What is the difference between Cotton duck and Linen?
Cotton duck is a lot cheaper because it is made of shorter threads that have been woven together. The result is that it is weaker than linen (yet still sufficiently durable with the right treatment), and the grain looks different. Cotton tends to be lighter in colour. It is available off the roll primed and unprimed, in a range of grains and varying weights, we recommend a heavier weight canvas for larger paintings. The rest of the decision making process is down to you and your aesthetic preferences. Our linens are available in grains ranging from extra fine to rough, as well as varying weights. The French linens have a slightly more irregular grain due to the differing manufacturing process, but this can add a character that may be desirable to how you want your work to appear. To make your own canvas as quickly as possible, purchase a ready primed canvas and you can start painting as soon as it is fixed to the frame – however the downside is that it is much more difficult to get good tension in the fabric in comparison to stretching untreated canvas, and then sizing and priming it. Ultimately the decision is likely to depend on how much time you have and how important the tension in the canvas is to you. If you make canvases regularly you may wish to consider purchasing one of our 10-metre linen rolls to keep you in good supply.