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Raw material

Update:22 Mar 2018

Raw material After the sixteenth century, the canvas be […]

Raw material

After the sixteenth century, the canvas became the main support material of the oil painting. Among the many linen and cotton fabrics, pure linen is the most ideal optimal canvas.
(1) In addition to synthetic fibers, linen is the strongest type of textile. Its high fiber strength, not easy to tear or puncture, can let the palette knife scrape and press on the top.
(2) Solid linen made by wefts and wefts has good coloring properties.
(3) The linen is woven into linen and the surface is not as smooth as chemical fibres and cotton and has a vivid bumpy texture. Painters often use the subtle material texture of linen.
(4) Linen and linseed oil are taken from the same plant and have the same chemical characteristics and can support each other.
(5) Linen fabrics are made of single thread (SW) and double thread (DW), which are easy to handle in different thicknesses, thicknesses, and textures. The coarse-textured linen is suitable for painting with large pens and scrapers, and is an ideal canvas for bold and bold strokes. The medium density linen is smooth and uniform in texture, making it the most suitable expression style for rubbing and covering in realistic style. Fine textured linens are used in small works, suitable for detailed painting styles.
(6) In terms of preservation and restoration, oil on canvas is superior to oil paintings on other supports, among which linen ranks first. Linen generally grows in cold and humid climate conditions. Belgium and Ireland are the main producers of flax.
(7) Production of linens: Mature flaxes are harvested from the roots to the leaves intact, allowing them to rot, leaving solid fibers and then spinning into cloth. Due to the difference in texture and thickness, the linens sold range from a width of about one meter to more than three meters, and special products have a width of more than four meters.
The price of pure linen is higher, so there are cheap varieties such as half linen and cotton and linen blends. Because cotton and hemp grow and shrink with changes in humidity, mixed textiles are not suitable for large canvases.


The price of high quality pure linen sold on the market is high. The price also reflects the quality of the linen. Most of the cheap linen is woven into short fibers. Individual merchants sell half linen and cotton linen mixed with linen, which can be distinguished using the following methods.
(1) Check whether the thickness of the latitude and longitude lines is uniform by light transmission. If the latitude and longitude lines are too uniform, it may be a cotton fabric.
(2) Tighten the fabric pattern to check the density of the braid.
(3) The high-quality linens are brown, glossy and evenly absorbed. Hemp is not good, it is processed into a soft fiber linen, uneven water absorption, it will turn black after getting wet.
(4) Outside worsted linen, the less the surface plush, the better.
(5) The vertical and horizontal tightness of the linen is different.
(6) Pull a thread. If the two ends have bends and points*, the thread is cotton. The linen lines that are torn off should be smooth at both ends, otherwise they are impure.
(7) If caustic soda is applied to the canvas, the linen will appear brown and the cotton cloth will be light yellow.