Aluminum Stretcher Bars

Upper Canada Stretchers offers architectural-grade aluminum stretcher bars which have been used widely throughout Europe and North America by world-renowned artists and hobbyists alike for more than 20 years.

Available in two thicknesses, 40mm (1.57") and 27mm (1.06"), these stretcher frames are ideal for very large canvases (up to 50 ft and more!) The aluminum bars are fitted with a plywood backing strip to permit easy stapling of the canvas and a mechanical keying system for the corner joints and braces allows for fine-tuned adjustment of tension throughout the canvas. These aluminum frames are easily taken apart and reassembled, making it possible to move, ship, and store even oversized canvases (please let us know during quoting if you wish to fold the canvas while stretched). These stretchers will maintain their integrity through adverse conditions and have a high degree of resistence to corrosion.

Aluminum stretcher frames are available online in sizes from 24-96” (~61-244 cm). To order any size outside that range, please fill out our quote form or call us at 1-800-561-4944.

Typically, aluminum stretcher frames offer advantages in the following situations:

  • where large canvases need to be stretched on a relatively thin stretcher frame
  • where exposure to large variations in heat and moisture levels exist (outdoors, or in tropical/cold climates)
  • where tolerances for movement within the stretcher frame are very small
  • where fire code regulations make the use of wood stretchers unacceptable

 

There is a misconception around the weight of aluminum stretcher frames. Many people assume an aluminum frame will be lighter than an all-wood one, however, this is not usually the case. While aluminum is one of the lightest metals available, a frame made entirely out of aluminum will generally be 30% to 50% heavier than one made of wood. Aluminum stretcher bars can be made thinner than equivalent wooden ones but the weight will be greater.

The cost of making aluminum frames is also higher than all-wood designs, mainly due to the higher cost of materials and machining.