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Author Topic: Any canvas users???  (Read 831 times)

Peterretep2

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Any canvas users???
« on: September 27, 2018, 08:20:37 AM »

I hadn't been much of a fan of canvas prints but within the past year have had produced by a few different labs a few for clients and for fine art sales to individuals. I had purchased a roll of Fredrix 777 for printing copies of the work for a couple of artists I know but I haven't done that for over three years or longer. I never liked working with the media in my 7900 and was always concerned about damaging the heads which I had read was a possibility due to head bumps against the canvas edge. Due to high prices and labs that are difficult to work with in making canvas prints, I'm thinking about taking this on again. Searching this forum I found there has been very little talk of canvas for the past 6 or 7 years and am wondering if anyone here is printing on canvas anymore. If so, can you share you favorite canvas to work with based on image quality, permanence and durability? I'm also wondering how important and/or necessary it is to coat the printed canvas. Any help or suggestions you may have is greatly appreciated.

Peter
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Miles

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Re: Any canvas users???
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2018, 10:33:34 AM »

I have been using Breathing Color Lyve canvas since its introduction and am very satisfied with the quality of the canvas and final print.  To me, it is as good or better than any other canvas I have tried, which can also be a selling point to your customers.  I find coating the canvas helps to pop the colors and use Breathing Color Timeless Varnish for coating with a spray gun on large orders.  For small orders I have also used Premier Art Print Shield as it comes in a pressurized can and I don't have to spend time setting up the spray gun and cleaning it afterwards (I don't have a dedicated spray booth).  Both products do a good job.  I consider coating the printed canvas a necessity for appearance, protection, and UV fade resistance.  Hope this helps.

Miles
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robertDthomas

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Re: Any canvas users???
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2018, 10:57:30 AM »

I agree fully with what Miles has stated.  I have used several canvas materials with my HP Z3200 and Epson P9000 and have had excellent and consistent results with Breathing Colors Lyve canvas.  I agree with Miles in the application of Breathing Color's Timeless varnish (available in matte, semi and gloss finishes --- I generally use semi) makes the image pop and provides protection.  Have completed the images by stretching over stretcher bars and either left unframed with a gallery wrap edge or  put in canvas floater frames.  Recently have mounted the finished (varnished) canvas on GatorBoard and framed.  Has a nice look, less chances of cracked or damaged corners or later loosening/sagging of the canvas in the stretched frame. 

I got most of these ideas and good guidance right from this forum.
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mearussi

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Re: Any canvas users???
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2018, 11:41:06 AM »

Canvas is all I print on anymore for my own work, though I still print on paper when I print for friends (at their request).
My initial reason for switching was because at my age I'm just tired of lifting heavy frames, but I also got tired of looking at my prints through the heavy reflection of glass (and AR art glass is way too expensive).

Having tried several dozen canvases looking for the "perfect" one I finally decided on Canson's 100% cotton Museum ProCanvas both because it stretches the easiest compared to the poly/cotton blends but also because it has the smoothest surface. Their satin looks a little better than their matte but the satin can only be spray coated as applying a aqueous coating via roller causes the ink to lift (I don't have room for a spray booth).

The drawback to any solvent can spray coating, like Moab, is that it offers very little in the way of mechanical protection for the print so I've decided to switch over to the matte version so I can apply a "regular" and much heavier aqueous coating using a foam roller. I settled on Premier Art's Eco Print Shield for several reasons. Like a lot of beginners I first tried Breathing Color's Timeless, but as it dries very fast and has no leveling agents I was never able to develop the technique of applying it without leaving roller marks behind and BC's other coating, Glamour 2, takes 24 hours to dry, and has to be left in one place while it does so, and I just don't have room for that. Eco OTOH is applied using three very thin coatings that dry within 1/2 hour and so the entire process seldom takes longer than 2 hours to produce a finished streak free print that can either be rolled up for storage or put on stretcher bars. Another reason for my choice is that it is the only coating tested by Wilhelm and proven to greatly extend display life. 

I have also tried BC's Lyve canvas and it is my second choice when I can't get the Canson. It just has slightly more texture and has to be printed on a PK setting as the inkjet receptive layer can't absorb the heavy MK black on my older Epson 9800 without smearing. Consequently though I don't get the deep dmax from it as I do the Canson. But the newer Epsons and Canons don't seem to have this problem.

Another consideration is how you mount it. If you just mount it flat on Gatorboard or something similar (I prefer clear acrylic as I don't like foam edges) then any canvas will work, you can even use Photo Tex which is the simplest solution of all. But if you want to make a Gallery Wrap and you don't know how to stretch a canvas (or just don't want to) then the various stretcher bar kits sold by BC, itsupplies and Lexjet, all work pretty well (at least the larger Pro versions do, the smaller ones only work well up to 11x14). They're all made by the same company out of Canada, GoFrame, which you can also buy directly from if you wish, though Lexjet has the lowest prices at the moment. The kits are very easy to use and produce professional results within a few minutes.

My canvas prints are so nice that now I prefer their look to a framed photo and wouldn't go back.

 
« Last Edit: September 27, 2018, 11:54:30 AM by mearussi »
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DougDolde

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Re: Any canvas users???
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2018, 01:54:05 PM »

I too only print on canvas.  However the only Breathing Color product I use is their Timeless Matte Varnish.  Their canvas is way too expensive for what it is.  I think too many people fall for their marketing BS as illustrated by the above comments

I have been using this canvas from IT Supplies and it comes in 100 foot rolls:

https://www.itsupplies.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=Simply+Elegant+Everyday+Matte+Canvas+100%27+Roll

For say a 44" roll, Simply Elegant gives you 100' vs 40' for Lyve for THE SAME MONEY.  Plus I really like this canvas. It's on the thin side but is super strong and makes it easier to fold the corners when wrapping.
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robertDthomas

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Re: Any canvas users???
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2018, 09:12:11 PM »

The IT Supplies canvas looks like a great price and the thinner canvas would work fine with my mounting to GatorBoard or as you say stretching.  I know IT supples as I have bought from them before but I was unable to fine .icc profiles for HP Z3200 or Epson P9000.  Did I miss the link to those or did you make your own profiles?
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Stephen Ray

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Re: Any canvas users???
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2018, 05:02:09 AM »

Due to high prices and labs that are difficult to work with in making canvas prints, I'm thinking about taking this on again.

I'm fairly certain you just haven't found the best source yet. I know where I am in California, I'm surrounded by canvas printing sources who could not be faster-better-cheaper than anything I could imagine.

I know for interior decor, solvent (eco-solvent nowadays) printers are using rather heavy 300 gsm (or greater) poly/cotton canvas as it is the preference of decorators.

Good luck with whatever you decide.
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Miles

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Re: Any canvas users???
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2018, 11:12:20 AM »

I think too many people fall for their marketing BS as illustrated by the above comments


Doug, I am glad you found a source of a much thinner canvas that you consider better than Lyve, and costs only 40% of the per foot cost.  Obviously I must be one of the people noted above who you feel has fallen for their marketing BS despite the fact that I have experimented with several canvases over the years and ended up preferring Lyve (including my preference for a heavier canvas).  Is it safe to assume you also fell for their marketing BS on their Timeless Matte Varnish without realizing it just as you indicate I have done on their Lyve canvas since personal testing and preference only seems to validate marketing BS?

Miles 

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mearussi

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Re: Any canvas users???
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2018, 02:12:53 PM »

I too only print on canvas.  However the only Breathing Color product I use is their Timeless Matte Varnish.  Their canvas is way too expensive for what it is.  I think too many people fall for their marketing BS as illustrated by the above comments

I have been using this canvas from IT Supplies and it comes in 100 foot rolls:

https://www.itsupplies.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=Simply+Elegant+Everyday+Matte+Canvas+100%27+Roll

For say a 44" roll, Simply Elegant gives you 100' vs 40' for Lyve for THE SAME MONEY.  Plus I really like this canvas. It's on the thin side but is super strong and makes it easier to fold the corners when wrapping.
It's cheaper because it's 100% polyester and also contains OBAs. But if you've done a direct comparison the Lyve and have found no visual difference then that's a good deal.

But this does bring up another point, is there any quality difference between 100% polyester and a poly/cotton blend.
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langier

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Re: Any canvas users???
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2018, 03:00:59 PM »

I purchased a used Epson 9900 seven years ago just to do canvas and I use the Fredrix 777.

The project was to print a hotel full of canvas which I printed and coated then had dry mounted and framed. I probably put 130-140 rolls through it mainly 44 inch.

One of the main reasons for me going with the 9900 was the built-in cutter for the canvas. For about double the cost of adding a rotary printer to my 9800, I could get a whole new printer.

I did have the printer serviced a couple of years ago and it works even better than when I first put it to use. Since the initial canvas project several years ago, I'm still doing it, though only a few per month at the very most. The 9900 still prints on the Fredrix well and there are no issues with the printer other than having to do a cleaning every couple of weeks, especially if the printer isn't in use.

The Fredrix seems a little more available now than when I started and is available through LexJet.

As for coating, it's a must, IMO. Uncoated seems to scuff easily, especially if there's a lot of areas with lots of ink coverage. Coating seems to enrich the colors, add UV protection, make the surface more consistent (adds a finished appearance), makes the image more durable and seems to make it easier to stretch. Regarding the durability, it makes it easier for maintenance when all you need is a damp sponge to wipe the dust off.

For coating, I'm using Clear Shield, Type C LL Semi-Gloss. There's a range from gloss to matt and you can mix them to get something in-between. I was using a trough-and-roller system when I was doing the hotel, but since I only do 3-5 at a time now, I simply use a 6-8 inch foam paint roller and a tray.

My technique is to add about 20% filtered/distilled water to the Clear Shield to help thin it out, run it through a screen after stirring into a tray and then give the canvas a quick coat spreading out the coating quickly and as evenly as I can. Once the coat is dry, I do a second coat. I'm doing it all on a table that's just a little narrower than my widest canvas. If I've got several to do, I use clothespins and small wooden dowels at each end to keep the canvas from curling and messing the coating and hang it up.

With practice, one can get pretty good at coating small-run canvas this way. Clean-up is much easier and faster than using the tray-roller system and takes but a couple of minutes. If you are careful with your foam rollers, clean them up well and keep them soaked when you put them away and let them dry slowly, they will work for several coating sessions.

Most of my production is stretched so learning that skill is a bonus and there's a bunch of YouTube videos to show you how.

Canvas gives you a little satisfaction of hand-crafting your work similar to what I enjoyed doing in a darkroom to finish, mount, frame and present my work, though I feel the canvas is much faster and easier and is more hands-on at least in my experience.

Here's a few of the 40x60-72-inch canvas I did a few years ago. I think the most I could coat in a long day was from 24-40, depending upon the size. The color images were 20x30 to 24x26 prints and it looks like I'm drying from 12-15 images on that rack. That job took a couple of years and my client is still thrilled with the installation.


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Larry Angier
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DougDolde

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Re: Any canvas users???
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2018, 04:04:49 PM »

I didn't say Lyve was bad, just not worth the sky high price.
To someone that asked, my Z5200 creates its own profiles.
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Stephen Ray

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Re: Any canvas users???
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2018, 04:48:13 PM »

As for coating, it's a must, IMO.

In contrast, the solvent printer canvas process doesn't require coating. The print is ready to stretch, mount, or roll directly from the printer. Really durable and virtually waterproof. If a coating is demanded for some particular reason, the typical option is to use a liquid lamination machine or sometimes an artist may work a brush stroke effect.
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mearussi

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Re: Any canvas users???
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2018, 08:14:12 PM »

In contrast, the solvent printer canvas process doesn't require coating. The print is ready to stretch, mount, or roll directly from the printer. Really durable and virtually waterproof. If a coating is demanded for some particular reason, the typical option is to use a liquid lamination machine or sometimes an artist may work a brush stroke effect.
And they're only $20,000. :)
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DougDolde

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Re: Any canvas users???
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2018, 10:04:14 PM »

I roll on Breathing Color's Timeless Matte varnish with a 6" foam roller.  It's pretty easy, you do need to coat fairly evenly, that isn't hard.

Sometimes I use a roller tray and sometimes i just pour a bit in the center of the print and spread it out.  Always pour it thru a metal strainer though, any lumps will be visible.  It dries pretty fast say an hour and is invisible then
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robertDthomas

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Re: Any canvas users???
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2018, 12:23:36 PM »

I purchased a used Epson 9900 seven years ago just to do canvas and I use the Fredrix 777.

The project was to print a hotel full of canvas which I printed and coated then had dry mounted and framed. I probably put 130-140 rolls through it mainly 44 inch.

For coating, I'm using Clear Shield, Type C LL Semi-Gloss. There's a range from gloss to matt and you can mix them to get something in-between. I was using a trough-and-roller system when I was doing the hotel, but since I only do 3-5 at a time now, I simply use a 6-8 inch foam paint roller and a tray.

My technique is to add about 20% filtered/distilled water to the Clear Shield to help thin it out, run it through a screen after stirring into a tray and then give the canvas a quick coat spreading out the coating quickly and as evenly as I can. Once the coat is dry, I do a second coat. I'm doing it all on a table that's just a little narrower than my widest canvas. If I've got several to do, I use clothespins and small wooden dowels at each end to keep the canvas from curling and messing the coating and hang it up.

Here's a few of the 40x60-72-inch canvas I did a few years ago. I think the most I could coat in a long day was from 24-40, depending upon the size. The color images were 20x30 to 24x26 prints and it looks like I'm drying from 12-15 images on that rack. That job took a couple of years and my client is still thrilled with the installation.


AMAZING images of your work area and wish I had commissions of this magnitude.  --- Will have to look also at Fredrix --- THIS is what this forum is so valuable
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langier

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Re: Any canvas users???
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2018, 08:28:02 PM »

Thanks Robert! I, too, have gained much value from many of the discussions here. I had issues years ago with some of the early Epson canvas I was using...the emulsion simply flaked off and worse... When I inquired to 2-3 small digital printing companies, they recommended Fredrix.

Bill Atkinson the neurobiologist who brought us the early Mac software in the early 1980s gave a talk about his photography and showed some of his samples at an ASMP meeting years ago in San Francisco and so I had the confidence to give it a try. He was into Breathing Color but when I had a few questions at that time, they were left unanswered.

But before it all, realizing my digital prints could go larger than 11x17 and 17x22, I started reading all I could about larger printers. The expert in making the color work back then, especially for the Epson 7600/9600 was Bill and he had done all the leg work regarding the science behind the printer and producing great profiles which he freely gave away. When a used 7600 printer came up a couple of hours away, I bit and upped my game. One large printer lead to another and larger printer and then to another... However, I can't get anything larger into my studio than my "4-pallbearer printer" and that's fine! It keeps working and working...
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PeterAit

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Re: Any canvas users???
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2018, 12:03:21 PM »

I hadn't been much of a fan of canvas prints but within the past year have had produced by a few different labs a few for clients and for fine art sales to individuals. I had purchased a roll of Fredrix 777 for printing copies of the work for a couple of artists I know but I haven't done that for over three years or longer. I never liked working with the media in my 7900 and was always concerned about damaging the heads which I had read was a possibility due to head bumps against the canvas edge. Due to high prices and labs that are difficult to work with in making canvas prints, I'm thinking about taking this on again. Searching this forum I found there has been very little talk of canvas for the past 6 or 7 years and am wondering if anyone here is printing on canvas anymore. If so, can you share you favorite canvas to work with based on image quality, permanence and durability? I'm also wondering how important and/or necessary it is to coat the printed canvas. Any help or suggestions you may have is greatly appreciated.

Peter

I have been printing a lot on canvas for the past 5 years, on a 7900. I use BC Lyve exclusively. No printer issues at all - but FWIW I do not use the printer's built-in cutter but do it manually with scissors. The coating is important. It gives some protection but also improves the appearance of the print.
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Peter
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LLennox

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Re: Any canvas users???
« Reply #17 on: October 03, 2018, 01:11:25 PM »

I have a Canon 8300.  I have used BC Lyve, then Crystalline and Silverada.  I was looking for canvas that could be stretched without coating.  I discontinued using the last two because of two many cotton seeds.  They'd end up in large expanses of blue sky, a person's face in a portrait, etc and the whole print would be ruined.  I was wasting a lot of canvas.  A vendor mentioned Epson Exhibition canvas to me.  Of course, there's no profile available for a Canon printer but I found that my BC Crystalline Canvas icc profile works very well.  I have had no issues stretching canvases -- no cracking, no ink flaking off when folding the corners, etc.  I prefer the Satin to the Gloss.  We've outsourced our portrait printing to a lab because every little driver or software update would throw my color management off.  I was struggling with skin tones constantly.  But I still print our fine art on Epson Exhibition Satin.
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Peterretep2

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Re: Any canvas users???
« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2018, 09:25:25 AM »

Thank you to all that replied , I really appreciate it as I'm sure many others reading this thread also do.

Peter
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