Explore different effects with our range of linens, cottons and polyester.
We are able to hand-prime linens and boards to any size and colour according to your specifications.
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.
We are proud to stock only the finest materials.
Still not sure what you need? Ask the experts.
Types of Linen and 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.
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 usually need to be prepared with a size and ground in order to be used as a painting surface.