Now that you know a little bit more about our passion and why we started SnapBox, let’s dive into why our canvas is different! This post is going to be pretty eye-opening for you and I’m excited to hear your thoughts on the subject, so be sure to comment below!
There are three components that go into a canvas print: the canvas itself, what it’s stretched around, and the chemistry applied to the canvas. We’ll go over all of these components, but let’s start with the main one–the canvas.
Contrary to what you might have thought, not all canvas is the same. Many other companies advertise selling canvas prints, but what they’re using isn’t a true canvas. There are three types of canvas on the market today: a paper embossed with a canvas texture, a polyester canvas, and a traditional cotton canvas. In the photo below, you can see a close up of a polyester canvas on the left, and our canvas on the right.
Let’s go back to the last post I wrote really fast. There’s a section in there where I talk about our reason for going into business in the first place: to provide artist quality products to the everyday consumer. You see, experienced artists have developed the understanding that there’s a specific blend of canvas that allows for more color in the print, solves the problem of canvases going “slack” when the weather changes, and proves to be much more durable over time. This specific blend is 65% cotton and 35% polyester, and it’s what we use for all our canvases.
But if you can’t tell the difference between this blend and other types of canvases, why do we even bother printing on an organic material when the others are cheaper? We believe that your photos are an art form and, thus, should be treated as art. So we choose to print on cotton because we want our canvas to look and feel like real artist quality canvas. We engineered the specific cotton-poly blend ourselves, along with the type of weave and the thickness of the thread that goes into the weave to help give the canvas more of a traditional artist look. Many times, with a full polyester canvas or an embossed canvas texture, the weave tends to be too geometrically correct or predictable and ends up looking synthetic. Our canvas avoids this problem so that you can focus on the art without being distracted by the weave.
In other words, our canvas is different because we made it to be different. You’ll start to see a theme in all of the blogs within the canvas series: we engineered everything (over time and from experience) that goes into our product to ensure that we have the highest quality and the best looking product. In the end, you’re getting all the value of a piece of art without the thousand dollar price tag, and I’d say that’s a pretty good deal!
The second difference in our product is what we stretch our canvas around. Most other companies will use foam, particleboard, plywood, or cardboard mat board to glue their canvas to. For one, none of these materials are very strong, nor are designed to last for a long time. Plus, if that glue fails, then the whole canvas falls apart.
We know that our final product can only be as good as the materials that go into making it, so we only use real pine wood from renewable forests that’s knot free, kiln dried, and finger jointed. Knot free means that there are no knots in the wood to make it wonky or to create divots. Kiln dried means that we sucked all the moisture out of our wood so it keeps our pieces straight and even. And finger jointed wood means that the knots and imperfections are cut out and the clear and straight pieces are joined back together. This joining process increases the strength of the wood so it can carry the weight of the canvas over time without distortion. You can see these joints in the photo above.
Here’s a really great example of our wood compared to other wood found in the market. See the wood on the left, how it doesn’t sit flat on the table? That happened because it wasn’t finger jointed and strengthened. Instead, moisture in the wood was allowed to travel the length of the frame through the grain and the knots and warp it over time. Our wood (the one on the right) will never do that, if cared for properly.
Just like with all the other aspects that go into our canvas product, we’ve tested and sourced almost every type of wood to find the best and the most durable, so that’s what we use! You can rest assured that you’re not getting anything fake or sub-par from us, which means your final print will continue to look as amazing as the day you bought it!
By the way, if you’re ever wondering how a particular canvas is stretched, just turn it over and look at the back. You’ll be able to see all of the components that went into the canvas from the back–from the staples or glue used to hold the canvas, to the wood or particleboard used to stretch it, you’ll be able to tell if it was made properly or not. (And so you’re aware, our staples are painted white so you’ll always know if it came from us!) If the back is fully covered, that’s a good indication that there’s something back there they don’t want you to know about!
Now let’s talk about the last aspect of our canvas product: the chemistry. Basically the chemistry is applied to the top of the canvas before it’s printed on. It is what helps the ink stick to the canvas and what gives it a glossy sheen. This topic can get pretty technical pretty fast, so I’ll just tell you this: we’ve spent loads of money and time researching, developing, testing, and tweaking our chemistry so that it’s the best in the industry. Other printers are amazed at the color we’re able to achieve on our canvas because of the chemistry we designed, so if that doesn’t give you a good indication on how awesome it is, I don’t know what will!
So let’s take a temperature check. Was any of this information new to you? Does any of it confuse you? Does the fact that we use cotton and real wood make you happy? If you want to talk about anything you read, send me a quick question in the comments below and I’d be happy to tell you more! Also, don’t forget about our sale where you can buy your own canvas for 25% off, now until March 22nd! If you’ve missed any part of this canvas series, click here to read it in its entirety.