By Olivia Cahoon
Part 2 of 2
Printing to canvas for home décor and commercial spaces continues to grow in popularity. Often times, a specific type of finishing is requested—stretcher bars. Print service providers (PSPs) can offer this in house in addition to printing. Both traditional and kit-based stretcher systems are available.
Available Stretcher Frames
Released in 2016, the Absolute Inkjet Hex Wrap System is a self-adhesive wooden bar solution it produces hexagonal shaped canvas wraps that can be connected together using proprietary clips to form collages. Bars are available in one size and produce a finished hexagonal wrap that measures ten inches from corner to corner and nearly nine inches from side to side.
Assembly requires the use of six reusable corner guides that are included in the Hex Wrap starter kit. Up to ten Hex Wrap frames can be clipped together in a variety of patterns and designs. The only tool needed is a knife to trim the canvas.
Excluding canvas and ink, it costs $4.92 per hexagonal frame. “It’s a simple to use and fast system that requires no special tools, equipment, or expertise,” comments Tony Martin, president, Absolute Inkjet. “It produces wrapped prints that have perfect corners and no staples.”
Breathing Color offers the EasyWrappe stretcher bar frame system. It is available in 1.25- to 1.75-inch depth options and ranges in length from eight to 60 inches. The solution is used for gallery wraps that are stretched and mounted to a frame with the image wrapped around the edges. It can be displayed without a picture frame for display as traditional artwork.
The EasyWrappe is designed for professional gallery wraps finished in minutes. Print providers can offer the service to customers or as DIY. “All you have to do is follow the simple instructions available in a video or PDF,” says Justin Bodin, product manager, Breathing Color.
Available in a natural basswood finish, EasyWrappe is available from $1.87 per square foot for the 1.25-inch depth and $3.17 per square foot for the 1.75-inch depth. “Super-fast and simple assembly, no special tools required,” offers Bodin.
Released in 1979, the Best Stretcher Bars available from Jack Richeson & Co., Inc. are traditional stretcher bars developed by professional painters. They feature a heavy-duty canvas stretcher bar system with a half-inch rise on the outside top lip to separate the stretched canvas from the interior edge of the stretcher frame with corners that allow for keying to stretch out.
Best Stretcher Bars are available in a variety of sizes from eight- to 144-inch systems. Customers choose from light-, medium-, heavy-duty, and a selection of aluminum bars. All aluminum bars can be spliced for projects exceeding 144 inches to reduce shipping charges on bars exceeding 96 inches.
Fredrix Print Canvas offers the Standard Profile and Gallery Profile. The Standard Profile is 11/16×1-5/8 inches and is packed in bundles of 50 with sizes ranging from eight to 72 inches. The Gallery Profile is 1-3/8 inches and is packed in bundles of 36 and sizes are eight to 72 inches.
The systems are made from ponderosa pine. The company uses only kiln dried lumber free of knots, holes, insects, and liver spores. According to Reid Luepke, North America sales manager, Tara Stretcher Bars/Fredrix Print Canvas, increased drying helps to ensure straight, stable, and sturdy lumber. It also serves as an extra precaution against mold spores and other fungi.
According to Rick Yahr, best stretcher bar guy, Jack Richeson & Co., Best Stretcher Bars are made from the finest materials and feature rounded back edges to reduce surface friction and allow for a smoother, tighter draw of the canvas.
Available from LexJet, the GOframe is a stretcher frame system released in 2015. It uses a patented starter kit that makes canvas wrapping simple and consistent. “This system opens the door to those with little to no knowledge on traditional canvas wrapping and will have you making sellable canvas gallery wraps in no time,” offers Michael Clementi, learning and development director, LexJet.
GOframe is available in eight- to 60-inch length bars and is 1.5 inches deep. The system features a wood finish and offers 100 percent archival acid-free adhesives and galvanized staples. Price varies based on size.
Released in 2003, Pakor Gallery Wraps is a frame kit system for novices. It creates quality frames in 1.25- and 1.75-inch thicknesses with a maximum 60-inch size. The price ranges from $12 to $86 per pack. According to Richard Mast, VP, Pakor, Pakor Gallery Wraps offer ease of use, multiple sizes, and instructions.
With a variety of options and systems ranging in size and finish, PSPs printing canvas may consider adding stretcher frame services to their business. Both traditional and kitted options are available.
Click here to read part one of this exclusive online series, Add Tension.
Mar2020, Digital Output