Artist Stretchers and Canvas.

Our Stretchers are made for strength and stability, we use traditional joinery and wedges to create strong, sustainable and long lasting stretcher bars.

Artist stretcher solutions to suit all your needs

Our craftsmen build our artist stretchers to the millimeter in all shapes and sizes including circles, ovals, arches, tondos, diamonds, triangles, plus the more regular squares and rectangles. Our artist stretchers are available through leading retail art suppliers and wholesale through Art Spectrum. Artists can select custom made or stock sized artist stretchers profiles. Our artist stretchers use two types of timber.

For artists on a budget, Arakaria, or Hoop Pine is a plantation-grown native Australian timber grown in Queensland and northern New South Wales. Its qualities include stability, strength and affordability. Not hard, not heavy, and not old growth. Available in our Bumpa, Professional Quality and Medium profiles. We have it laminated lengthwise to give a straight stable artist stretcher.

Our premium timber is Canadian Western Red Cedar (sourced from forestry managed felling from Canada). This is a sustainably-harvested timber that is highly respected for its archival qualities. Stable, light and resistant to moisture and insect damage, Canadian Western Red Cedar remains the museum-grade artist stretcher of choice.

Our artist stretchers use the traditional mitre joint. Using this joint in combination with wedges allows the stretcher to expand and maintain strength and stability throughout. In fact, the wedges themselves are made from the timber off-cuts, thus eliminating waste wherever possible.

An alternative to the mortice and tenoned mitre joint is the new Belle Arti heart and oval connectors. These are fabricated from a strong plastic polymer resin and enable stretcher expansion and stability also. The other great advantage to them is they automatically square the stretchers.

Download C&B Stretcher Profiles with Diagrams PDF

Expert custom artwork stretching.

Custom stretching by artist’s who understand the subtle needs of other artist’s and artworks.

Artist Stretcher Profiles:

Pine (Arakaria)

Medium: 78mm x 32mm, laminated x 3
Professional quality (PQ): 67mm x 22mm
Bumpa: 45mm x 32mm


Western Red Cedar

Museum: 80mm x 40mm
Medium: 80mm x 32mm
Gallery: 67mm x 32mm
Professional quality (PQ): 67mm x 22mm
Light weight: 45mm x 20mm

Aluminium Evolution

50 x50 mm Double
38 x 50 mm Medium
28 x 50 mm Basic

Bracing Profiles

Light Weight Pine

18mm x 45mm


Pine (Arakaria)

Professional quality (PQ): 67mm x 19mm
Stock sizes 12″ (305mm) to 144″ (3658mm)

Western Red Cedar

Museum: 78mm x 28mm
Stock sizes 12″ (305mm) to 108″ (2743mm)
Professional quality (PQ): 67mm x 19mm
Gallery: 26mm x 67mm



Museum: 29mm x 78mm, 19mm x 67mm, 26mm x 67mm
Stock sizes 42″ (1067mm) to 144″ (3658mm)

Canvas & Linens:

Belle Arti Linens

Belle Arti primed linen and cottons from Italy offer the finest affordably priced quality linens on the market. They supply a choice of weights and textured weaves from fine to coarse, and a choice of hand- or machine-primed finishes using universal or oil primer. Universal primer allows for a variety of painting mediums to be used on a surface that has properties of medium absorbency. Oil primed canvases produce a rich oily surface with excellent adhesion qualities.

Belle Arti are also unique in producing primed linens in two widths, 216cm and 310cm. These dimensions cater for artists wishing to explore larger work. Primed linens are also stretchable yet stable, two vital components in producing a reliable surface on which to produce quality artwork.

We are also the Australian wholesale agent for Belle Arti linens, cottons, pre-stretched canvases and gesso boards.

Libeco-Lagae Artist Linens

Since the 1850s, Libeco from Belgium have weaved the finest loomstate, or unprimed, linen canvas for artists. As masters of linen, Libeco weave the fabric using the longest natural threads, under strict supervision and in the finest time-honoured tradition.

The properties of linen, derived from the humble flax plant, have been known for hundreds of years. Artists can take pride in the fact that the production of linen is an ecologically sustainable process. With a short growth cycle and low water usage, the entire flax plant, from seeds to fibre pulp, is put to use in one form or another.

Artfix Linens & Polyester

Chapman & Bailey are proud to stock the Artfix range of primed linens and polyester rolls from Provence. Artfix are specialists in producing fine surfaces, often with up to six coats of primer for the linens, and up to six for the polyesters, all applied by hand.

Polyester is a more modern fabric now widely used to provide a super-fine tooth for more detailed work. In fact, due to its lack of hygroscopic, or water absorbent qualities, polyester is ideally suited to the more tropical climate of northern Australia. The climate of southern France however is ideal for stable drying of primed surfaces. This allows for the surface to breathe evenly in order to reduce paint film stress.

We are also the Australian wholesale agent for  Artfix Linens, Cottons and polyesters.

Types of Linen & Canvas


Raw unprimed linen is known as “loomstate” linen. Linen is recognised as the best natural fibre for artists’ canvas. Sourced from the flax plant, linen fibres are stronger than any other natural fibre. The fibres range in length from 25cm to 90cm and are round, unlike cotton fibres that are flat. This shape provides extra strength as well as an interesting painting surface.


Oil Primed Linens

Oil primed canvases produce a rich oily surface with excellent adhesion qualities.


Universal Primed Linen

Universal primer allows for a variety of painting mediums to be used on a surface that has properties of medium absorbency.


Glue Sized Linen

“Size” is used to isolate the canvas from the acidic qualities of the paint. Traditionally, the canvas was coated with a layer of animal glue (size), commonly rabbit skin glue. Usually the surface is then covered with a “ground”, which can be gesso, universal or oil based, coloured or white.



Polyester is a more modern fabric now widely used to provide a super-fine tooth for more detailed work. In fact, due to it’s lack of hygroscopic, or water absorbent qualities, polyester is ideally suited to the more tropical climate of northern Australia.


Primed Cottons

Cottons come in a variety of weights and densities. It is the most commonly used woven fabric support used by artists and art students. Our primed cottons allow for a variety of painting mediums to be used on a surface that has properties of medium absorbency.

15oz and 12oz cotton canvas are the best quality cottons, and provide a very good support for artwork. Chapman & Bailey import premium grade artists’ canvas of 12oz and 15oz weights that is a double filled, twin thread construction. This combined with a square weave, offers the most stable support able to meet the demands of humidity and temperature fluctuations, stretches well and looks good.

10oz cotton canvas is better for smaller artworks because typically it is available as 2:1 weave. This means the fabric is twice as strong in one direction as the other, so not a totally stable support.


Unprimed Cottons

Unprimed cottons usually need to be prepared with a size and ground in order to be used as a painting surface.

More Info:

Belle Arti Stretcher Machine

Now you can make your own custom expandable stretchers with very inexpensive tooling. The Belle Arti Stretcher Machine allows anyone to make their own custom made stretchers in a variety of profiles.

  • Complete with milling cutter and four attachments.
  • Each step is quick to set up and execute.
  • Its flexibility allows you to make stretchers in a variety of thicknesses.
  • The machine is small, compact and easy to use. Within minutes you are able to make perfectly straight professional custom sized stretchers.
  • Quick and precise and clean, its considered design allows you to work in total safety.
  • The Electro Miller Machine is made by the famous Italian Belle Arti company, whose years of expertise in the artist linen industry know best the needs of artists.
  • Uses single phase 240v power.

click here to download the Belle Arti Stretcher Machine brochure.

EVOLUTION: Aluminium Stretchers

Evolution is a new, easy-to-use, stretcher system. Light and elegant, versatile and reliable, 100% straight in any length with precise canvas tension. It combines simplicity with remarkable technical design to create a completely custom stretcher system.



-no torsion/warping issues.
– the aluminium profile of the fixed supporting structure can be doubled and extended for very big sizes, without any kind of accessory.
-bars, crosses or diagonals can be inserted even after the assembling of the stretcher.
-one connector is used for the corner of the stretcher, of the bar and of the cross. A different connector (45°) is used for the diagonals.
– the applying of the four diagonals improves the mechanical performances. It allows the saving of more material compared to the crosses system and also to re-use the leftover short strips.
-canvas can be traditionally fixed with staples, or even without.
-Evolution can be used for many different applications, including restoration.

Contact us for more infomation.

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