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Buyer guide for canvas frame & light box

Choosing a stretched fabric solution

Many different types of signs (billboard, decoration ,wayfinding…) are made of stretched canvas without the consumers necessarily realizing that this technical solution has been used.

The reason is simple, a stretched canvas behaves like a rigid panel, very flat, without folds and visually almost identical to a rigid support. For large formats, the stretched canvas is the only possible technical solution if you want to avoid the unsightly seams as well as a tedious or expensive transport and installation.

It also allows the use of a wide variety of substrates such as coated fabrics, textiles or films. And this, with different material renderings that can always be adapted to your application.

A flexible material stretched on all four sides is called a stretched canvas or stretched fabric. There are several technical solutions for this:

  • For the interior, the most adapted solution will be the system called "silicone edge graphic frame" or "MX frame" or "textile frame". It is a very simple system with a frame made of a rigid profile on the periphery, often in aluminum. It has a rectangular groove of 3 to 5 mm wide arranged at 90° to the face of the fabric. This frame is often rectangular but can take other shapes including curved, bent or circular ones.

The fabric is supplied with a rectangular welded or sewn bead around the edge which will easily fit into the frame. The tension will be achieved by the stretch of the material during the installation. The fabric will be secured by the bead which will naturally be blocked in the groove by the traction of the fabric.

This system is preferred for interior use because it would not resist to a strong win load, in particular to a suction of the fabric caused by a back wind.

Backlit display (edge lightning or backlighting)

A typical silicone edge graphic lightbox ,depending of its size and depth is usually backlit ,however in certain cases it could be edge lit . An edge lit SEG will be less expensive.

It exists in a non-lit frame or in a light box with options of a backlighting of the fabric.

  • For outdoor use, there are several stretched canvas solutions that can be chosen according to the frequency of posting. For a one time installation, we will choose an inexpensive system but which could require significant costs during posting of the printed face. For a short term campaign/advertising campaigns or promotional operations, we will choose a more advanced system. This will be more expensive, but will minimize the costs of posting the canvas which will bring a better return on investment in the long run.
  • For illuminated or non-illuminated signs, the "Prisma F-frame" type system is the most widespread and the most efficient. The printed face, without any finishing, is secured in an aluminum profile with a plastic strip inserted into a groove with a mallet. There is a whole range of aluminum profiles adapted to various applications. Some of them can be bent to fit curved shapes.
  • For short- and medium-term applications, lit or not, more advanced systems exist, such as the "Rigiflex" frames in a static or guided version. They will allow the user to install a stretched canvas very easily, without qualified personnel and with a perfect rendering.

These systems of stretched fabric for exterior use are described in the buying guide of outdoor signage.

The aluminum frame for stretched fabric "SEG frame" type

This system is widely used in interior wall decoration but also in retail. Its ease of use also makes it very suitable for short or medium term applications (from 3 to 6 months) to accompany changes of season or collections.

The textile frame can also be used as a free standing single or double-sided unit. A wide range of aluminum profiles exists for each application.

There are different finishes. The aluminum profile can be clear anodized or painted on request. Other finishes such as wood or leather can be achieved with adhesive.

The fabric used for this type of frame is often a textile type Polyester woven with a weight of about 200 g/m² with the printing done by a digital press.

Other textile supports printed by digital press can of course be used according to the desired material rendering.

Coated fabrics in UV or Latex printing can also be adopted so long as they present a certain elasticity.

For double sided applications, the canvas stretched on the back can also be a solid color canvas. It will then have the function of giving a finished look to the back of the frame.

This type of product can be used for interior partitions, screens, or dividers.


Can I use a fabric frame system outside?

Yes, occasionally for small formats and for short events, just keep in mind that the system is not design to withstand strong wind.

Indoor lightboxes are generally not intended for outdoor use. As this is electrical equipment, it is necessary to be vigilant about compliance with standards and regulations.

For outdoor applications, it is advisable to look for a solution in our range of outdoor signs or panels.

Can I use these systems for my advertising signs?

Yes, these systems are widely used as billboards, however only indoors, in airports or shopping malls for example.
In this case, it is necessary to be vigilant that your material and printed fabric respect the fire regulations in this application.

Where and how are the SEG frames and lightboxes made?

The boxes are made to order in our workshops. The same goes for the printing of the fabric and their finishing, which guarantees a perfect fit of the print in the frame.

What is the price of a lightbox?

The range of profiles is very wide, and the dimensions are custom made, so it is very difficult to give a budget without knowing all the details of your project. As the manufacturer of the fabric and the frame, Prismaprint (a brand of the Prismaflex group) guarantees you the best prices on the market, so consult us!

What is the maximum size of a canvas stretched with this system?

The SEG frame system described above, whether for a backlit or not, does not have a tensioning system as such, nor any possible adjustments. It is simply the stretch of the fabric that will create the tension. Also, it is not recommended to go in formats of more than 3 m high by 6-8 m long (10’ x 20’/24’), we can study feasibility for larger sizing.

Please contact us for larger boxes, we will propose adapted solutions.

What are the characteristics of LED lighting?

The lighting of a lightbox is measured outside the box and with a white canvas unprinted.

Like any light source, the light box is characterized by:

  • the color temperature,
  • the light intensity.

On what type of wall can I install my lightbox or my stretched canvas frame SEG?

For a simple frame, there are different aluminum profiles that will selected based on your installation and therefore to the nature of your wall.

For anchor points that will be far apart, use a more rigid aluminum profile.

The light box is essentially fixed around its perimeter. Its contour is generally made of a relatively rigid profile that will require few anchor points.

Most of our lightboxes have a backer, which can be used as an anchor point.

In most cases, it will be possible to install a lightbox whatever the nature of the wall.


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