stretching linen [Archive] - Artist Forum

: stretching linen

10-31-2017, 02:43 AM
I bought some quantities of linen (Claessens Belgian 012 and 066) to stretch over frames for painting with oils.

However, I really canít get a good stretch on them - I am new to making my own canvases so I am wondering if you have any hints?

The ones I tried, I stretched using a staple gun over a frame, then coated with a 50% PVA mixture.
This caused into buckle, so I took it off and restricted it but it still has a bumpy look, not taut.

Has anyone any experience with this?

M Winther
11-11-2017, 02:33 PM
Staple once on one side and then stretch and staple the opposite side, once. Then do the other sides. Thereafter complete stapling. To stretch the canvas, hammer in the splices in the corners.

Linen, however, slackens and stretches depending on humidity. Many old paintings get cracks after the owners have stretched them with the splices. But then humidity changes and it stretches even more, causing cracks in the paint layer. Cotton is more elastic. I suppose rayon is, too. It is easier to stretch a cotton canvas. But if one wants coarse fabric, or is going to make a really big painting, then one should choose linen, I suppose. I don't know why so many prefer linen. Cotton does not experience this spontaneous stretching and slackening. Of course, linen lasts longer, but that can't be the reason.

Had you used cotton, then the canvas would remain largely unaffected by the water-soluble primer. But I suppose the water content affects the linen canvas and causes it to buckle.