Gallery wrapped canvases are cheaper to purchase because they don’t have to be stretched. However, if you’re planning on framing a large canvas print, you may want to consider stretching it yourself. You’ll need a staple gun, stretching pliers, and patience. Some stores sell pre-notched stretcher bars, which can be less expensive. If you’re not sure what to do, try to look for an art store that sells gallery-wrapped canvases.
A good gallery wrap is tightly wrapped around a frame and has no visible staples. A gallery-wrapped canvas may be slightly loose, and can show waves and bumps. Hand-stretched canvases are more expensive, but they tend to be easier to remove from the stretcher bars and are less likely to be damaged. Because they are not stapled together, you can easily re-stretch your canvas if it loses its tautness.
Stretched canvases have sides that are thicker than those of gallery-wrapped canvases. The first is the ready-to-hang format; gallery-wrapped canvases have sides that are rounded. Museum-wrapped canvases have thick sides, and have a museum-style print. The second is the museum-wrapped option. It is best to purchase a museum-wrapped canvas if you want to create a museum-quality print.