A cloth that can be made of linen, hemp or cotton that has been coarsely or evenly woven. It is available in many varieties for many purposes, as unbleached, coarse cotton or more finely woven and dyed in strong colours, always as a base cloth for furnishings, arts and crafts.

Types of canvas include:

1. An open weave cloth with the warps and wefts spaced to create an even mesh ready for knotting, for needlepoint or other counted thread work. The threads are often paired for larger canvasses. Available in a range of colours.

2. More tightly woven usually in grey or taupe, for use by artists as a base for painting, stencilling, and also for embroiderers as a base for needlework.

3. In many weights and often called cotton duck, a plain weave cotton that is available in many weights and widths from an unbleached, coarse cotton to finely woven cloths piece dyed in strong colours. It must always be laundered prior to using to fully shrink it.

We use canvas as duck or artists canvas for inexpensive slip (loose) covered and upholstered chair and sofa covers, inexpensive curtains, outside awnings and garden seats.

Canvas is on our list of workroom essentials,  because of it’s versatility, it’s price and the weights and widths it comes in. It’s easy to stock and comes in useful surprisingly often. We use it as our light coloured platform to cover the backs of bed heads and underside of chairs when we have used light colours, or just whenever and wherever it seems to be a better choice than  black or hessian.  The lighter weights we use to make toiles, templates, patterns generally, as bags to carry curtains,  cover upholstery and for dust covers. We’ve always got it handy  to make lightweight blinds and sheers curtains or  summer or door curtains when we need to keep the cost right down and where we want something a little heavier than calico or muslin.

Artists canvas provides the perfect base for any painted works- such as on murals or screens. We’ve also used if for  rolled blinds, for  screens and to upholster small stills and chair seats  – anywhere we’ve wanted a simple look, at low cost or where it can be stretched.

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