Canvas Prints and Quality

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At Four Blank Walls, we have been printing canvases for over 10 years.  One of the main complaints that people state is that the edges are chipped or the ink is wearing out on the prints.

There are many different types of canvas prints and a few things to avoid when purchasing a canvas.  I will illustrate the differences here and things to watch out for.

Giclee's

This is a very vague term for canvas prints and covers a wide spectrum of prints and printing techniques. 

Stricly speaking a giclee should be printed on a real woven canvas and whilst most sellers call their prints "canvas prints" there is more chance that they are printed on a cheaper polyester substitute.  The latter is half the price to purchase and stretches to the frame very well and provides the seller with much more profit. The result. however, is no where near as good as a giclee should be.  You will find that most of the sellers on ebay selling "canvas prints" for £15 or £30 are probably using this cheap alternative.

"The Seller has told me that the Inks will last 75 years".

This is a total nonsense.  A popular printer to use is an Epson 9800 large format printer. You can pick one up second hand for about £2000.00 with inks and canvas.  They are excellent machines but the information about the inks is not proven and depends on the canvas used and the resolution that the image is printed at or (quality of the inks).

Typically a canvas will cost the following based on a 1mx1m stretched canvas.

Canvas £10-15.00

Inks £5.00

Good Frame £20.00

Good varnish £3.00

Time to print and prepare 2hrs £20.00

Total cost before VAT or profit £58.00

You get what you pay for basically with canvases and canvas prints.  A seller selling a canvas for £39.00 is likely to be using any quality materials at all.

Four Blank Walls uses a method of printing called "Dye Sublimation".  This is a much more stable method that is designed to last and not fade.

Basically we print the image onto a transfer paper.  We then take a piece of real woven canvas.  The two are put togethor and sent through a heat press.  The image is transferred into the weave of the canvas and then stretched over a tough quality frame.  The great thing about Dye sublimation prints is that the ink sinks so far into the canvas (instead of sitting on top) that you can clean the canvas and knock it without worrying about the ink coming off.  They are waterproof and can be used in any room in the house.

When you are looking for a canvas print or rolled canvas (especially if you are printing your own photos or buying a gift) you should always pay attention to price.  You can't get a good large canvas print for £39.00.  You get what you pay for basically.

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