Stretched Canvas vs. Rolled Canvas — Which Is Best for You?

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by Laura Gardiner
Studio Manager, Tribeca Printworks

laura gardiner - tribeca printworks studio manager

Canvas prints add color, vibrance and personality to your spaces. You can print your images on stretched or rolled canvas when you want to display artwork.

Learning the differences between the options and their benefits can help you choose the best printing method for your circumstances and budget.

What Is a Stretched Canvas?

A stretched canvas print is artwork or photography printed onto canvas material that is stretched across wooden stretcher bars. You can find stretched canvases in art galleries, marketplaces and retail stores. These prints are ready to frame or hang on your wall.

You can also purchase blank stretched canvases from art or hobby supply shops. Artists often paint directly onto stretched canvases.

The Benefits of Stretched Canvas Pictures

Opting for stretched canvas prints has a wealth of benefits, including:

  • Time savings: You must stretch a canvas to present it, so you will need to take it to a print shop if it is not stretched. Custom stretched canvas prints save you time compared to preparing the canvas for display on your own or taking it to a professional.
  • High-quality prints: You risk damaging your canvas print if you stretch it yourself, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the process. A professionally stretched canvas picture is a crisp, high-quality print that’s damage-free and ready to hang or frame.
  • Convenience: A custom stretched canvas print is that it’s ready to hang upon delivery. Once it arrives, you can remove it from its packaging, select a frame and customize your space.

What Is a Rolled Canvas?

Rolled canvas is an unstretched canvas print, meaning printmakers print the artwork or photograph onto a canvas piece and roll the material instead of using stretcher bars. Rolled canvas prints are often easier and more affordable to transport because they require less packaging.

If you collect art from around the globe, it may be best to purchase rolled canvas prints because they tuck easily inside suitcases and ship safely from abroad.

The Benefits of Rolled Canvas

Opting for a rolled canvas print has its own advantages. Some of the most attractive benefits of rolled canvas prints are:

  • Price: Custom frames often add material and labor costs to the overall price of stretched canvas images. Rolled canvas prints are often more affordable because you only purchase the print itself.
  • Flexibility: Compared to the canvas stretching process, a rolled canvas print offers more creative freedom. You can choose how and when to stretch and mount your rolled canvas print. You can also take it to a local, trusted professional for a custom frame.
  • Shipping: Rolled canvases are easier to transport safely than stretched canvases. You will most likely receive your rolled print in a durable, protective cardboard tube, as no additional protective packaging — like bubble wrap — is required.

Should You Frame Stretched Canvas?

Whether you choose to frame your stretched canvas print is up to you. These prints look beautiful with or without additional frames, and several framing options are available to suit any interior design style or personal preference. If you’re unsure what frame style would look best with your print, remember that the ideal frame should complement your canvas print’s shapes and any colors in the surrounding space’s decor.

Frames are an excellent way to highlight the beauty of a piece of artwork or add unexpected intrigue. For example, some prefer the sleek, modern appearance of a white or black frame with a 2-inch mat for canvas prints of black and white photography. Others prefer a museum float frame to make it seem like their two-dimensional artwork is floating within the frame. Some people opt for an exhibition shadow box frame to highlight and add dimension to special pieces, such as gallery prints or wedding photos.

Tribeca Printworks has several hand-cut framing options to choose from, including:

  • Straight fit
  • Two-inch mat and frame
  • Museum float
  • Modern float
  • Eight-ply mat and frame
  • Gallery mount
  • Floater frame
  • Three-inch mat and frame

Contact our Tribeca Printworks consultants if you’re uncertain about how best to frame your artwork or photography. We have decades of cumulative experience in the art industry, giving us the expertise to provide bespoke advice for the best printing and framing practices and options.

Choose Tribeca Printworks for Stretched Canvas Pictures

Whether you’re an artist or photographer, you can design stunning stretched canvas prints with Tribeca Printworks. Our experienced consultants help you select frames that complement your artwork or photography and design aesthetic. Our Master Craftsmen carefully cut and finish your custom frames by hand in-house at our SoHo wood shop, allowing you to receive and display a one-of-a-kind framed piece.

Request a quote for your custom stretched canvas prints from Tribeca Printworks! You can also contact us online to set up a complimentary consultation.