Stretchers vs. Strainers – What’s the Difference?

What is the difference between a stretcher and a strainer? Simply put: a stretcher is adjustable and a strainer is not. But let’s delve into the topic a bit further.

Stretchers are adjustable frames that allow for the expansion of the frame when the fabric is no longer taught. The frame is able to be adjusted through the use of wooden keys or by turning threaded bolt mechanisms.

Example of stretchers

Strainers are fixed supports that are glued and fastened, so that expansion of the strainer is not possible at a later date. They are made like stretchers without the adjustable corners.

Example of strainers

Their original purpose was to support stretched canvas’ and take the “strain” off of the canvas stretchers. Today, some framers use them instead of framer’s points to hold artwork in the frame.

At American Frame, we use strainers when we stretch canvas. The reason is because they can be custom cut to go along with our custom canvas sizes. Keep in mind that we add a cross brace if one side is 30” or over.

AubreyK | 10/17/2014 11:28:58 AM | 2 comments
American Frame

You're welcome! We use strainers for our prints on canvas.
10/20/2014 8:51:31 AM

I never knew they were two different products! Thanks for the info!
10/17/2014 3:49:17 PM

About this blog

Mike Cromly
So, who’s Mike? He is the man behind the mission of getting your picture frames produced and out the door quickly, correctly, with custom frame shop quality. Once your order is placed, it is in the hands of Mike and the many people he has trained over his 35+ years with the company. A natural teacher, he loves to tinker and experiment. Of course he has a nice office, but we rarely find him there. Working in the plant and improving our processes is his passion. Outside of American Frame, Mike is an outdoorsman, avid fisherman, devoted family man and Ohio State Buckeye fan. Mike's Twitter
For more tutorials and articles, take a look at our other blogs - A Good Frame of Mind or At Your Service

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