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Artist Canvas - Frequently Asked Questions and Information:
1. We have many calls asking if artist canvas and canvas for other uses are the same. In most cases the answer is yes. The cotton duck used for artists is the same as that used for linings, boat covers, upholstery, bags, tarps, and awnings. We have customers that use our canvas for conveyor belts and filters. Numbered ducks identify canvas that uses at least a 2 ply system on the warp and filling and whose weight is identified by a system of numbers. For instance per square yard, #12 is about 11.5 oz.; #10 is about 14.5 oz.; #8 is about 17.55 oz, and so on. These are the most common medium-heavy weight canvases that you will see for sale. Though our primary expertise is with artists materials we're happy to work with you on any applications you may have.
2. What is unprimed canvas? We specialize in unprimed raw canvas, which is untreated, loom state, cotton canvas. We recommend people new to stretching their own canvas to use unprimed canvas. It is much easier to stretch and priming canvas is easy to do. Also primed canvas is usually much more expensive than unprimed.
3. What is primed canvas? Commercially available primed canvas is usually coated with acrylic gesso or other acrylic primers, though some specialty brands have oil based primers, preferred by some artists. When using an oil based primer, the canvas must be sized first to prevent rotting, because oil based paints or primers put directly on canvas will rot the canvas.
4. What is the difference between Allens unprimed canvas and others brands I see on the web? None, except in terms of quality. We take great care to provide the highest quality canvas available on the market today. Almost all of the artist canvas sold in the United States is produced in India. Foreign competition forced the closing of most of the cotton mills in the United States beginning in the late 1970s. Cotton duck is cotton duck, but you will see variations in quality. We are very fortunate that our primary supplier in India furnishes us with very high quality material of which defects are rare.
5. What are numbered ducks? Numbered ducks identify canvas that uses at least a 2 ply system on the warp and filling and whose weight is identified by a system of numbers. For instance per square yard, #12 is about 11.5 oz.; #10 is about 14.5 oz.; #8 is about 17.55 oz, and so on. These are the most common medium-heavy weight canvases that you will see for sale.
6. What is a good canvas primer? Artist gesso is the recommended primer for most paintings. A good quality gesso will contain properties that allow for flexibility and provide a tooth for paint adhesion. However, if your project is not designed to last for centuries, a good-quality, flat, acrylic house paint can do just fine. I do stress good-quality. The higher the acrylic content, the more flexible the painting will be. Exterior house paints have a higher acrylic content than interior.
7. What is the best canvas for painting a mural? Most people purchasing canvas for murals buy the #12.
8. I want to paint my own photographic backdrops. What canvas is best? Once again, most people purchasing canvas for photographic backdrops buy the #12, but I do have a couple of customers who like the weight of the #10 and use that exclusively.
9. What canvas do most people use for painting floor cloths? Most people painting floor cloths want to use the heavier canvas fabric- #10 or #8. The heaviest canvas I carry is the #8.
10. What makes your Portrait Canvas good for portrait painting? This material is known as Army Duck in the textile trade. It is the smoothest cotton canvas made. It is a light weight, but very strong canvas with an unusually tight weave comparable to linen in its texture.
11. Is the #10 canvas good for other paintings besides floor cloth? Yes. A lot of people prefer to work on a heavier canvas, some for its durability and others for the texture. The threads are a little larger on the #10 providing a slightly heavier texture.
12.What is the difference between 10 ounce and #10 canvas? With the exception of Army Duck, which is 10 ounce, double fill, 10 ounce will normally refer to a single-fill canvas. These are fairly lightweight fabrics and have a loose construction/weave. The #10 is a 14.5 ounce, double fill. Single and double fill refer to the number of threads to form a single yarn in the weave. We do not carry single-fill canvas.