Today we’re going to look at canvases which were mentioned briefly in the last article about cotton.
Canvas is one of the special fabrics which is woven in a plain or leno weave way with a thick thread. It is a little hard to backstitch with this fabric due to its thickness so it’s not suitable for a lining fabric. Canvas is often used for sails, tents, and oil paintings which needs durability. And is also often used as the cloth for curtains, bags and shoes. The eco bag which is made of biodegradable materials is also made of with canvas.
The most used fiber for canvas is cotton and linen.
Canvas made of cotton is cheaper and easier to find compared to canvas made of linen. So, it’s generally used a lot. It’s yellowish and is the one that’s used for tents.
Canvas made of linen is better at withstanding temperature, humidity and is generally more durable.
However, the natural fiber like cotton or linen is affected easily by dryness and humidity. When it’s humid, the fiber stretches, when it’s dry, it shrinks. So, oil painting on the natural fabric can cause cracks in the painting.
Therefore, the synthetic fiber like polyester or rayon is used as an alternative. Synthetic fibers are more resistant to chemical reactions than cotton and linen. And the absorption rate is low, so it does not shrink or expand during work or after work. Furthermore, molds don’t grow very well in it. However, it does get torn easier than the others.
Canvas vs Oxford
When talking about canvas, oxford is often mentioned together. These two are similar, but Oxford is thinner than canvas. For canvas, the number 5-10 thread is used and for oxford, the number 20 thread is used - The higher the number, the thinner the thread. Canvas’ are thicker and stronger in fabric, so they are used more for bags and sneakers. Oxford are the most suitable cloth for general props and shirt. It’s great when it’s used as a single layer when covering.
If you want to sew something with canvas, it is recommended to wash before. When washing, you should partially hand-wash only contaminated parts by releasing neutral detergent in cold water. And for the dark colour of the fabric, it should be washed alone to prevent discolouration. Also, the use of oxygen and chlorine bleach should be avoided and not keep the fabric in water for an extended time. Lastly, it’s good to dry the fabric gently under the shade and iron before it is completely dry.
I hope this information helped you.
By Sue Kim