What is a Floor Canvas?

A little history about floor canvases might be helpful for some of you. The floor canvas came into being in the USA anyway soon after the first immigrants arrived. Unable to bring along with them and in some instances unable to afford the wonderful oriental rugs they were used to at home, the floor canvas became a necessary substitute. Where, you might wonder, did those early settlers find canvas? Elementary! From the sails of the ships on which they had sailed to America. The sail canvas was, after all, extremely tough and could stand up to a lot of abuse. Some canvases from those early days still exist, fragile I am sure, but very beautiful and some very big. Size of the floor canvas was only limited by the dimension of the room which it was needed for or the expanse of the sail itself. Really old canvases are often seamed, as were the sails and cut to the size or shape needed.

Where, you might wonder, did those early settlers find canvas? Elementary! From the sails of the ships on which they had sailed to America. The sail canvas was, after all, extremely tough and could stand up to a lot of abuse. Some canvases from those early days still exist, fragile I am sure, but very beautiful and some very big. Size of the floor canvas was only limited by the dimension of the room which it was needed for or the expanse of the sail itself. Really old canvases are often seamed, as were the sails and cut to the size or shape needed.

Today the tradition has changed only a little. Canvas comes in all different sizes, weights, lengths, and designs and floor canvases are limited only by the imagination. Several coats of paint are needed to provide a smooth working base, sometimes sanding is necessary or is required between each coat. After the final design has been applied and the whole canvas has been properly dried, several layers of urethane should be applied to both sides in order to render the canvas waterproof. Purists would use oil base paint but it is much easier and quicker, because of the drying time, to use water base acrylic paint.

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