Diamond Art Canvas (How to Buy the Best Diamond Paintings Part 3)
Two types of Canvas Materials
The choices on how these are manufactured can be divided into two major sections: the canvas material itself and the method of applying glue. We’ll start with the former.
1. Standard synthetic fibre canvas
In the early days of diamond painting, these canvases were the only options available. Broadly speaking, they’re made of chemical components combined with various percentages of polyester to create a material that is both strong and flexible. The canvases come in either plain white or pre-fused with sparkly glitter for a bit of extra glitz.
2. Soft fabric canvas
A trend in recent years saw a surge in popularity with these type of canvases. There are two main types that companies have made: “velvet” (cloth or satin) and ecological cotton. The velvet variants are usually very soft to touch, similar to the sensation of rubbing your fingers against a cotton shirt or coat jacket. They are also a bit easier to flatten out so long as there are no major folds in the canvas. Ecological cotton, as the name suggests, were made with some degree of environmental friendliness in mind and are also fairly softer than synthetic fibres.
It’s important to note that, unlike the synthetic fibre canvases which were made especially for printing, soft fabric canvases may have some colour bleeding and symbol blurriness. This is a result of manufacturing using a printer that was not designed to print on cloth fabrics.
So which one is better?
This is largely up to preference. The material of the canvas ultimately do not affect your diamond painting experience to any significant degree. Soft fabric canvases are generally more expensive to buy, and may be more difficult to work with for those who already have a hard time seeing symbols. However many customers swear by them and enjoy the soft texture on their fingers as they work their craft.
Two Types of Glue
The glue or adhesive is the stuff that holds everything together; specifically, the diamond drills to the canvas itself. Here again we have two distinct types of adhesive application. One is poured glue and the other is double adhesive.
1. Poured Glue
This gluing method has recently become the new gold standard for canvas manufacturing. While a bit more time consuming and expensive to produce, diamond painting fans swear by it and would not have it any other way.
As the name suggests, the glue is poured directly on to the canvas right after printing has finished. A wood frame is used to make sure the glue stays within the boundaries of the drilling area, and a levelling scraper runs over the design to perfectly spread out the glue.
Kits made using the poured glue method are stickier than double adhesive, but may lack consistency if the application was not done carefully. But the best thing about it is no peeling off the glue with the protective film when you’re starting a project!
2. Double Adhesive
A double-sided adhesive layer is a thin, sticky film applied straight on to a printed canvas. Manufacturing with double adhesive is a method that gets new kits from the production line to the shop with greatly increased speed and lowered cost. This is great for the store, but in some cases not so great for the you – the customer!
Double adhesive kits are only slightly less sticky than poured glue, however they are prone to at least one annoying problem. All diamond painting fans are familiar with the sheet of protective film that must cover every canvas to protect the glue from drying out or sticking on to things that are not your diamond drills. With double adhesive, there is a chance that you might pull off the adhesive layer along with the film itself! While there are ways to fix this if it happens, it isn’t a great experience for those new to the craft.
Another issue is that the adhesive itself may have a shorter shelf life than liquid glue, so unfortunately you might find that a year after finishing your work of art, some drills might start falling off! Although in the end it all comes down to quality. Buy anything too cheap and you might find yourself with buyer’s remorse later on!
The last thing to consider about canvases is one that most companies nowadays do tend to get right. Canvases that have gone through a premium quality printer with high-grade ink cartridges come out the other side with crystal clear HD symbols and vibrant colours. Whereas, manufacturers that don’t invest in higher tier printers may have duller colours and symbols that are a bit harder to read. The end result might be the same regardless of print quality on the canvas, but it could have a huge effect on your painting experience!