OK - I'm being brave. I just ordered from a new place. I had ordered from the Canadian place last time and paid an astronomical shipping fee and the prices were gross. I just automatically ordered from them because we used them in the class. I realized I could buy the stretchers cheaper retail at my local craft store - so I was very dis-appointed. Because the majority of my sales are on Etsy, I have to match prices on there so I need to find supplies to fit those prices.
I just purchased today from these people:
In November I ordered 250 bars from Upper Canada Stretchers and paid $400 plus $75 shipping.
Yesterday I ordered 500 bars for $259 - free shipping (over $250).
Yes that is double the bars (and the first time I ordered half 1 size and half a smaller size - this time it was all the larger size) for almost half the money!
I purchased bars in Michael's and another art store and they were very similar to what I was working with - so I'm hoping these are similar enough - because honestly it is obviously a HUGE savings.
So just wondering if anyone else has used them and of course I will keep you posted as to how they work!
I was just about to make an order from the Canadian company myself, I'll hold off until you get your order.
Like John, I was going to order some from Canada, but well wait and see what quality the ones you ordered are. I got some from a local supply house but the price at French Canvas looks real good.
They are right in NJ and I am in VT - so hopefully it will not take too long to get them in. I'm sure we are all hoping they work good for that price! I have 3 orders this week so I'm thinking I will wait to make them with the new stretcher bars this week just to give them a try!
Worse case scenario I will have to change to Fredrix. These are the ones that I bought retail that were cheaper than than the Canadian Supplier. They are much cheaper than the Canadian Supplier too and they are fine - I have used them. I'm just hoping to cut my costs even more.
Kelly-what material are you putting on the stretchers? I've been searching for a lightweight 'artist' cloth for years and haven't found it yet-and regular banner materials seems to be too thick for a clean fold around the bars.
I am just using the satin canvas from Imprintables. I have been looking around a bit to see if there is something a bit less expensive. My main product is personalized for the nursery stretched canvas pieces. So these do not have to last 100 years - they only need to last a couple! LOL! So when I get to the end of this roll I may look around and see if there are other options. Here is the link to what I am using:
My stretcher bars shipped today - and they ship from NJ so I should receive them tomorrow or the next day.
OK- they arrived this morning. There is a difference - a totally acceptable difference for me. I am uploading some pictures. The Canadian stretchers have a recessed place in the back. I would pull my canvas around and staple inside the recessed area. French Canvas is a flat back. I haven't stretched anything yet to see if this is going to make a huge difference.
I did put assemble one this morning and I was able to make the frame square (a huge pet peeve of mine!) My husband actually puts them together for me - I get on him about making them square and then he puts a staple in each corner for me to hold them. One staple will still allow for keys to still work stretching the canvas still. LOL! The Canadian one in the picture - he started putting 2 staples in the corners - I made him pull them out! Good thing he loves me. Cuz I think I'm not easy to work for!
They are 1/8 of an inch thinner than the Canadian bars. The French bars may not be slightly rougher as well, but not so much that I am concerned.
I'm happy with them - I'm going to use them. I save too much money not to and I am not making pieces of art that will be saved for generations to come. I'm thinking that anyone that wants that level of art anyhow is not going to want a 4 color CMYK printer to print it in the first place.
Pictures: Canadian Stretcher on the left. French Stretcher on the right.
I found this stretcher supplier back in May...prices seem to be great in the bundle quantity. Plus they are within 2 days of shipping for me.
855 Conklin Street Suite M Farmingdale NY 11735 USA - Phone : 800-622-3210 - Fax : 631-694-6259- Mobile : 631-694-5959
firstname.lastname@example.org - http://www.abbotart.com
Oh man! You got a better deal than I did! I guess the lesson here is - don't buy from Canadian Stretchers. There are a million places to buy them much cheaper. Are they good? You have ordered some and they are working well?
I haven't ordered any yet-I only have a couple yards of the original satin canvas from 5 years ago-waiting until I find new source before I invest in stretchers.
The satin canvas you are using-is it paper backed? Not sure why IW lists it as 19mil paper...
What I want to do is photo reproduction-wildlife, floral, scenery, etc. and the regular banner canvas I have is just too stiff, or too textured, or too glossy-I've tried all kinds.
No there is no paper backing. It is coated on the top and then appears to be just the canvas on the bottom. So the coating is only on one side. It stretches nicely around the wood. I have stretching pliers - I pull it and fold it on the corners - just like is shown in all the movies you find online showing you how to stretch. I do not know what banner canvas is. I'm fairly new to all this. I just bought my machine in August.
regular 'banner canvas' comes in all kinds of weights and surfaces. Smooth, glossy, satin finish-textured, lightweight, heavyweight, etc. Used for indoor and outdoor banners. Get a grommet machine and you can whip up instant banners for businesses. Prices as low as $99 for 50 yard roll of 30", average price I would say is around $129 per roll for most.
I have banner material that I use for my growth charts - and no - I cannot even begin to imagine trying to stretch that around the bars. It is a totally different material than the canvas. Funny because I have seen people who I think are using banner material for their growth charts just like I am and they call it canvas - which does not make sense to me. I have not wanted to call it 'canvas'. I didn't want to be deceiving them. The two are such night and day from my little experience.
The canvas I use for my stretched canvas work is lightweight - pliable - can be stretched and folded for the corners. I will attach a couple of other pictures I have made for my listings to show customers. It shows the corners/back of my work. You will see you have to fold this material really flat - even when I fold it you can then pull and stretch it to make it lay really flat - I can't imagine any of this could be done with banner material - it is too thick and coated on both sides.