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Up to the beginning of the 20th century, many professional artists prepared their own canvases. As more and more amateurs took up the brush, the demand for canvases prepared by traditional methods grew. In 1906, in the middle of Belgium's Flax District and near the River Leie, Victor Claessens founded a company to produce artist-quality canvas, using and refining the tried-and-tested methods that had been passed down from generation to generation.
More than a century later, Claessens NV is still operating in its original location in Waregem, Belgium. Inspired by the proven techniques and methods of the great Flemish and Dutch Masters, Victor Claessens’ descendants have made a conscious choice to retain a small-scale approach to production and to honor the traditional methods for preparing artist’s canvas. Today much of the work is done by machine, but the core of the production process remains unchanged. Craftsmanship and attention to detail continue to be key elements.
Experts and internationally renowned artists alike appreciate the qualities of a Claessens canvas — an archival support of exceptional quality that enhances the creative process.
Claessens’ heavier portrait grade linen, at 11.3 oz per square yard (primed), has a fine texture and smooth surface. Use it for larger works that require more support. 91 TPI.
Claessens’ lighter portrait grade linen, at 9.6 oz per square yard (primed), has a fine texture and smooth surface. Use it for smaller portraits and other richly detailed works. 117 TPI.
A medium weight linen with a medium texture, Style 15DP is double primed, and weighs approximately 14.7 oz per square yard with the primer applied. 80 TPI.
A medium weight and rough texture linen, at 12.4 oz per square yard (primed), it is ideal for landscape painting and impasto. 73 TPI.
Claessens’ rough texture heavyweight linen, at 16 oz per square yard (primed), is perfect for large-scale works that support a heavy paint layer, such as impasto. 87 TPI.
Medium threads and medium weight, but finished with a very smooth surface. Although the weave and weight is similar to Styles 15 and 20, the finish is much smoother, ideal for painting detailed works in larger formats than would be suitable for a portrait grade linen.
Thread Count — The tightness of the weave, in cotton and linen canvas, is measured by the thread count, which aggregates the number of threads per inch in the warp and the weft. Thread count is measured in threads per square inch, abbreviated TPI. A higher thread count produces a finer cloth, prized for detail as in portraiture, but not necessarily as strong.
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® Claessens is a registered trademark of Claessens NV.
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Claessens oil primed linen canvas is sized with synthetic glue to protect the fabric from acidic oils, and to lend rigidity to the canvas for ease of stretching. Next, it is primed with Zinc White pigment bound with linseed oil and placed into a drying room for three days to air-dry naturally. Then the canvas is sanded and a coating layer of Titanium White is applied. Finally, the canvas is placed into a drying room for an additional 10 days until it is completely dry.
Claessens linen canvas is made exclusively from natural materials that are grown, sorted, and processed with the greatest care. Claessens linen canvases are truly natural products, with small differences in their color, composition, and feel, which can occasionally lead to minute differences in the end result.
This is to be expected from a canvas made using traditional methods. Indeed, from an artistic and creative point of view, such small differences are considered to be more of a ”pro“ than a ”con.“
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(based on 14 reviews)
of respondents would recommend this to a friend.
Reviewed by 14 customers
Displaying reviews 1-10
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15DP a great deal
By Volpe OilPainter
from Lowell, MA
Comments about Claessens Linen Canvas Rolls:
I've always preferred #13 double oil primed but the discount priced "Utrecht" brand of it's gone, so I had to choose something else I could afford. I Wavered between #12 and #15DP. They say 12 is medium-grade but finished very fine, however in the online photos 15DP (which is also supposed to be medium weave) looks to be finished even finer than 12. I don't know about 12, but the 15DP is a great canvas for the money - it's very compatible with my old favorite #13, and I'm delighted that I can still get a high-quality double-primed linen at an affordable price. Highly recommended.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
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from Southampton, NY
I am a professional painter and have used this linen for many years. It is high quality and a very good value, especially buying a large roll.
All around gret product for painting in studio and plein air
from Attica, OH
I make my own linen boards and enjoy the texture of the oil primed linen by Claessens. Will continue to use this product for years.
Images shared by Doug
7 by 19 oil on linen board.
I got what I paid for
from tuxedo, NY
Thought I'd try this type of linen since I've tried 3 others with fine satisfaction-but this lowest priced canvas roll had multiple tiny bumps all throughout it- i was very disappointed and am wondering whether to just throw it out or not
Bottom Line No, I would not recommend this to a friend
Merchant response: We're sorry that the texture of the Claessens Style 9 isn't to your liking. Please know that we're always happy to work with you to find a satisfactory resolution—that's our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee! In fact, we see that one of our Customer Care Agents is assisting you with a return. If there's anything else we can help you with, just let us know!
Tragic mistake to buy - millions of pin hole light leeks
from Denver, CO
Didn't realize the pin hole light light leaks were there until until painting was done. It ruined the painting and was detectable in the exhibition entry photo. I attempted to cover next canvas with another layer of oil paint primer. This was very time consuming and added weight to the canvas. Also, oill from the paint stains the linen in back. Holes and staining prove linen isnn't archival as advertised and will allow mold and mildew to grow over time. Don't buy!!!!!!
Images shared by OilPainter
Pinhole light & oil leaks
Tags: Picture of Product
Merchant response: We're glad you took the time to share your feedback with us. We apologize for the issues you've encountered and the flaws that were perceptible in your work. Although pinholes in the priming are common with this linen, the oil should not strike through the sizing to the back. Oil strike-through will not cause mold or mildew, but it will compromise the longevity of the fibers. We'd like to work with you to rectify this, and to find out what happened with the roll you received. Please call our Customer Care Center at 1-800-723-2787 at your earliest convenience. Let them know that per this review, we'd like to get the roll back from you for further investigation.
Great online help to buy a gift
By Jack the writer
from San Diego CA.
I was buying a gift for an artist. The online help by phone is what was important to me since I have no knowledge of the subject or the product. The Blick phone lady did an excellent job of helping me find the product and walking me thru the online order procedure.
Exactly what I was looking for. Fast delivery, also!
from Ferndale, MI
Anyone will be happy with purchasing from this website. Can't wait to get started on my project now that I have received exactly what I wanted!
(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)
Zillions of pin size holes
By Debbie D
from Friday Harbor, WA
This canvas is completely unusable. It has a very smooth surface, which is great, but unless you plan on gessoing it 4 or 5 times before you paint, it has millions of pin sized holes, which allow light to shine through.
Merchant response: Thank you for your review! We apologize for the pinholes in the canvas priming. Claessens linen is sealed with a sizing layer before the ground is applied, so the pinholes will not result in strike-through of paint or affect the longevity of the canvas. However, we agree that if it impacts the appearance of the finished work, it is not acceptable. We see that our Customer Care Center has been working with you to get the canvas returned, and we'll continue to work with you until we find a canvas that meets your needs.
It exceeded my expectations
By Marathon Man
from Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, HI
The canvas is smooth and light weight. It is a good value, and has a positive impact and value on the finished product.
Great price for great quality
By J. Christian Snedeker
from Charleston, SC
I find stretching large ( bigger than 24x36 ) canvases saves money, and guarantees a nice tight, twist-free painting ground.
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