Just for Fun - The Bias Stretching Challenge

Ask the Expert: "On your website, you have an article that recommends stretching "on the bias", or diagonally. In school I learned that you should stretch canvas starting in the center and pull straight across. Why exactly is bias-stretching better? I think the method I learned works perfectly fine."

A: We certainly don't mean to imply that you're doing it wrong. Any of several methods can yield great results when practiced by a skilled craftsman, so if you're getting a tight, consistent stretch without puckers or ripples, we're happy.

For any artists curious to know why we like to stretch on the bias, we've prepared a demonstration using two squares of the same canvas suspended from wire.

The samples were weighted: one in the direction of the warp yarns and the other diagonally across the weave.

Note that the length of stretch possible on the bias is significantly greater. By displacing the weave rather than trying to elongate the yarns, greater length is achieved and, on a stretcher chassis, tension is distributed more uniformly across the fabric.

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