Any person who claims to be an artist would know about the canvas stretching process. The fabric is stretched properly from all the four sides so that the artist can come up with his artwork. It is essential that the canvas is of good quality and stretched properly as it serves the base for the paint, gesso etc. While there are professionals who will help you with the stretching, it is best that the artist knows how to do it themselves. You can buy the stretched canvas from an art gallery or a registered art materials store. You can order them for various measurements including 72 inches.
What are the factors to consider before you start canvas stretching?
Start with Measurements:
The first thing you need to be sure about is how big or small canvas would you want to work on. Unless you have precise measurements, you will not be able to stretch canvas well. The next thing you need to keep in mind is that canvas stretching is like wrapping a gift. You cannot cut the canvas in precise edges with little or no boundaries. With no room to stretch, you will end up with a ruined canvas.
Setting up the Tools:
You need to be ready with all the tools handy for the canvas stretching process. It saves time and energy hunting for the scissors or nails when you are engrossed with the stretching work. Neatly arrange it in order so that you do not have to struggle with them when you begin. Setting all the tools in advance and then beginning your work will always be helpful especially when you do not have anybody to assist you with the procedure.
Clean and Sharp Scissors:
You need to be ready with a clean and sharp scissors to cut the canvas. When you buy a scissor for cutting the canvas, make sure you do not use it for any other purpose. Several utility and craft stores have scissors specifically for cutting the canvas. Invest in the tool and keep it aside for such tasks. Even if it appears to be clean, make sure you wipe it with a clean cloth before you cut the canvas. This will ensure that the canvas does not stain during the canvas stretching process. However, you need not trim the excess canvas part. Instead, you can fold it back and nail it to the back of the stretcher and then tack it down in case you need to re-stretch it.
Setting the Bars:
Once you have the cut canvas ready, you should place the bars or the frame on the canvas. Make sure you lay the fabric neatly on a flat surface. Placing it on an uneven surface can ruin the alignment. If you are not confident about laying the bars, then it is advised to get someone to help you. Setting the canvas on the bars is a crucial stage and you will not want the settings to go wrong. If required you can certainly have a measuring tape or ruler by your side to know if you are doing canvas stretching the right way.
The next thing is to get your staple gun and start nailing the canvas to the frame. It is important that you pull the fabric properly while you are nailing it. The stretch has to be proper so that the fabric is equal on all the sides. Then you can adjust the borders and begin with your stapling all over. Many people prefer small nails to the staples. The choice is yours, however; you need to make sure that the frame is sturdy enough to hold the nails or staples.