Linen Canvas

Hello I'm new here, I have a question about linen. I am planning on stretching some large Linen Canvases and I'm trying to decide which brand and weave to go with. Im looking for something that is strong enough to stretch on a large 50 x 70 inch strecher and most importantly is without a lot of imperfections. Unprimed or clear primed. I know it's a smooth portrait linen I'm looking for but is there a specific brand and number linen you would recommend?

Thank You,



  • Bcab

    Claessens Belgian linen is usually recommended by Mark, though lately he suggests Centurion brand.

    If you want a firm, smooth portrait surface why start with a flexible, rough, absorbent linen?
    You will need to spend a lot of time and effort with gesso and sandpaper.

    I suggest an Aluminium Composite Panel (ACM). Rough up the surface with sandpaper and your good to go. ACM also available as a glued linen or cotton panel.

  • @dencal

    I think you give very good advice for the craft.  I plan to try them some day.

    Depending on the local market, “oil on linen” might still have a kind of legacy, traditional, or romantic panache, that might outsell the “new fangled” panels, no matter how much better they are.  That extra time and effort may be easier than trying to educate an entire local market or simply unavoidable if persuasion is simply not tenable.  I think this is one main factor for Mark giving that advice IMHO.
  • edited March 2022
    If you like linen then use it. It's a good substrate. My advice is to go to a bricks and mortar art supply store and check out the linen yourself to see if it is smooth enough for what yo want to do. Linen is expensive and if, as you say, you want to do several large paintings, it's going to cost you, so best to be sure that what you buy will be fit for purpose. 
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