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Gallery Wrap vs Canvas Print (A Simple Comparison: The Difference Between Canvas Prints & Gallery-Wrapped Canvas Prints, & How To Choose Between Them)

What Is a Canvas Print?

Canvas prints (Amazon) are created by printing images onto canvas material. The canvas fabric is usually made from cotton, polyester, or linen (flax). But, some specialty fibers, such as hemp and jute, are also used for the fabric.

Canvas prints look similar to oil and acrylic canvas paintings because their surface has the same texture. (For more information on canvas prints, make sure to check out my post: What Is a Canvas Print?)

There are two popular types of canvas prints on the market today; stretched canvas prints and canvas panel prints.

Stretched Canvas Prints

The canvas fabric is usually stretched over a wooden frame, called stretcher bars (Amazon), and sealed with a coat of protective sealant. This creates durable and long-lasting wall art that can be displayed in any room in your home or office.

Canvas Panel Prints

Another popular type of canvas print are canvas panel prints. These offer a more affordable alternative to stretched canvas prints. Usually made from primed cotton canvas that’s mounted onto a rigid board (see examples of canvas panels on Amazon), these lightweight panels are great for prints.

Some companies offer canvas panel prints under different names, like Redbubble and their canvas-mounted prints.

What Is a Gallery-Wrap Canvas Print?

When you see canvas prints online or in stores, you’re most likely looking at gallery-wrapped canvas prints.

A gallery-wrapped canvas print is a type of stretched canvas print that has been wrapped around the sides of a wooden frame (called stretcher bars), with the staples or tacks hidden on the back. You can see examples of gallery-wrapped canvases on Amazon.

Before gallery-wrapped canvases became popular, the staples could be seen on the sides of the stretched canvases.

There’s a common misconception that gallery-wrapped canvas must have sides that are 1.25 inches or more. But that’s not true!

Even the standard stretched canvases, which are typically 0.75 inches thick, are gallery-wrapped canvases if the staples or tacks are hidden on the back.

The depth of the stretcher bars has nothing to do with whether or not a stretched canvas is gallery-wrapped or not.

Gallery-wrapped canvases have a clean, finished look and can be hung without framing. This type of canvas is also easy to care for, as it does not require glass or matting.

Gallery-wrapped canvases also allow for the artwork or photo to be painted or printed on the sides of the canvas since there are no staples.

Here’s an example of Society6’s gallery-wrapped canvas print. The sides of the canvas do not have the image and are left white.

Museum-quality canvas prints from Society6 – Product Video

Gallery-wrapped canvases are an excellent option for both artists and photographers who want to display their work in a professional manner.

Is Gallery Wrap Better?

When it comes to stretching a canvas, there are two main options for where to place the staples. The first is on the side of the canvas, and the second is on the back (gallery-wrapped canvas).

So, which is better?

Generally speaking, it is better to get a gallery-wrapped canvas with the staples on the back of the canvas. This provides a cleaner look overall, as well as makes it easier to hang the canvas on a wall.

However, there are some instances where having the staples on the side of the canvas may be preferable. For example, if you are working with a very thick or heavyweight canvas, it may be necessary to put the staples on the side in order to get a tight stretch.

Overview: What Is the Difference Between
a Gallery Wrap and Canvas?

In a nutshell, a canvas print is an image printed onto canvas and then typically stretched onto a frame for display or mounted to a rigid panel. Canvas prints are becoming increasingly popular due to their durability and the fact that they can be placed in a variety of settings.

Stretched canvases can have staples or tacks on the sides or back of the canvas.

A gallery-wrapped canvas is a type of stretched canvas, in which the staples or tacks are hidden on the back of the canvas. When the staples are in the back and hidden from view, it’s much more aesthetically pleasing.