Stretching and Priming Canvas by Hand with Eco Friendly Materials

Believe it or not, there is nowhere online that you can buy an already stretched organic cotton canvas! So I’ve decided to do it myself, along with applying a non-toxic gesso primer. Inspired by the documentary The Trust Cost, I was appalled by the toxic effects of the cotton/garment industries (not to mention the dehumanizing labor, in most cases) and wanted to see what I could do on a personal level.

Here are the supplies I am working with:

  • FSC Certified Wooden Stretcher Bars from sustainably managed forests in Wisconsin
  • Organic Cotton Canvas from Texas
  • Cast Iron Canvas Pliers
  • Staple Gun
  • Non-Toxic Gesso package (mix it yourself) containing of methyl cellulose glue (a natural, plant-based glue) and powdered limestone

While making it yourself takes longer than buying it already made, I am enjoying constructing the canvases! The organic cotton feels so soft. And there is a nice feeling about making something yourself that wasn’t mass-produced somewhere in a factory.

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