Linen Canvas Rolls

Artefex offers a wide range of linen canvases in rolls to satisfy all different requirements from classic oil-primed linen for oil painting, to very absorbent gesso priming suitable for all pictorial techniques, to acrylic dispersion (universal) priming for oil and acrylic colors. The canvases are primed in Tuscany, Italy by a family operation that has been preparing canvases for over 60 years.


Oil Priming

Artefex linen is primed with a pure linseed oil binder and titanium dioxide pigment. This type of primer does not absorb water readily and is only suitable for oil, oil-resin and oil-alkyd paint. Oil priming requires a more complex process than acrylic priming and needs the utmost care and attention to produce a quality surface for painting. Two coats of animal collagen glue are first applied to the canvas, followed by two to five coats of oil priming (up to 7 total coats) are applied. The canvas is then dried in low temperature ovens where the temperature and humidity are maintained at constant levels to achieve an optimal final result. The brightness and tone of oil colors are brought out by this special kind of preparation. The brushstroke is both fluent and well defined.

Acrylic Priming

Universally-primed Artefex canvas is primed with acrylic binder and titanium dioxide and zinc oxide pigments.


For complete specifications of each canvas type, please see the particular canvas.

Textile 100% Linen
Dimensions Metric U.S.
Width 210 centimeters 82.7 inches
Grain/Texture Medium, Fine, and Extra-Fine
Priming Unprimed, Oil, Acrylic (Universal)


Product Selection

Comparison of Artefex oil-primed, linen canvas:

No. Style Coats Canvas Weight (Primed) Warp Weft Thread Count
g/m2 oz/yd2
536 Medium 5 508 15 38 22 60
537 Fine 5 582 17.1 38 38 76
538 Extra-Fine 5 361 10.6 43 43 86
540 Extra-Fine 7 441 13 43 43 86

Weave and Yarn

Canvas is a flexible woven material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibers referred to as thread or yarn. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibers of flax, cotton, or other material to produce long strands. Canvas is produced by the interlacing warp fibers (running the length of the fabric) and weft fibers (placed along the width of the fabric) in a regular pattern or weave style. The fabric’s strength and mechanical integrity is maintained by the mechanical interlocking of the fibers and the physical properties, surface smoothness and stability of the fabric are determined primarily by the weave style.

Plain Weave

In this weave stye each weft fiber passes alternately under and over each warp fiber. The fabric is symmetrical, with good stability, good strength in both directions, and reasonable porosity. However, it is the most difficult of the weaves to drape, and the high level of fiber crimp imparts relatively low mechanical properties compared with the other weave styles.

Yarn Count and Measurement

The yarn count is a measure of the coarseness or fineness of fabric. It is measured by counting the number of yarns (or threads) contained in one linear centimeter or inch of textile for either the length (warp) or width (weft) yarns. Yarn thickness is measured in Number metric (Nm), which is the length of the yarn in meters for one gram of yarn weight. The thicker the yarn, the lower the metric number or Nm. So, a Nm 12 yarn is thicker than a number 40 weight. Using the metric system, all you really need to remember is the higher the number the finer the yarn or thread, the lower the number the thicker the yarn.

Thread Count or Threads Per Inch (TPI)

Thread count or threads per inch (TPI) is a measure of the coarseness or fineness of fabric. It is measured by counting the number of threads contained in one square inch of fabric, including both the length (warp) and width (weft) threads. The thread count is the number of threads counted along two sides (up and across) of the square inch, added together. A higher thread count produces a finer cloth, typically used for detail painting as in portraiture, but not necessarily as strong.

Canvas Weight

We provide both the weight, measured in grams per square meter and ounces per square yard, of the unprimed and primed canvas to help you select the right canvas for your artwork. It is generally recommended to use 320 g (~10 oz) unprimed linen canvas and 320 to 400 g (10 to 12 oz) cotton canvas for pictures larger than 120 cm (48 inches). Cotton and polyester canvas has strength closer to that of linen.

Light-weight 140 to 170 g (4 to 5 oz)
Medium-weight 240 to 270 g (7 to 8 oz)
Heavy-weight 320 to 400 g (10 to 12 oz)

More Information

For more information about canvas and how to select canvas for visual arts, please refer to the article, Canvas Supports for Painting.