The word canvas derives from "cannabis" — or the hemp plant. In earlier times, fiber from the hemp plant was used not only for canvas, but also to make rope, clothing, linens, and and many other products. In fact, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were both hemp farmers, growing hemp crops and recommending hemp products highly.
Italian artists during the Renaissance popularized the use of canvas as a painting surface, quickly learning to appreciate the benefits of painting on canvas rather than on wood — bare canvas and canvas paintings can be rolled, stored, shipped, and generally handled much more easily than rigid surfaces such as wood.
Uses of Canvas Today
Today, canvas is usually made of cotton, linen, or synthetic materials. Whatever it's made of, canvas is a very durable, sturdy, weather-resistant fabric, ideally suited for boats, awnings, tents, canvas tote bags, duffle bags, backpacks, and other bags of all types, heavy-duty canvas tarps, shoes, kayaks, weight-lifting belts, dropcloths, and numerous industrial uses.
There are two basic types of canvas: plain and Duck. In Duck canvas, the threads are more tightly woven. Canvas is graded by its weight (ounces per square yard of material), and by two grading systems that are based on the weight of a piece of duck measuring 36" by 22". The higher numbers represent lighter-weight canvas.
Canvas products such as tarps frequently include sewn-in, reinforced grommets, reinforced seams, waterproof coatings, and UV resistance — all designed to make the canvas last longer and hold up better in severe weather conditions and heavy usage.
Quality marine canvas, including sail covers, jib bags, bimini tops, cockpit covers, and more
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