This article will discuss three different ways that can be used to stretch inkjet canvas prints. The three methods discussed will include stretching canvas by hand, using a canvas stretching machine and using a stretcher bar system.
Stretching canvas by hand
Stretching canvas by hand can be a labor intensive and time-consuming process, even for the experienced professional, and downright frustrating to the intermediate or novice user. When stretching canvas by hand, some individuals will even go so far as to fabricate their own stretcher bars, performing all of the required woodwork themselves. Others will opt for purchasing pre-made bars and move on from there. When stretching canvas by hand, one needs a number of tools and hardware including a drill and screws, a hammer, glue, and other items like a miter saw if you plan on cutting your bars to size rather than buying pre-made ones. While stretching canvas by hand can be seen by some as an art form, it can be very time and labor intensive.
Using a canvas stretching machine
Using a canvas stretching machine like the Tensador II, can be a very efficient way of stretching canvas. With this method, users can either make their own stretcher bars or purchase pre-fabricated bars. Using this type of machine takes virtually all of the labor out of the process. It only takes a few minutes to stretch a canvas.
This method is only recommended for those companies that have the volume to justify the $3500 purchase, including equipment and necessary accessories.
Using a stretcher bar system
Using a stretcher bar system can be very easy for the novice and experienced professional alike. It is the happy medium between cost and labor. The use of pre-fabricated adhesive backed stretcher bars, with corner pieces and center braces used to make the canvas taught, and all other needed hardware supplied in one package makes this process very easy. The typical time to stretch a canvas using this system is between five and fifteen minutes.
For those individuals or businesses producing a large volume of stretched canvas prints, using a canvas stretching machine is highly recommended due to the decreased labor costs. For the medium to low volume business, using a stretcher bar system is the optimal method when balancing labor, time and cost. While stretching by hand can be seen by some as an art form, it usually takes longer to produce a finished canvas using this method.