Canvas art and canvas printing is a relatively new art trend, with many suppliers flocking to sell you their wares. But how to tell between the good, the bad and the ugly?
Outside of eBay I'd suggest that price is a key indicator. Canvases are not as cheap as you may think to build, and require a high level of skill and professionalism to produce to a high standard. People selling cheap canvases from their own websites may be inexperienced and using poor quality materials. Before getting involved in this line of work I ordered from some cheap online companies and was not able to bring myself to give them to their intended recipients.
But the rules in eBay are not the same. Cost and advertising style is not necessarily an indicator of level of quality, as the eBay marketplace is highly competitive and many companies just want to get their name out there and are willing to compromise profit in the initial stages to build up their profile. There are however, many other ways for you to decide on the level of quality of the canvas product you are looking at before committing to buy.
Here are some things to look for:
1. Can you easily contact the seller? Do they have a telephone number and email address? How quickly do they respond to you? They should know their stuff if they're any good, so fire a few questions at them and see what comes back.
2. Do they have their own website? Does it look atrractive and professional? If the website looks good and answers lots of questions it may make you feel more at ease with the people you are dealing with.
3. Do they indicate the quality of their canvas and bars in the advert or on the website? Anyone claiming to be using less than 320gsm canvas may be selling you a substandard product. Canvas should ideally be 100% cotton and over 320gsm. Anything under 320gsm is likely to be a cotton/polyester mix, or worse, a polyester 'canvas', which is very cheap but may produce substandard prints due to it's texture and inability to take ink the way cotton can. Stretcher bars should be solid wood with a rounded edge to minimise canvas contact. A good canvas should arrive with tension wedges to occasionally retension the canvas over the frame.
4. Don't be fooled by the word 'Giclee'. It's very popular in this field but translates literally as 'to squirt' and is related to printing. It has nothing to do with quality, it is merely a descriptive term.
5. As with all eBay sellers, check the quality of their feedback!
We hope this helps you avoid a disappointing canvas print, but of course you can check our out here! :) Our Canvas Shop & Website Link!