Most oil paintings we frame are "stretched" on "stretcher bars" to keep the
canvas tight and the surface uniform.  The alternative to this would be to adhere (mount) the canvas to a backboard.  See the "MOUNTING" section for more info on this.

Canvas stretching entails cutting the appropriate "strength" of stretcher bar to the appropriate size and stapling the canvas to it while applying EVEN tension as you go.

Special "stretcher pliers" are used to get more leverage when pulling the canvas.

"Raw Stretcher Bar"
Good stretcher stock ALWAYS has a "lip"
on the outer edge so that the canvas does not 
touch the entire bar.  Only the portion covered
by the frame  actually comes in contact with the 
See close-up photo at bottom of page
View showing the back of the stretcher 
bar with canvas ready to be centered 
& stretched with "stretcher pliers".
Front view of painting on top of stretcher bar. This piece is ready to be stapled to the bars.
View showing edges of a stretched canvas.
The canvas is stretched tightly over the
"stretcher bars" and stapled.
View showing the back of a stretched oil painting.
On larger pieces a middle support is required to 
prevent "bowing" in the center when tension is placed on canvas.

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