Empty

Rolled vs Stretched Canvas

December 07, 2021

Rolled vs Stretched Canvas

Canvas artwork and photographic prints are a great way to bring beauty and personality into your rooms. When looking for canvas art online, you might have come across the option of buying a rolled or stretched canvas.

Which one is better? And what happens once you make the purchase?

In this article, we discuss rolled vs stretched canvas art – when to buy one over the other and how to get your artwork ready for display in your home.

What is a rolled canvas?

rolled canvas picture frames

Rolled canvas is artwork that is created on a canvas material without being stretched or framed. Artworks are often made on rolled canvas for ease of transport, because the canvas is simply rolled and stored safely in a tube.

You might find rolled canvas prints on your overseas holidays or you might purchase Indigenous art from a remote community on a rolled canvas.

Find out the best ways to frame Aboriginal art.

What is a stretched canvas?

Stretched canvas refers to artworks made on canvas material that have been stretched over wooden stretcher bars. Blank canvas can also be stretched, and many artists prefer painting directly onto a stretched canvas.

You can often purchase stretched canvas artworks from local art galleries, markets and artisan stores. You can also have your unstretched canvas artworks professionally stretched by a professional framing studio.

stretched canvas picture frames

When to buy rolled vs stretched canvas art

Rolled canvas is ideal if you need to transport the art over long distances. The artwork can be safely rolled and stored in a protective tube. On the other hand, stretched canvas is more vulnerable to damage during transportation and is often more expensive to transport due to its bulky size.

If you have the choice between rolled vs stretched canvas art, it's best to get your canvas professionally stretched at a local picture framing studio rather than a printing company or department store. Professional picture framers like Portfolio Picture Framers use first class techniques and the best available materials to ensure that your canvas piece will last a lifetime. They guarantee your canvas will not bow or warp (which can happen when inferior and cheap stretcher bars are used) and ensure the highest quality result.

Do you have to stretch a rolled canvas?

Rolled canvases are typically stretched over a wooden frame before they are displayed. The reason is because canvas stretching protects the artwork and allows it to be shown off as the artist intended. Canvas stretching will also prepare the canvas for framing if you desire.

Read more: Why is canvas stretching necessary?

In some rare cases, stretching a rolled canvas art may not be ideal. For example, if the artwork is old or fragile and likely to be damaged during the process. In these cases, the unstretched canvas may be mounted and framed in a traditional picture frame.

If you're wondering whether the traditional framed print is a better choice for your home, check out our article on canvas vs framed prints.

What does canvas stretching involve?

Canvas stretching can be done by your local framing studio, such as Portfolio Picture Framers. It's important to go with a studio which uses art-gallery standard techniques and materials to ensure a high quality product that protects your artwork.

Your framer can help you choose the right size stretcher bars for the size canvas you have and the desired look you want to achieve. When the right size bars are chosen, it removes the risk of warping, bowing and sagging over time.

The sides of the canvas are wrapped around the stretcher bar frame and then stapled into the wood. Stapling rather than gluing the canvas is preferred in case the canvas needs to be removed in the future.

If you wish, you can then add a frame around the stretched canvas.

Should you frame your stretched canvas?

It's up to you whether you would like to add a frame around your stretched canvas or not. Stretched canvases can be displayed as is without a frame. This look works well in many settings and fits in with modern decor styles.

Many people like the look of framed canvas art and choose to add a custom frame to the outer edge of the canvas. Canvas frames are a great way to add a touch of elegance to your artwork and can help draw the eye in.

One of the most popular canvas frame styles is the L-Bar frame (also known as a floating frame) which wraps around the back of the canvas to create the appearance that the artwork is floating within the frame. It's a great way to add dimension and interest.

For more canvas framing ideas, chat with the team at Portfolio Picture Framers. If you come to our Myaree studio, we can walk you through the different options to find a solution that you love.

How to display canvas artwork

Stretched canvas prints are a great way to bring more of what you love into your home. They suit a wide range of interior design styles and can work in every room of the house.

Larger canvases make the perfect statement piece for living rooms and bedrooms while smaller canvases look great in gallery walls, hallways, bathrooms and are a great way to decorate dead corners.

If you need styling advice or have questions about rolled vs stretched canvas, ask for a free consultation at Portfolio Picture Framers.

You name it, we can frame it.

Whether you're looking to stretch an unstretched canvas print, frame a valuable oil painting or get a puzzle ready to display on your wall – we can frame virtually anything at Portfolio Picture Framers.

With competitive factory direct prices and the highest quality framing techniques, we're confident we can help you get the frame you're looking for.

Call us today on (08) 9330 5884 for a free consultation, or pop in and say hi at our Myaree studio.

Send us a message!