Shipping large canvases

For shipping large canvases (above 100 x 100 cm), the canvas is removed from the stretcher frame and shipped rolled. This is the cost effective alternative to shipping in a wooden crate and much safer than shipping in a large cardboard package. The rolled canvas needs to be restretched at the collector’s location. This is a standard practice familiar to any professional framing store, as well as many artist supply stores

Here are the key steps in the process for shipping large works:

1. Varnish the work

Generally I use a Sennelier satin finish varnish. This makes the artwork look great while also providing a protective layer.

2. Remove canvas from stretcher bars

3. Prepare protective layers

To protect the surface of the work, a layer of Canson glassine archive-quality paper is first placed, then a layer of bubble-wrap (made from 100% re-cycled plastic).

4. Roll the canvas

The canvas, glassine paper and bubble-wrap “sandwich” is then rolled around a suitably sized former.

5. Insert roll into a sturdy tube

The roll is taped close to ensure it is fully waterproof before inserting into a sturdy cardboard shipping tube.

6. Re-stretching the canvas

Collectors are strongly advised to use a professional framing company to restretch the canvas.

The costs of stretching a canvas vary depending on the location. We have seen prices from as low as €75 and up to €300 (includes supplying the stretcher bars). The price will also depend on the costs of delivery from the framer to the final destination.

We are able to help evaluate potential suppliers and to talk to the chosen framing company if there are any questions.