Since canvas prints are extremely popular within the photography, interior, and art industry, it’s resulted in online stores popping up everywhere promising to transform your favourite photographs into wall-worthy canvas prints.
While we all love grabbing a bargain, do you really want to compromise the condition of your canvas and have to spend years looking at a low-res, blurred print of one of your most treasured memories? We thought not.
It’s true what they say; you get what you pay for. So, here at Parrot Print we’ve suggested some key factors to look out for, so you are able to find the cheapest canvas prints online without risking the quality of your canvas.
Always check the canvas material
The two primary materials used for canvas prints are cotton and polyester. Cotton canvases are made with natural cotton fibres, which produce the highest quality prints due to the ink penetrating deep into the fabric. They also provide a more exact colour representation of your photo than polyester canvases. While polyester canvases may prove to be the cheaper alternative, due to the synthetic strands of material the ink tends to sit on top of it, which means you won’t receive the quality and your print will have a shorter lifespan.
Here at Parrot Print we use the best of both! Our canvases are made from a museum archival grade poly/cotton blend to keep the prices down, but retain the high quality. When ordering online make sure you check to see if the company states the percentage of cotton they use in their canvas, and it they do remember this; the higher the percentage the better the quality you can expect.
Watch that weight
The weight of canvas is measured in grams per square metre (GSM). The heavier the canvas is the more durable it is and the more ink it absorbs, which as we know creates a superior reproduction of your images. You'll find weights vary among online companies, but you should expect a weight around 320 GSM and 420 GSM. We used a heavyweight 420 GSM canvas because it’s ideal for capturing fine art and photography, anything less than 320 GSM and your image reproduction will be less than satisfying.
Rolled Vs Stretched - which one will you choose?
A rolled canvas is a image that’s not stretched out over or placed onto a frame. Ordering a rolled canvas print is the cheaper option as the printer doesn’t have to spend time stretching and framing the photo, but if you do want it framing you’ll have to tackle the job yourself. This could effect the overall look of your canvas print if you don’t know the correct method.
On the other hand a stretched canvas is a photo that’s flattened out and anchored onto or around a wooden frame. While the stretched canvas is more expensive, it’s the option we recommend. If you do opt for stretched always check what frame the company uses, we use 38mm deep, kiln dried European pine gallery frames, hand built by our UK master craftworkers, with hidden staples and corner wedges, this ensures your canvas prints last a lifetime.
The quality of your finished canvas print starts with your original photograph. This is a key factor to consider as if the photo you want to use isn’t of sufficient quality or size it may appear blurry or distorted once it’s transferred onto a canvas. Some online companies, like ourselves, provide a service where we are able to instantly determine the quality of your photo before you order, allowing you only to select from compatible canvas sizes, whilst eliminating any pixellation.
You should take note of the type of ink online companies use in their canvases, as there’s a major difference between dull, lifeless shades and eye-popping, vibrant colours. The most common ink used is dye. This is the relatively cheaper option as although the ink produces bright and rich images, the dye isn’t UV resistant and so fades considerably when exposed to sunlight.
Pigments inks however are more UV resistant and can also be printed at resolutions as high as 2400 DPI, making them ideal for picking up the detail in photos. Here at Parrot Print we use 100 years fade-resistant pigments inks as we believe these deliver the most accurate colouring. Don’t be fooled by UV and solvent inks, they maybe UV resistant, but they have an extremely low resolution that, so any detailing in your photos won’t be enhanced.
We hope with these factors you’re able to buy affordable canvas prints that are to a high standard. For more information on how to find the perfect photo canvas company then click here, or if you have any questions about canvas in general make sure you call Parrot Print today. A member of our team will be on hand to give you all the help and advice you need.