By Lisa Guerriero
Part 2 of 2
Canvas has come a long way from the traditional cotton, linen, or hemp fabric historically associated with oil paintings, sails, and tarps. A number of companies offer canvas-based fabric optimized for wide format inkjet technologies. Here we profile various products from leading vendors in the space.
Aurora Specialty Textiles Group, Inc.
Aurora Specialty Textiles features a diverse range of all-cotton, all-polyester, and cotton-poly products suitable for latex, solvent, and UV printing. There is matte, gloss, and semi-gloss options, and nearly all come in roll widths of up to 76 inches. Further variety comes from two all-polyester lines—the Oxford, which is compatible with dye-sublimation (dye-sub) and UV and is available in rolls up to 55 inches wide; and the Malibu, a grand format option that comes in rolls up to 120 inches wide. Aurora Specialty Textiles also offers several fine art/photography products under its Weaves of Green portfolio. Each is made from 100 percent recycled plastic drink bottles, and all are suitable for dye-sub and UV ink, with some options for latex as well. These “greener” options are all produced in roll widths ranging from 60 to 120 inches.
Breathing Color offers numerous specialized products—such as optical brightening agent (OBA) free, metallic, matte, gloss, and satin—for aqueous ink as well as solvent, UV, and latex. Most of the aqueous-friendly options are available in boxed sheets as well as rolls 17 to 60 inches, to satisfy the needs of larger and smaller printmakers and reproducers. The solvent/UV/latex lines tend toward wider rolls, mostly 30 to 60 inches with some starting at 24.
Canson Infinity offers multiple cotton and cotton-poly products that are free of optical brighteners. Its MuseumArt, PhotoArt, and Artist Canvas are all mattes with the option of gloss for the latter. The company recently added two more OBA-free variations—the heavier MuseumArt Pro, which is heavier than MuseumArt and comes with a matte or luster finish; and PhotoArt Pro, which, unlike PhotoArt, is OBA-free and features a luster finish option as well as matte. Canson Infinity’s lines are compatible with aqueous and pigment inks, and are available in roll widths of 17, 24, 36, 44, and 60 inches, as well as cut sheets for some products.
Coveris Advanced Coatings
Coveris’ Magic brand is compatible with all water-based, solvent, low-solvent, latex, and UV-cured ink systems, while its Museo product is compatible with water-based inks. The Magic lines include matte, satin, and gloss options in all-cotton, all-polyester, and cotton-poly blends. Roll widths range from 36 to 60 inches, though some of the Magiclée Torino products start at 17 or 20 inches and range up to 60. Museo Artistry Canvas is a polyester/cotton blend that’s water resistant when printed with pigment inkjet inks. The matte canvas is offered in rolls of 24, 44, or 54 inches.
Epson optimized its canvas lines to work best in concert with the company’s own printers and inks, ranging from pigment-based to eco-solvent. Exhibition Canvas and Exhibition Canvas Natural—the latter is OBA-free and acid/lignin-free—are among its premium lines, as part of the Signature Worthy media portfolio. Epson also introduced a solvent canvas that promises professional imaging that lives up to an original work of art, and “is compatible with the Epson SureColor S-Series of solvent printers that resonates well with fine art reproduction houses, given the lower combined cost of the media and ink when compared with traditional aqueous technology. Plus, the light fast properties are double that of aqueous,” says Jeff Smith, product manager, Epson.
The company’s canvas sells in roll widths of 13, 17, 24, 36, 44, and 64 inches, with suggested retail prices of $1.68 per square foot for matte and $2.16 per square foot for satin and gloss.
Fisher Textiles features multiple products to be receptive to UV, solvent, mild solvent, latex, eco-solvent, and aqueous inks, with all-cotton, all-polyester, and cotton-poly options as well as glossy and matte coats. All-polyester GF 4308 Art Canvas and poly-cotton blended GF 4394 Art Canvas are among the company’s most popular canvas styles because of width variety and the vibrant, archive-friendly results produced with UV, latex, and solvent-based printers.
Fisher Textiles recently introduced H7835 Digitex Superior canvas. Heavy yet foldable, it’s stocked in roll widths of 126 or 197 inches. “Applications include classy and high-quality indoor decoration, wall frame systems, and sophisticated art reproduction,” says Sharon Roland, advertising, promotion, and publicity manager, Fisher Textiles. Rolls tend toward larger widths—62, 63, 73, 98, 104, 126, or 197, depending on which product—and custom slitting and custom roll sizes are also available.
Hahnemühle offers multiple lines under its Canvas FineArts portfolio, including the all-cotton Monet option and the newly-introduced Metallic, which boasts a surface finish with silver and pearlescent gloss. The other four are poly-cotton blends with varying finishes, surface textures, and weights.
Monet’s woven pattern and natural white color is a good for art reproduction, while the Daguerre’s fine structure and bright white point suit it to fine art photographic printing and B&W reproductions. “With its selection of colors and structures the assortment enables every artwork to have a unique character,” shares Carol Boss, marketing services manager, Hahnemühle. Rolls range in width, with 17-, 24-, 36-, 44-, and 60-inch options, although the Metallic line is limited to 17, 24, and 22 inches. Prices vary depending on the retailer.
Hexis offers a cotton-polyester blended canvas intended for art reproduction on solvent, eco-solvent, latex, and UV inkjet printing. Durability depends on the ink used, and it comes in 42-inch rolls.
I.T. Supplies produces the Simply Elegant Everyday Canvas, an all-polyester matte versatile for a range of fine art applications as well as formats. Jeff Lucido, sales manager, I.T. Supplies, says it’s a good fit for everyday use by pro-sumers as well as high-volume print production—compatible with all professional-grade printers, from oversized desktop to wide format and up to 60-inch grand format. Optimized for all aqueous and pigmented inks, rolls come in 17-, 24-, 36-, 44-, and 60-inch widths, as well as cut sheets. Earlier this year the company introduced Simply Elegant Metallic, which is a big hit because of its “unique color pop,” says Lucido. He adds that it is “very popular for specialty applications to stand out in the canvas world.”
IJ Technologies manufactures a broad variety of water resistant cotton/poly canvas products for fine art and photographic/portrait printers who rely on crisp image detail, color reproduction consistency, and ease of stretching/gallery wrapping their prints. For those using aqueous pigment ink printers IJ Technologies provides several canvas products in matte, satin, and metallic gloss finishes. Depending on the product line chosen widths are available from 17 up to 64 inches. For those using eco-solvent, latex, or UV ink printers looking for the same product consistency, the company offers canvas products in satin, gloss, and metallic gloss finishes in widths from 24 up to 60 inches.
Jacquard Ink Jet Fabric Systems
Jacquard offers artist canvas in two weights, 6.5 and 10 ounces, but it is not primed. The surface is natural. There is a treatment applied to the fabric to produce excellent color and resolution but the surface remains natural. It is 100 percent cotton.
LexJet offers multiple lines and products to be compatible with various ink/printer types and to suit the needs of the artist or manufacturer with different coats and textures. Jaimie Mask, product manager, LexJet, says its Sunset line is a big draw because it offers variety. “The benefits of each canvas are often specific to the job at hand. For instance, LexJet Sunset Production Matte Canvas is geared toward longer production runs that require a lower price point while not sacrificing consistency and quality. Sunset Select Matte Canvas, on the other hand, is designed for more custom work,” she says. Roll widths from LexJet range between 17 and 72 inches, and prices vary according to the specific product—between about .60 and $1.10 per square foot.
Pacific Coast Fabrics
Pacific Coast Fabrics offers several polyester varieties and a cotton-only product, but no cotton-poly blends. Two of its most popular lines both feature flame-repellent coating and are compatible with dye-sub, disperse direct to fabric, UV-cured, and latex formats.
“One of our most popular textiles is Deko-Tex 7047FLBR, a smooth traditional canvas favored with printers who need to achieve a high degree of fine line definition and extreme color saturation,” says Jeff Sanders, digital sales manager, Pacific Coast Fabrics. “Another favorite option is Deco-Structure 7582FLBS. This is a fine art canvas with a unique textured surface that is ideally suited for portrait and all close up visual renderings. This fabric has been in great demand with photographers.”
Deko-Tex 7047FLBR comes in 62-, 72-, and 126-inch width rolls, while Deco-Structure is available in 60- and 122-inch rolls. It also offers Deko-Flex in 60- and 120-inch rolls, and Deko-Green and Deko-Tex 7047FLBR both come in 60- and 122-inch rolls.
Perception Wide Format
At Perception Wide Format, there are three options, including the greener Natural Cotton, which is acid- and lignin-free, and coated in acrylic to make it receptive to ink. Its Décor Satin and Décor Gloss are both blended fabrics, but the Satin is aimed at home and smaller run art reproductions, while the Gloss is intended for high-end art reproduction. Perception Wide Format’s products are sold in roll widths of 20, 54, 60, and 62 inches, with custom sizes available for some larger orders. The three options are all compatible with inkjet eco-solvent, solvent, and UV sets.
Qué Media Inc.
Qué Media offers QM-CCGL 24-mil Glossy WR Cotton Canvas Banner, a 100 percent pure cotton gloss coated artist canvas that is easy to stretch without cracking. It is water resistant and compatible with dye, pigment, and UV inks. It is available in 36-inch width rolls.
QM-POLYCAN 20-mil Polyester/Cotton Artist Canvas is a professional artist canvas consisting of a durable polyester/cotton blend. With a matte finish, it is OBA-free for added longevity and compatible with dye, pigment, latex, and UV inks. The media is available in rolls widths from 24 to 60 inches.
Roland DGA Corporation
Roland products cater mainly to high-quality reproduction of paintings and photographs, a market where Lily Hunter, product manager, Roland, says there has been a slow but steady increase in demand. “Image quality continues to improve and canvas media in general continues to become more affordable,” she says. Its three lines, all cotton-poly blends, are each geared toward a different audience—a matte whose coating is suited for water-based or eco-solvent inks, a satin aimed at fine art reproduction with eco-solvent inks, and a gloss ideal for photographic applications done with eco-solvents. All three can also be used with UV and eco-UV inks.
SEAL, part of GBC, an Acco Brand
SEAL’s Pure Color Monet Canvas is an inkjet-receptive topcoat compatible with solvent, eco-solvent, latex, and UV-curable inks. The tight weave makes it compatible with flatbed UV printers, and the canvas is constructed so it will not crack on the corners when stretching into an art frame system. It is offered in roll widths of 20, 54, and 60 inches.
Tara Materials provides the Fredrix Print Canvas line. There is an option of polyflax/cotton or all-cotton for desktop printing, which comes in sheets or bulk sheets. The choices are much broader for those with high-volume production in mind—it offers a tailored option for virtually every ink set and application. Roll widths start at 17 inches and go up to 126, depending on the product line.
Ultraflex Systems, Inc.
Ultraflex Systems’ MultiTex C220 and UltraCanvas Artist C325 are all-polyester options, each with a different top coat, finish, and stretchiness to appeal to different users. TrueCanvas Giclée 65/35 is a blended fabric that can also be folded or stretched without cracking. All three are optimized for solvent, eco-solvent, UV, and latex inks. Roll widths start at 39 inches and range up to 198, depending on the line.
Verseidag seemee US, Inc.
For fine art, Verseidag offers Value Canvas FR B4117, a PVC-free product available in 61-, 98-, and 122-inch widths. Another popular product offered by the company is Canvas Latex B4127, available in 61 and 122 inches.
As digital printing grows more popular in fine art, most manufacturers expand to serve an independent artist, a reproduction house, or a printmaking service. Whether the buyer requests cut sheets or 70-foot rolls for high-volume production, they want specialized options. It’s the goldilocks effect—not too shiny, not too heavy, not too overtly woven, but just right. Manufacturers steadily add to the canvas lines to provide options just right for anyone’s discerning taste.
Click here to read part one of this exclusive online series, If Picasso Had a Printer.
Click on the link above to get more information on the vendors mentioned in this article.
Sep2014, Digital Output DOCV1409