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Canvas Restretching Signs: When to Restretch Your Art

Mastering artwork longevity: Spotting the key signs your canvas art needs attention

Canvas artworks are timeless pieces, but over time, they may need some care to maintain their beauty and structure. Re-stretching is a crucial aspect of canvas maintenance, especially for art collectors and galleries. This guide will walk you through the signs that indicate a canvas needs re-stretching, ensuring your artwork remains in pristine condition.

SE1 Picture Frames use custom made slotted stretchers

Recognising the Signs of a Canvas in Need of Re-stretching

Visual Cues

Sagging or Loosening

  • Appearance: The canvas appears loose or has a noticeable sag.
  • Touch Test: Gently press the canvas. It should feel firm and snap back, not remain indented.

Wrinkling or Rippling

  • Visual Inspection: Look for any wrinkles or ripples, especially near the edges.

Environmental Impact

Humidity and Temperature Fluctuations

  • Room Conditions: Frequent changes in humidity and temperature can affect canvas tension.
  • Preventive Measures: Consider SE1 Picture Frames’ conservation framing to protect your artwork from environmental factors.

The Process of Re-stretching

When to Seek Professional Help

  • Complex Artworks: If the artwork is valuable or intricate, professional assistance is recommended.
  • Assessment: Conservation framing experts can assess and advise on the best course of action.

DIY Re-stretching: Pros and Cons

Understanding the Risks

  • Skill Level: DIY re-stretching requires a certain level of skill and understanding of the material.
  • Potential Damage: Incorrect techniques can lead to further damage.

Long-Term Care for Stretched Canvases

Regular Check-ups

  • Routine Inspections: Regularly inspect the canvas for signs of loosening or damage. If the canvas has been stretched onto a slotted stretcher gently tap out the wedges to increase the tension
  • Professional Consultation: Periodic professional assessments can help prolong the life of your canvas
Se1 Picture Frames have stretched hundreds of canvases. We always stretch onto custom made slotted stretchers to ensure correct tension

Environmental Control

  • Stable Conditions: Maintain a stable environment with controlled humidity and temperature to minimise stretching issues.


Identifying when a canvas needs re-stretching is key to preserving its aesthetic and structural integrity. Whether opting for a DIY approach or seeking professional help, understanding these signs ensures that your canvas artworks remain as captivating as the day they were created.

You can check out our Canvas Stretching services, here.

Slotted stretcher with cross bars at SE1 Picture Frames. Ready to stretch the canvas

Some of the brands we’ve worked with...

Our Workshop

Our workshop is equipped to handle a wide range of specialist and bespoke projects. Undertaking small and large projects alike, we cater for artists, designers, galleries, museums, photographers and corporate and private clients. Orders range from single frames to framing works for large exhibitions.

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SE1 Picture Frames, Alaska Buildings,
61 Grange Road, London,
SE1 3BH, United Kingdom

Nearest tube: London Bridge, Bermondsey, Borough

Bus: Number 1 and 78.

Free visitor parking available:

Entrance is via Bacon Grove just off Grange road. Enter the Alaska Buildings through the large electric gate. Push buzzer and speak to security to gain access.

Email Address

Phone Numbers

T: 020 7394 0235
M: +44(0)7815 752 897

Contact us

We are usually on site but to avoid disappointment and to allow us plenty of time to discuss your project with you, please contact us and book an appointment before you set off.

On arrival please report to security.

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Please be aware that an accurate quote is usually only possible once we have seen the art work and discussed all possibilities with you. Our standard framing is to conservation standards and this will be reflected in the quote unless otherwise specified.

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