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Lyve Matte Canvas

Premium Matte Canvas. Archival Certified. OBA-Free.

  • * Incredible detail & resolution
  • * Eye-popping color gamut & Dmax
  • * OBA-Free, yet still bright white
  • * Manufacturer Direct


Please Select Option & Size
Drake Busath (Master of Photography)
"Deep blacks, warm skin tones, and saturation that jumps off the wall!"


Unleashed in May 2009 under the bold mantra "Go Live with Lyve", the award-winning Lyve™ Canvas is taking the printmaking industry by storm. With eye-popping color gamut and dmax, coupled with critical archival certification and the ability to apply a laminate hassle-free, it sets a new standard of exceptionalism in fine art and photographic printmaking. Internally, we refer to this masterful blend of artistry and engineering as "the game changer" that will capture every nuance in your images. The Lyve™ Canvas is a 19 mil bright white, consistent poly-cotton blend matte canvas using an acid-free, neutral pH coating. 


If you are new to Breathing Color and would like to test this product, we highly recommend that you take advantage of the inexpensive Trial rolls offered.Trial rolls are priced at cost, and at times below our cost in order to encourage our customers to try our award-winning products for a minimal investment. Trial rolls provide enough product so that our customers can sufficiently run tests and create samples. CUSTOMERS MAY ONLY PURCHASE ONE TRIAL ROLL OF EACH PRODUCT.

Untitled Document

Downloads - Spec Sheet & Archival Quality Certificate 

inkjet canvas data sheet   inkjet canvas quality certificate   fine art trade guild


Other Product Information

Our "Chromata White" technology gives end-users the most stable platform on which to print photographs and fine art giclees without the metamerism issues or color shift issues inherent on other canvases. Optical Brighteners compromise the attainment of true color, they complicate profiling accuracy, and they inevitably deteriorate and yellow over time.

(For critical information regarding longevity issues and optical brightener additives, please visit the Wilhelm Research Institute by clicking here and a new browser window will open. From there, scroll down the bottom of the page to TESTING NOTE # 7. Also available is an article explaining Print Permanence Ratings and the actual guarantees they provide).

The water resistant surface works exceptionally well with Glamour II Veneer, our proprietary water-based top coat coating designed specifically for our line of inkjet canvas (click here to see a video demonstration and for further information on Glamour II). If coated with Glamour II, this canvas will not crack even under extremely rigorous stretching conditions (canvas gallery wrap).



If our Chromata White Canvas impressed you, wait till you see Lyve.  Lyve boasts a 15% measureable improvement in dmax and color gamut.  Go Live with Lyve, and you'll be using the finest matte canvas on the market.  But don't believe us - read our the reviews we have posted from customers and industry influentials. 


There is no doubt that Lyve took a leap forward in delivering image resolution.  It will capture detail and nuance in your images that you never saw before on another canvas.  Many photographers attest that this is Lyve's most desirable improvement.  Want to see the difference?  Check out these close-ups of Lyve vs. Chromata White and Lyve vs. 800m.  


Called "Chromata White", this breakthrough technology has set Breathing Color apart for years.  Normally, OBA-Free products have a yellowish surface.  Our "Chromata White" technology, which we released in 2005, forever changed this by delivering OBA-Free with the desired bright white surface.  This answered the needs of our customers to maximize the longevity of their prints while maintaining the most popular and desired look.

"Chromata White" gives the end-user the most stable platform on which to print photographs and fine art giclees without the metamerism issues or color shift issues inherent on other canvases. Optical Brighteners compromise the attainment of true color, they complicate profiling accuracy, and they inevitably deteriorate and yellow over time.  You can read more about OBA's and their long-term effects on inkjet prints.  


There's nothing superior to the combination of Lyve and Timeless - both proprietary products that were designed for one another.  Never use a varnish again that wasn't designed specifically for your canvas.  


Lyve is archival certified for 100+ years.  Download and utilize Lyve's Archival Certificate to differentiate your business and show your customers how much you care about quality.


Ever noticed how a print can look identical under one light source, yet show remarkable differences in color when viewed under a different light source?  This problem is referred to as "metamerism". When OBA's are used in inkjet media, the metamerism problem exacerbates exponentially.  Because this product is manufactured OBA-free, you are assured that your prints will look consistent under different lighting conditions.


When varnished with Timeless Gloss, Satin, or Matte, Lyve will not crack or tear when stretched.  See it for yourself in this Fold Test.  Learn More: 4 Options for Stretching Canvas Prints.


All of our inkjet canvas grades share this feature.


Our proprietary products are very expensive to develop, manufacture and ensure quality.  If we sold them through traditional distributors, our products would hands down be the most expensive on the market.  Instead, we employ a a manufacturer-direct business model that bypasses the middle man and empowers us to provide you with first class, state-of-the-art products at competitive prices.  It also allows us to deliver direct, unprecedented service and support for our products.  Here's where you can learn 5 Ways to Save Money with Breathing Color.



Which matte canvas is best for me?  
We sat down with Breathing Color President Nick Friend and Vice President Adam Hill to discuss Breathing Color's matte canvas options - Lyve, Chromata White, and 800M - in order to help users select the best option for their business.

Print Permanence Testing & Archivability Standards

Lyve Canvas Passes Blue Wool Test

Extensive independent testing by a UKAS accredited laboratory has concluded that the Lyve Canvas meets and exceeds the standards set forth by the Fine Art Trade Guild for pH and lightfastness. The Fine Art Trade Guild has established these standards in order to protect the interests of consumers. Consumers who follow the Blue Wool Testing and the Fine Art Trade Guild standards can be confident that the art and framing supplies they use are archival. 

Helpful Videos for the Lyve Canvas

About Breathing Color:  For New Customers, and our Beloved Fans...



How to do a Mirror Edge in Photoshop for a Gallery Wrap

To see our extensive library of helpful videos on printing techniques, color management, and more please visit our Videos area.


Compatible Inkjet Printers

This Product has been compatibility tested and approved for the following printers.  If you do not see your printer listed below, it does not mean it is not compatible but that we have not tested and approved your printer at this time. Our aqeous media is compatible with most pigment and dye-based ink systems.


Professional Photo – Pixma Pro-1, Pixma Pro-10, Pixma Pro-100, Pixma Pro9500, Pixma Pro9500 Mark II

Large Format  iPF5000, iPF5100, iPF6000S, iPF6100, iPF6200, iPF6300, iPF6300S, iPF6350, iPF6400, iPF6450, iPF8000, iPF8000S, iPF8300, iPF8300S, iPF8400, iPF9000iPF9100, iPF9400, iPF9400S, W6400, i990


Stylus Photo Series – R1800, R1900, R2000, R2400, R2880, R3000

Stylus Pro Series – 3800, 3880, 3890, 4000, 4800, 4880, 4900,  7500, 7600, 7700, 7800, 7880, 7890, 7900, 9500, 9600, 9700, 9800, 9880, 9890, 9900, 10000, 10600, 11880, WT7900

Surecolor  T3000, T5000, T7000, P600, P800


Hi-Fi Jet Pro & Pro II Series Printers, VersaArt RA-640


DesignJet –  1055CM +, Z2100, Z3100, Z3200, Z3200ps, 5000, Z5200, 5500Z6100, Z6200

Photosmart Pro – 8750, B9180


JV-4, JV2-130, JV22-160


RJ46, RJ50, RJ62, RJ64, RJ900, ValueJet 1304W, ValueJet1604AW, ValueJet1638W



All Durst printers using aqueos pigment or dye-based ink


1, How do optical brightener additives (OBA) effect longevity of fine art prints
2, What is the safest way to embellish my inkjet canvas prints?
3, How Do I Mount My Inkjet Canvas or Fine Art Paper With Glamour II Veneer?
4, Can I Roll Up My Inkjet Canvas After Coating It With Glamour II Veneer?
5, How do I decide which inkjet canvas to use for my business?
6, Print Permanence Ratings are No Guarantee
7, Can I store canvas in cold weather?
8, I am using an Epson printer with your canvas, what should the Platen Gap be set to?
9, What is the difference between Chromata White and Lyve Canvas?
10, I am seeing "banding" on my prints. What is causing this?
11, What is a safe way to clean my coated fine art prints?
12, I want to try a Breathing Color product I have never used before; any advice?
13, My canvas prints "shrink" length-wise when they come out of my printer. How can I fix this?
14, How long should I let my prints dry?
15, How should I handle Breathing Color media? What about storage?


Q: How do optical brightener additives (OBA) effect longevity of fine art prints

Optical Brightener Additives (commonly referred to as OBA's) are widely used in paper coatings, textiles, and laundry detergents to increase the perceived "whiteness" of the treated products. OBA's work by absorbing light from the (invisible) ultra-violet end of the spectrum and emitting light in the (visible) blue/white range of the spectrum. This shift in the frequency of light energy, results in a whiter and brighter appearance of the treated product.

Many digital inkjet printmakers, who print using Epson 9800, Epson 7800, Epson 4800, and/or Canon imagePROGRAF iPF9000 prefer a bright white surface to print on, to the true surface color of their naturally-yellow substrate. As a result, paper manufacturers are adding OBAs to the digital inkjet receptive coating (IRC) used on their fine art papers and inkjet canvas'. The reflection of white light emanating from the OBAs will completely overwhelm the paper's natural color, creating a higher perceived whiteness, which artificially enhances the maximum color gamut and black density of the printed image. Popular rag papers that contain OBAs are the Hahnemuhle Photo Rag, Somerset Velvet, and Breathing Color Elegance. These papers are known for their bright white surface and excellent color gamut and black density.

While OBA's appear to be an effective solution for enhancing the whiteness and overall image quality of inkjet paper, this conclusion is slightly premature. The fact is, that OBA's can pose a serious threat to the integrity and longevity of a fine art print by accelerating metamerism and causing color shifts, and yellowing over time. Let us explore each of these issues in further detail.

What is metamerism? Harald Johnson defines metamerism as a normal phenomenon relating to how the human eye perceives color. It occurs when "two different color objects have the same color appearance to a normal human viewer under one light source (metameric match) but look different under another light source (metameric mismatch)." (*1) To a printmaker, this means that the painstakingly precise color information applied to each print will be compromised whenever that print is viewed under a different light source. Thus, one primary goal of any printmaker should be to avoid metamerism in order to validate the time spent on color management and to uphold the integrity of the reproduction. After all, what good is a reproduction if it does not closely match the original?

Now that we understand metamerism and why it should be avoided, how do OBAs fit into the picture? When OBAs are exposed to UV light, the treated paper appears brighter and whiter. When OBAs are not exposed to UV light (in the evening), the OBA's "lose activity", causing your eye to actually see the paper color without OBAs - which will look creamy or somewhat yellowed. This amount of "OBA activity loss" will vary constantly depending upon how much exposure the paper has to UV light. Picture the lighting conditions inside of an art gallery and how they will change depending upon the time of day. This will have a subsequent effect on the art itself, as it is exposed to various levels of UV light throughout the day. For example, your print could be displayed in a gallery near a window where direct or indirect daylight may be illuminating the print. In a case like this, where there is a high UV component, inkjet papers that contain OBA's will strongly fluoresce and will appear bright white. However, in the evening when the same print is displayed with low or non-existent UV component (or incandescent tungsten illumination), the OBAs will not fluoresce, making the paper appear yellow, therefore causing your eyes to see the image color differently.

How does this happen? Think about it. Your "bright white" paper is profiled to your printer so that the computer can translate color information accurately to the substrate. Anyone with experience creating color profiles will tell you that the "white point" of your substrate is an integral component of a profile's accuracy. If the whiteness of your paper changes, so must your profile. This is precisely how OBAs are constantly working against your color management. As the perception of whiteness of the paper is constantly changing, so do the perception of colors. Here's a good test. If you can find a paper offered in both bright-white and natural-white, try using the natural-white paper printing profile on the bright-white paper. You will be surprised by how different your results will be.

Next, take both papers and observe the whiteness in broad daylight. The paper with optical brighteners should look extremely bright white, while the paper without optical brighteners will look creamy. Then, take the two papers indoors where they are exposed to no sunlight and observe the whiteness. You probably will not be able to tell a difference between the two. At the very least, you will notice that the paper with OBAs no longer looks so white and bright. Many times, the OBA-Free paper will appear whiter. Nevertheless, the important point is that your OBA-Free paper has remained consistent under both lighting conditions, while the paper with OBAs has been inconsistent. This inconsistency directly correlates to the inconsistency that your image color will have under different lighting conditions. Still, overall white point is only one of the risks associated with using substrates that contain OBAs.

Another problem with OBAs is that they have been known to decompose over time and can cause yellow stains to appear on your prints. It is possible to avoid this issue with UV inhibiting products and overcoats that are designed to reduce the UV activation of OBAs, but their effectiveness in this regard has yet to be proven. Therefore, regardless of the post-print protective coating that can be applied, the fact remains that any fine art print made on a paper manufactured with OBAs is a print at risk. To quote Henry Wilhelm from the Wilhelm Research Institute, "When long-term image permanence is an important consideration - or may eventually become an important consideration - fluorescent brighteners should be avoided".

This associated risk is precisely why OBA-Free papers have rapidly gained popularity in recent years despite their "Natural White" color, which could be considered creamy or even yellow. Of course some printmakers have chosen to use OBA-Free papers because they specifically like the warm tone of the paper, but the majority of the market is avoiding papers manufactured with OBAs because they (1) enhance metamerism and (2) they are a potential risk to the longevity and integrity of a substrate. A few examples of popular OBA-free papers are Epson's Ultrasmooth Fine Art Paper, and Breathing Color's Sterling Rag 210.

Printmakers who use OBA-Free papers simply eliminate the entire element of what can be called "OBA-associated Risk" from their business. These printmakers know that metamerism is a problem that should be minimized whenever possible - certainly never enhanced. Furthermore, OBA's have degradation potential and up to this point there is no guarantee that anything will last. Nevertheless, if an artist or photographer specifically requests that their artwork be printed on a paper manufactured with OBA's, a disclaimer should be issued, clearly explaining the facts and associated risks. Ultimately the customer should be left with the decision of how they want their art to look.

In an industry so obsessively tied to color accuracy and long-term print stability, it is a wonder why OBA-Free papers are not more commonly used than papers manufactured with OBA's. Art sells because of how it looks and in this business there is no room for error. Therefore, anyone who is involved in this relatively infant industry of selling printed art has genuine incentive to make color integrity a top priority. As further research is performed on the subject of OBA's, this industry will become more educated which will most likely cause a shift towards the widespread use of OBA-Free papers.

It is for this reason that Breathing Color has been conducting a great deal of research and development in quality paper manufacturing, which has resulted in the latest technological breakthrough "Chromata White". The Chromata White technology allows Breathing Color to create a highly stable white base paper/canvas without the use of harmful OBA's or any other fluorescent brightening additives. Color shifting is reduced by stabilizing the whiteness of the base substrate with a special anti-oxidation technology that even further protects printed images. Furthermore, metamerism is minimized by quenching the ultraviolet excitation wavelengths resulting in a more stable illumination of an image under different spectral power distributions.

By using Chromata White inkjet papers and canvas', printmakers now have the opportunity to get the best of both worlds. They eliminate all OBA-associated risk, and they have bright white surfaces to make beautiful prints that uphold the highest standards of color integrity that are possible today.

Q: What is the safest way to embellish my inkjet canvas prints?

It is always recommended to first seal your inkjet canvas prints with Glamour II or Timeless before attempting to hand embellish. You can also use Glamour II as a Texturizing Gel.

Q: How Do I Mount My Inkjet Canvas or Fine Art Paper With Glamour II Veneer?

We made video that shows the process: Mounting Prints With Glamour II Giclee Varnish

Q: Can I Roll Up My Inkjet Canvas After Coating It With Glamour II Veneer?

Once the print has completely dried, you should have no problem rolling it up.  Keep in mind that when the print is exposed to extremely hot or humid temperatures, it may have a tendency to soften and stick to itself.  For this reason it is always recommended to protect each print with a sheet of an acid-free barrier paper.

Q: How do I decide which inkjet canvas to use for my business?

As inkjet canvas continues to gain popularity in the fine art and photographic digital printing industry, the multitude of available brands and varieties will persist and eventually flood the market in an attempt to take advantage of this increasingly desirable consumable. Current market research shows that inkjet canvas is selling three times more than inkjet paper, which historically, has never been the case. This swing in market trends suggests that art consumers are impressed by the aesthetic appeal and novelty of digitally printed inkjet canvas as it is a relatively new, yet logical medium for fine art reproduction. As an entrepreneur running a printmaking business, selecting an inkjet canvas that will be the foundation for your reputation and long-term success amid the array of possibilities, can be a daunting if not impossible undertaking. Nevertheless, it is the responsibility of the printmaker to understand and test inkjet canvas to source the highest quality to ensure sustainable-revenue and the integrity for their business. Therefore the purpose of this article is to provide printmakers with the proper tools to evaluate inkjet canvas based upon empirical data and measurable attributes; in an attempt to produce higher-quality, more-archival, and ultimately more sellable fine art inkjet canvas prints.

In order to properly evaluate inkjet canvas for your printmaking business, several criteria must be evaluated and considered. This criterion can be broken down into four primary categories: aesthetic appeal, longevity, production/business practicality, and brand association. Testing multiple brands and types of inkjet canvas is the best thing you can do for your business, your customers, and the fine art industry as a whole. That being said, the first thing you will need to do to get started is purchase sample material from several leading inkjet canvas manufacturers. Let this article be the guide or checklist to walk you though the important evaluation process.

Aesthetic Appeal

This category has been listed above all others because it is the single most important factor for evaluating your primary, house inkjet canvas. The fact is that this is the fine art industry and whether you are the artist, a gallery owner, a publisher, or a printmaker, the ultimate universal goal is to sell art. Art is predominantly sold as a result of its aesthetic appeal and the emotional derivative of the image presentation. In other words, the better your prints look, the more your artists will sell, which will naturally result in more printing business. If the artists that you print for are confident that you are reproducing their work in the most visually appealing manner and this is reflected in their print sales, you can be sure they will continue to employ your services. On the other hand, if the artist decides to shop around or happens to come in contact with an alternative printmaker who is obviously producing superior inkjet canvas prints, the artist will be gone in an instant. The only way to be certain that you are producing the most visually appealing inkjet canvas prints, is to test several different inkjet canvases for color gamut, Dmax (optical density), resolution, texture, and weight. Let us carefully consider each of these attributes individually.

Color Gamut – In this increasingly competitive industry simply offering great color reproduction is not enough. You need to offer the best color reproduction. Although precise color gamut measurement tools, such as a Colorimeter or spectrophotometer can and should be used if available, the naked eye is usually enough to distinguish a superior inkjet canvas. Print a color target, which consists of several individual color patches, on each inkjet canvas that you are evaluating. Use these targets to compare each individual color to determine which inkjet canvas produces the best color gamut. It is also recommended to print the same, colorful image on each inkjet canvas and see which produces the most vibrant colors.

Dmax - Dmax is a measure of maximum density of an images color but more specifically its black density. Again, the most precise measurements can be taken with a densitometer, but the naked eye will suffice if this equipment is not available to you. When discussing paper and inks, Dmax is commonly defined as the blackest black possible. Black density is arguably the most discernable characteristic in evaluating the quality of ink, paper, inkjet canvas, and even printmakers themselves. Therefore achieving the blackest black possible should be the most critical concern for every fine art printmaker. In this increasingly competitive industry, as with color gamut, offering great blacks is simply not enough. You need to offer the blackest blacks possible.

Resolution - This refers to the smallest discernable dots or pixels, commonly measured as dpi or dots per inch. In relation to fine art reproduction, it is a measurement of the fineness of detail in a printed image. Resolution is a crucially important attribute because without fineness and detail, image quality is compromised. No matter how accurate your colors are or how dense your black may be if the image appears blurry up close instead of clean and crisp, you will have significantly decreased your chances of selling that print as it will negatively affect its overall perceived value. This will inhibit the artist from obtaining true market-value for his/her work, which will cause you the printmaker to lose business to a competitor who uses a inkjet canvas with superior resolution. It should be noted that inkjet canvases with excessive texture can also compromise resolution and should be avoided. The drastic peaks and valleys in the inkjet canvas texture can cause ink to bleed, or run, which will blur minute aspects of a printed image.

Texture The optimal texture of inkjet canvas is one that will exude a natural inkjet canvas look, without compromising resolution or reducing the amount of viewable angels in which the art can be appreciated. The latter is caused by any type of glossy finish on a highly textured inkjet canvas. The result is a sparkling affect caused by light reflecting off of the glossy peaks and valleys of the textured inkjet canvas. Sparkling inkjet canvas prints no longer take on the qualities of an original painting which causes art consumers to perceive them as cheap reproductions. In an industry driven by quality and aesthetic appeal, cheap reproductions won't sell and will be detrimental to a printmakers reputation.

All in all, even if a inkjet canvas is a clear leader in color gamut, dmax, and resolution, it may have excessive texture which alone can compromise quality. Therefore, printmakers should test for excessive texture. This can be accomplished in two ways. First, print images with extreme detail and look for a lack of image cleanliness and crispness up close. Second, use a semi-glossy or glossy post-print protective coating and look for sparkling when light reflects off the coated surface. It is important to keep in mind that texture is primarily a subjective attribute of which everyone will have a differing opinion. As a printmaker, it is wise to advise your clients to make a texture decision based upon objective information that will improve the sale-ability of their prints rather than attempt to source unique inkjet canvas textures to appeal to every artist's personal preference.

Thickness & Weight - These are completely subjective attributes that do not contribute to the visual appeal or the sale-ability of any inkjet canvas print. For their own reasons, usually related to their artist/customers, some printmakers have a tendency to place value on how a inkjet canvas feels. To the artist or printmaker (not the art consumer) perceived value can be associated with a heavier weight and thicker inkjet canvas. The fact is that it costs more to manufacture a inkjet canvas with a heavier weight and thickness, but neither weight nor thickness has any contribution to the visual appeal or longevity of a inkjet canvas print. The higher cost is simply not justified.

Once stretched, framed, and hanging on the wall in an art gallery nobody is touching or feeling the finished inkjet canvas print. These consumers have absolutely no way of determining the initial weight, thickness, or feel of the inkjet canvas. Therefore, these attributes are totally worthless unless of course they somehow affect your production process. For example, an excessively thin inkjet canvas might tear when stretching over frames. An excessively thick inkjet canvas might not feed through your printer. An excessively heavy inkjet canvas might senselessly raise your costs, lower your profit margins and in turn decrease your market competitiveness as a printmaker. Therefore, using a inkjet canvas because you like how it feels or how heavy it is, is just a disorganization of business priorities. Unless your customer requires a specific inkjet canvas weight or thickness, these two attributes should be considered your lowest priority. Generally it is a plus to have a heavier, thicker inkjet canvas but should not influence your inkjet canvas evaluation.


Longevity refers to how long a inkjet canvas print will last before it begins to noticeably deteriorate. This is an absolutely critical element in determining which inkjet canvas to use for your business. In order to appropriately label yourself a fine art printmaker, you must produce fine art prints. By definition, fine art prints are expected to maintain their constitution for several decades. Fine art prints that deteriorate in the short-term maintain almost no value and were in fact, never fine art prints to begin with. Thus, longevity must be taken into consideration in every printmaker's long-term business strategy as selling deteriorating prints will no doubt contribute to the inevitable demise of your future business in the fine art industry.

Unfortunately, unbiased, objective longevity testing information about each inkjet canvas is not readily available. Therefore, the only real way to be confident that this longevity component is fulfilled is by choosing a reputable manufacturer with a worldwide recognized brand. These manufacturers have proven their ability to deliver and support fine art quality products to the masses. They also guarantee their products. Rest assured that if any problem does arise, most of them will be right there to fix the problem and/or reimburse you. A reputable printmaking business must have this guarantee where the manufacturer holds the risk. Printmakers should use these worldwide brands to their advantage by communicating their stability benefits to their own customer base. Nevertheless, it is important to understand exactly what characteristics affect the longevity of your inkjet canvas prints.

Acidity - One primary determinant of longevity is the acidic content within a inkjet canvas. The introduction of acid to a inkjet canvas print will cause it to quickly yellow and deteriorate. Finding a inkjet canvas that is completely acid-free and ph-neutral is extremely important in preserving the longevity of your prints. Most inkjet canvas suppliers will boast an acid-free product but in actuality they are referring only to the raw inkjet canvas material, conveniently leaving out the acidic content of the inkjet receptive coating applied on top, which completely negate the initial claim. In order to maximize and ensure longevity, printmakers should therefore make sure that a inkjet canvas has both an acid-free raw inkjet canvas base and an acid-free inkjet receptive coating.

Optical Brightener Additives (OBAs) - These are artificial brightening agents commonly used in many inkjet substrates to make them appear brighter or whiter than they actually are. According to the most recognized inkjet print permanence testing organization, the Wilhelm Research Institute, OBAs should be avoided because they compromise the longevity of fine art prints by causing yellowing, and by causing the colors of a print appear different under differing lighting conditions.

Color management guru David Coons of Artscans explains the difficulties in using OBA's:

Our main problems with OBAs are with reproducing original art with bright or pastel yellows. Since typical OBA coated media doesn't reflect warmer wavelengths as strongly as conventional natural white watercolor papers, it's often impossible to accurately reproduce many warm pastel colors such as light yellow.

Optical brighteners create an appearance of 'brightness' by inducing blue fluorescence in the presence of UV-rich light sources such as sunlight, metal halide, and fluorescent lamps. Papers coated with these brighteners tend to fight yellow inks in particular because of their bluish cast. Color management systems can help preserve relative color differences, but will never be able to overcome these physical limitations.

In June 2005 worldwide inkjet canvas manufacturer Breathing Color, Inc. out of Orange, California (www.breathingcolor.com) released the first ever optical-brightener free inkjet canvas and since, the product segment has grown in popularity at a very fast pace within the USA and is spreading to other regions of the world. Printmakers using this product are taking advantage of the credibility and competitive positioning it offers.

Water-Resistance - History has proven that inkjet canvases without sufficient water-resistance are fragile and increasingly susceptible to damage by humans and the environment (humidity). Although they can be protected and enhanced with solvent-based coatings, generally it is best to avoid them simply because they are more of a liability and increase longevity risk. Solvent-based coatings, which are mandatory with non-water-resistant inkjet canvases, also have a tendency to chip, crack, and flake over time and/or during the stretching process. Some manufacturers who have not yet been able to develop a truly water-resistant inkjet canvas have resorted to marketing semi-water-resistant inkjet canvases as water-resistant. Beware of these.

Although there is no documented industry standard for water-resistance, printmakers can easily test this on their own. Run a print and allow it 24 hours to dry. Once the ink has completely dried simply poor a glass of water over the print. If a inkjet canvas is not water-resistant, the ink will run and smear immediately. Some highly water-resistant inkjet canvases can withstand this test even immediately after printing. Printmakers using truly water-resistant inkjet canvases also enjoy the added benefit of the ability to use a water-based post-print coating, which in most cases is much more durable than the solvent-based alternatives.

Post-Print Protective Coatings - Commonly sold in gloss, semi-gloss, and matte options, these post-print protective coatings are most commonly used to preserve and protect inkjet canvas prints from abrasion and harmful ultraviolet light. They are also used to enhance color and increase the visual appeal of a inkjet canvas print.

Printmakers should evaluate a coating for the following: First, it must sufficiently protect a inkjet canvas print from abrasion. This means that if anyone were to accidentally touch, scuff, hit, or spill anything onto the printed surface – nothing will happen. The integrity and value of the print is essentially preserved. Second, a giclee coating must protect a inkjet canvas from harmful ultraviolet light. Although it should always be avoided, this means that the inkjet canvas should not fade or yellow if it were to be in direct or indirect sunlight for extended periods of time. Third, a coating should be able to enhance color in order to increase the visual appeal of the inkjet canvas print. Fourth, a coating should not provide any sort of yellow cast over the image. This is a negative side effect that compromises the integrity and value of a inkjet canvas print. This yellow casting issue can be tested by simply comparing a coated and uncoated piece of unprinted inkjet canvas. If the coated portion appears yellow, then this coating is working against the quality of your reproductions and should be substituted with a more reputable product from a fine art manufacturer. Finally, the coating should not crack when stretching over frames. If the giclee coating cracks you are unnecessarily decreasing the quality of your inkjet canvas reproduction. All reputable inkjet canvas manufacturers have information on coatings that is compatible with their products. Selling prints that crack when stretched is unacceptable in this industry where public information about coating compatibility is readily available for all printmakers.

Only use fine art giclee coatings from reputable manufacturers that produce products specifically for the fine art market -- not to be confused with coatings made to protect signage or other surfaces and are erroneously marketed by many suppliers as fine art coating substitutes. Beware of these untested products with no history or track record.


Now that we have discussed the most critical aspects of selecting an inkjet canvas in aesthetic appeal and longevity, let's shift our focus production, more specifically, how does this inkjet canvas work with your operational flow?  Production can and should be shaped around a high-quality, archival inkjet canvas, rather than finding a inkjet canvas that works with your current production flow. I say this because many printmakers are forced to make this decision when they encounter a problem with a inkjet canvas or supplier.  Do I select a new inkjet canvas that works well with my current system and flow or do I select the best inkjet canvas I can find and adjust my production flow around it?  Though the latter may be more difficult in the beginning, this decision will no doubt pay off in the long term. Nevertheless, there are some inkjet canvas characteristics that are more suitable for every printmaker's production flow and should be sought after. Consistency - Roll to roll consistency is a vitally important issue for every printmaker, especially for high production environments. A lack of consistency can cost your business a lot of time and money in defective prints and material waste. It can even cost you customers.

Any inkjet canvas manufacturer can tell you that inkjet canvas manufacturing is by far the most difficult inkjet product to consistently produce. No inkjet canvas is perfect, and at some point in time every printmaker will receive faulty inkjet canvas that they must return. For the most part, some inkjet canvases tend to be more consistent than others and these are the ones you need to find. If you choose a inkjet canvas that is very consistent your business and customers will enjoy smooth production without hassles. This is where the actual make-up of a inkjet canvas becomes relevant.

The two most common fine art inkjet canvas options are 100% cotton inkjet canvases and poly/cotton blend inkjet canvases. 100% cotton inkjet canvases used to be the first choice amongst the majority of fine art printmakers because of its perceived higher quality and natural look and feel. These days, after years of manufacturing inconsistencies, 100% cotton inkjet canvas is avoided by the majority of the market and hardly any manufacturers produce them anymore. The inconsistencies include shrinking (when coated or when subject to a high humidity environment), expanding (long after being stretched and framed, causing the print to sag and appear off balance on one side), and the presence of visible, black cotton seeds. These black cotton seeds end up in the middle of prints and can make them look dirty or defective. They also have a tendency to fall off, leaving white voids in your print. Collectively, it is for all these reasons that 100% cotton inkjet canvases are not widely used by fine art printmakers any longer.

Instead, consistent and high quality polyester-cotton blend inkjet canvases (or polycotton inkjet canvases) have become by far the most widely used inkjet canvas base in the fine art industry. Poly/cotton inkjet canvases are of not inferior in print or longevity quality, but do lack the natural look or feel of the 100% cotton inkjet canvases. However, polycotton inkjet canvases are typically free of cotton seeds and do not shrink or sag after long periods of time. Ultimately, the crucial importance of roll-to-roll consistency has fueled the demand for polycotton inkjet canvases over the years. Until consistent 100% cotton inkjet canvases are introduced, these poly/cottons will continue to drive the market.

It is important to understand that roll-to-roll consistency of polycotton inkjet canvases also vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Roll-to-roll consistency really comes down to a given manufacturer's quality control. Larger companies always have better quality control because of how costly this process is. There are always defects in inkjet canvas productions and the primary role of quality control is to isolate the defects so that they do not reach the marketplace. Some manufacturers do this better than others. As a general rule, it is better to stick with a larger manufacturer, provided of course that they have the best product with regard to aesthetic appeal and longevity.

Stretch-Ability - As stated earlier, a finished, coated inkjet canvas print that cracks or tears when stretching over frames significantly loses value and also appears cheap in the eyes of consumers. To avoid this, printmakers can test a inkjet canvas by coating piece of it, allowing it 24 hours to dry, folding it backwards, completely in half, and then firmly pressing the fold to make a crease. If the inkjet canvas does not crack in the creased area, it will most likely not crack or tear when stretched. Nonetheless, the only way to be sure is by sending a print to your framer (unless you frame yourself) who can provide reliable feedback.

Cost - This is the final determinant of a printmakers market competitiveness. Specifically, what level of quality does he/she deliver relative to the asking price. In order to be the most competitive, a printmaker must use the highest quality product available at the lowest price, but not if price compromises quality. In this industry, price does not always determine quality. This is because the distribution methods of manufacturers are the primary determinant of the end user price. Most manufacturers use regional distributors who in turn mark up the cost of the product and sell it to end users. This is the traditional distribution method of this industry. Contrastingly, a few select worldwide manufacturers sell direct to the market, eliminate the regional distributor, and are therefore able to offer fiercely competitive pricing directly to the end-users. By researching manufacturers and their pricing structures, printmakers can gain a good understanding of what each has to offer. The goal is to maximize quality and minimize cost.

It is also important to consider buying inkjet canvas or other substrates in bulk. Many manufacturers and distributors will offer volume discounts on inkjet canvas. Therefore, businesses can drastically lower their overhead, simply by buying in bulk and stocking their best selling products. Buying in bulk will also lower overall shipping costs by ordering once every 3 months for example as opposed to once per week. Bulk-buying will also ensure that you have sufficient inventory to promptly begin and deliver urgent print jobs.

Brand Association

As if it hasn't already been stressed enough, printmakers need to know as much as possible about the manufacturer before they start printing on their inkjet canvas. First, printmakers need to distinguish between a true manufacturer and a private-labeler.

Private-labelers are companies who conceal the original manufacturer by applying their own names to a product. Due to the exponential growth of this industry there is an overwhelming abundance of private-labelers. Every single regional inkjet supplier who brands their own inkjet canvas is private labeling. If they tell you otherwise, they are not being honest with you. It costs millions upon millions of dollars, not to mention rare expertise, to produce and support even one high quality fine art inkjet canvas, which is why very few manufacturers really exist.

Many re-branded inkjet canvases on the market over the past few years have been produced at a very low cost from unreliable inkjet canvas mills in countries where labor costs are low (i.e. China). The problem with these manufacturers is that they lack the financial wherewithal to support a fine art inkjet canvas and will turn their back on the first sign of a problem. They have no brand, they are not interested in building a brand and they have nothing to lose. A manufacturer without extreme care of a brand in the delicate fine art industry is a very bad sign and should be avoided at all costs.

The less-informed, poor inkjet canvas choices made by regional inkjet suppliers and their printmaking customers have plagued the local markets at times. A recent issue involved a particular inkjet canvas that was being marketed and sold within Australia as a fine art inkjet canvas of the highest quality. To the dismay of its users, this inkjet canvas began to turn yellow on the walls of its buyers only eight months after it was printed and even coated. This resulted in massive returns, lawsuits, bankruptcies, and ruined the credibility of many of the businesses involved. Normally a bad inkjet canvas choice will simply result in a loss of competitive positioning, but the point of this example is to stress how bad it can get.

The only way to be certain is to choose a inkjet canvas that comes from a widely recognized worldwide brand with a public reputation. You can confirm this by visiting the manufacturer's web site and reading about their company. Read about their products, their values, and their mission. Read their press releases and see if and how long they have been covered by the media. If posted, read their customer testimonials and do further research on the reputation and history of these customers. Then, contact the company directly and speak to a representative who should be interested in starting a relationship with you. Make a small purchase of a sample kit or anything else that will allow you to evaluate how the Company delivers. Take note of the marketing materials they provide, the look of their packaging, etc. Gather some influential industry publications and look at the company's advertisements. There are far less than ten worldwide inkjet canvas manufacturers and through this research they will be easily distinguishable.

Reputable printmakers simply do not even waste their time even trying inkjet canvases that do not come from long-standing worldwide brands who have been in the industry for years. By conducting some research one can conclude that the more reputable the printmaker, the more likely it is that they strictly use long-standing worldwide brands. Chances are, they have learned the hard way at some point in time.


In this rapidly expanding industry, printmakers lose or capture business daily as a direct result of customers demanding individual inkjet canvas attributes. The higher volume the customer is, the more sophisticated and knowledgeable they will be, and the more significance each inkjet canvas attribute will have to them. Higher volume customers learn faster and earlier than the rest of the market, but eventually, the rest of the market catches up. Therefore, the only long-term strategy is to master knowledge of these attributes and offer the best inkjet canvas that the industry has to offer. The best inkjet canvas, in and of itself, will always be a subjective analysis but by prioritizing these attributes one can interject a certain level of objectivity into it that customers will understand and trust.

Teddy Blah of MFA Talon Graphics (www.mfatalon.com) of El Segundo, CA says MFA Talon Graphics has been a one of the largest worldwide fine art printmakers for nearly 20 years now, and to uphold our leading reputation, our substrate decision making process from inkjet canvases to papers is extremely intricate and involves many people. The ultimate decision comes from an accumulation of years and years of learning experiences, coupled with constant tests and evaluations of new products, to discover what will continue our reputation and propel MFA Talon Graphics to increasing levels of quality. We know where to find the best materials, we know how to test and evaluate them, and we only use what is logically determined by us to be the absolute best that we can offer our customers. It is a never ending process and by treating it this way we improve our quality every single day.

Finding the best inkjet canvas for your business will result from an accumulation of inkjet canvas knowledge as brought forth by this article along with your continual research and pursuit of maximum quality. We hope that printmakers all over the world save this article and use the information presented within it, to better their businesses and to better the fine art printmaking industry as a whole.

Q: Print Permanence Ratings are No Guarantee

Print Permanence Ratings are longevity tests performed by companies who have the equipment required to conduct accelerated light exposure tests, dark aging tests, and humidity tests. The purpose of the testing is to determine the life expectancy of a digital inkjet canvas or inkjet paper print before "deterioration" occurs. Common examples of deterioration include yellowing, staining, or fading.

To the dismay of their users (and trusting believers in the Print Permanence Rating), various inkjet papers with high print permanence ratings failed to meet their expectation and instead began deteriorating within months and in some cases days after being printed. How could this happen? It's very simple, actually. Once you begin scrutinizing the longevity testing method that gave the high rating, multiple flaws are evident. For example, while factors such as light might be tested for, other common environmental factors are left out, such as exposure to certain chemicals in carpets, stretcher bars, wrapping paper (we hope you don't wrap your finished prints in brown Kraft paper), boxes (such as the box your roll of paper or sheets came in), etc., etc. etc. In other words, Print Permancence Ratings are created "in a bubble". Unfortunately, printmakers dont have that luxury.

While it's true that scrutiny of these testing methods discovered a series of flaws in the process of developing and publishing a Print Permanence Rating, the purpose of this article is not to scrutinize these flaws nor witch hunt the messenger of the Print Permanence Rating. That would be a waste of time. Instead, the purpose of this article is to expose Print Permanence Ratings for what they really are -- a marketing tool. Should a product not live up to its rating, users need to understand that they will receive absolutely no recourse in some cases, not even a refund for the price of the roll or box of sheets purchased. Ratings are no guarantee of longevity. So first and foremost, dont be fooled into thinking that they provide any sort of financial guarantee to you or your business.

Every Print Permanence Rating is accompanied by a liability disclaimer from the product's manufacturer. Here is a common example:

Actual print stability and longevity will vary according to image, display conditions, light intensity, humidity, atmospheric conditions, ink, and post printing treatments. (Manufacturer name removed) does not guarantee stability or longevity. For maximum print life, display all prints under glass or lamination or properly store them.

You can find these disclaimers with every manufacturer or OEM in this industry. The bottom line is that Print Permanence Ratings are a marketing tool that encourage confident use but in reality provide absolutely no meat and potatoes for the consumer. Why? Because when your prints turn yellow, fade, stain, or deteriorate in any other way, and when your customers want their money back, after you spent thousands on ink and countless hours in production -- you simply won't be getting any recourse. Read the disclaimer again -- once you buy the product, you assume your own risk. So the next time your local supplier or any other supplier of inkjet goods tells you about a Print Permanence Rating or a guarantee, try qualifying it. Ask them to tell you exactly what recourse you will receive from them, or from the manufacturer, should the product fail to live up to its rating. You might be surprised to see just how many people in this industry are still fooled into thinking that some guarantee actually exists -- even the suppliers.

So the next obvious question is: Why won't canvas, paper, or ink manufacturers give us consumers a guarantee on longevity? The problem with providing a guarantee on any inkjet print is that there are just too many uncontrollable factors involved that can contribute to the deterioration of a print. As seen in the disclaimer posted above, examples of such factors include display conditions, exposure to UV light and its intensity, humidity, atmospheric conditions (let's be honest, this could include just about anything), ink, and post printing treatments. Other examples include exposure to certain chemicals in carpets, stretcher bars, wrapping paper (we hope you don't wrap your finished prints in brown Kraft paper), boxes (such as the box your roll of paper or sheets came in), etc. A manufacturer simply cannot control such a myriad of factors a consumer could so likely and even unknowingly expose a print to.

Given such numerous factors and potential hazards, it is easy to understand how Print Permanence Ratings in reality are created in a bubble. Print Permanence Ratings are created in the perfect environment, in a controlled laboratory, with only select external conditions (such as light and humidity) -- and most importantly, the end goal of achieving the highest rating possible. The bottom line is that you will never achieve this rating in the real world, so don't be surprised when you don't. A Print Permanence Rating certainly doesn't tell you what to expect should you introduce other external conditions, such as exposure and/or contact with acidic cardboard or paper (a very common occurrence, unfortunately) for unspecified periods of time, or any other potential unmentioned pitfall. They simply don't address the consequences one can expect when such factors are introduced. So just because a product has a print permanence rating of say 90 years, in reality, history has proven that such a product could deteriorate within months or even days. It has happened before, and it will happen again.

All in all, the subject on Print Permanence Ratings ultimately brings us to question what consumers can do, or what factors they can control in order to maximize the longevity potential of their own inkjet prints. We will answer that question in the next article.

Q: Can I store canvas in cold weather?

Because inkjet canvas is a natural woven textile, it is susceptible to climate and environmental conditions.  Cold conditions can cause the canvas to become more rigid, especially coupled with the low humidity levels many regions see during the winter months.  However, cold storage shouldn’t do any harm to the canvas as long as the rolls remain inside their original packaging and are allowed to acclimate to the printing environment for 24-48 hours before being used.  Printmakers should use a first in, first out method to rotate the inventory in their print room

Q: I am using an Epson printer with your canvas, what should the Platen Gap be set to?

For our various canvas media, we recommend setting your printer's platen gap setting to "Wider".

Q: What is the difference between Chromata White and Lyve Canvas?

Lyve Canvas can be considered the "next generation" of our world-renowned Chromata White Canvas.  In 2005 Chromata White was released as a groundbreaking matte canvas exhibiting unrivaled print quality, archival rating, and consistency, all of which still hold true today.  Over the past several years the Breathing Color team of scientists have been diligently working to develop a new IRC (Inkjet Receptive Coating) that would represent the next evolutionary step forward in print quality and archival technologies of inkjet canvas.  

While Chromata White Canvas is still considered a prominent industry-leader, Lyve Canvas exhibits a noticabley wider color gamut, greater DMax value, and sharper detail, making it a clear choice for the discerning printmaker.  Lyve Canvas is the most recent example of our ongoing commitment to positively contribute the world of photography and fine art, through excellence in print quality and print permanence.

Q: I am seeing "banding" on my prints. What is causing this?

There are a few different things that can cause banding. Most commonly, you will see banding occur when there is a clogged nozzle or something else hardware related. Please follow the steps below to help identify the issue:

  1. Ensure that your printer can handle the thickness of the media you are attempting to print on. In your printer's user manual, or by calling the manufacture, you can find the maximum weight that your printer will accept; make sure that the media doesn't exceed this maximum specification.
  2. See our blog about doing a nozzle check and other maintainance on your printer.
  3. If the nozzle check results look fine, proceed to check your platen gap settings and making sure other print settings are correct.

Q: What is a safe way to clean my coated fine art prints?

Cleaning fine art prints that are coated with our Timeless or Glamour 2 varnish is quite easy. Simply use a damp cloth to gently wipe the surface of the coated print to remove dust or dirt. Read more about cleaning your coated fine art prints here on our blog, The Art of Printmaking.

Q: I want to try a Breathing Color product I have never used before; any advice?

Trying new products can be an exciting experience, but can also be a disappointment if the first print does not end up way you want it to. This is why it’s important to make sure that you not only print with the proper settings, but you also print with great test images. We offer trial rolls for all of our products to give you the opportunity to run test prints, build profiles, and ultimately compare it to what you currently have. When you receive your trial roll, you’ll want to download and install the right profile. Get more detailed information about how we recommend testing our different products here on our blog, The Art of Printmaking.

Q: My canvas prints "shrink" length-wise when they come out of my printer. How can I fix this?

Length-wise (or vertical) canvas shrinkage is typically caused by tension created on the printer while printing with canvas rolls. This shrinkage is normally quite consistent and can be compensated for through Photoshop. Read more about how to compensate for canvas shrinkage here on our blog, The Art of Printmaking.

Q: How long should I let my prints dry?

When printing on canvas or fine art paper, it is critical that the prints be allowed to dry and outgass fully before they are mounted, stretched, and/or framed. Finishing these prints prematurely can cause a whole host of problems from splotchy glass when framing, to pin holes and bubbles while coating in preparation for stretching. Read more about dry time and outgassing on our blog, The Art of Printmaking.

Q: How should I handle Breathing Color media? What about storage?

To prevent the transfer of oils and dirt from your hands to the inkjet receptive coating of the media, white cotton gloves should be worn when handling the media. When not using the media, you should store it in its original packaging, exactly how it was shipped to you. Read more about our recommended handling and storage best practices on our blog, The Art of Printmaking.

Drake Says: 

"We print our own high-end wall portraits, and have for over 30 years. We tried every canvas known to man before landing on Breathing Color. I need deep blacks, warm skin tones and saturation that jumps off the wall. With the release of Breathing Color's Lyve, we found the richness we were craving along with the mellow skin tones.

The texture of the Lyve canvas is huge for us. For years, we stripped photographic papers and mounted them to canvas to get an artful surface. When we began printing direct to canvas, some 4 years ago, we missed the authentic surface of the artist canvas. We finally found in Lyve a nice deep weave, and when we coat it with Glamour II and stretch it, our clients often mistake it for a painting on artist canvas.

We were previously using coated canvases to get the d-base we wanted, but now, with Lyve, we're getting even better color, and without the concerns about surface cracking. I really feel this is a canvas that is going to age beautifully. "

Drake Busath M.Photog.,CR.

About Drake: Drake Busath has been photographing the people of Utah for over 25 years. He's been featured in photography magazines, has taught seminars in 8 countries and 30 US states. He has taught ItalyWorkshops for the past 8 years, each spring and fall.

Tim Walden Says: 

"Breathing Color’s Lyve canvas is incredible. I have tested and worked with many ink-jet canvasses and the Lyve canvas leaves them all behind. The colors are rich, the sharpness is great and Lyve canvas has beautiful deep blacks. When you coat the canvas with any of their coatings, it really pops. Add the archival qualities it has and I don’t know why you would use any other canvas. "

Tim Walden M.Photog.,CR., F-ASP

About Tim: Tim started as a young man of 12 helping his father print in their darkroom and fell in love with photography and print-making. He then went on to perfect his skills as a photographer and a printer, earning his Master of Photography Degree at the age of 25, with his Craftsman Degree following soon afterwards. In Kentucky, his home state, his work has won many awards, including Best of Show and Master Photographer of the Year several times. Tim has scored perfect 100s several times in print competition and his work can be seen in many Loan Collection publications. Kodak has recognized his work through Gallery Awards, a Gallery Elite and publication in their Portrait Book. In 2003, Tim became a Kodak Mentor, in 2004, he received the Imaging Excellence Award and in 2007, he was awarded the Gold Level Photographer of the Year Award. He is a member of the Society of XXV, a qualified National Juror, an accomplished lecturer, and most recently, he earned his ASP Fellowship Degree.

*Award Winner:  Bon Air Artists Award*

Craig Rudlin Says:

"Here is the image of the photograph that won the "Bon Air Artists Award". (There were 100 artists exhibiting at the show. This award represents second place out of the entire show-- I am overwhelmed by the honor!) The image is of Antelope Canyon, AZ. It is a HDR image, i.e. the composite of six different exposures. Taken with Nikon D300, Lens Nikon 24-70. For the show, I printed the image 20x30 inches on the Lyve Canvas and used your Glamour II varnish (with our own special mixture of matte and gloss!). The remarkable gamut, the brilliance of the colors and their "depth", and the clarity(sharpness) of the image, all contributed to the impact of the photo. "

Craig Rudlin
CR Photography

Michael Gilbert Says:

"In my 25 years in digital photography printing, Ive never seen color on a matte canvas look this good. My results show that the new OBA-Free Lyve Canvas provides at least a 15-20% improvement in color gamut and black density, and it's now a breeze to apply the Glamour II Gloss laminate. The new canvas allows for a luminous veneer like surface that makes each image look 3D. It's simply AMAZING and nothing else is even close. This canvas has established a new plateau in fine art printmaking."

Michael Gilbert MA.CR.XXV
Professional Photographer

About Michael: Michael Gilbert is a third generation photographer holding a Masters Craftsman Degree in Canada and the United States. In April 2005 he had a one-man show at the International Museum of Photography. The entire set of 52 photographs are kept in their permanent collection. Mr. Gilbert’s images are collected internationally and are a part of the collections of Epson, Canon, Hahnemuhle, Olympus, Mitsubishi, and Kodak. He is a frequent speaker at many Universities, Professional Photographers of America conventions, WPPI events and International exhibits. In 2006 Michael was a featured photographer at Photokina, the worlds largest photography event. His client list includes Mercedes Benz,Hallmark Cards,Four Seasons Resorts and Prudential. In the past Michael has worked for Earth Trust Green Peace and the International Federation of animal welfare. A Canadian by birth he now has his studios in Maui,Hawaii and Paris,France.

Rob Medrano Says:

With over 15 years of providing fine art print services to discerning artist all over the world, our company's reputation was built on the premise of quality exceeding our customer's expectations. The ability to exceed our customer's expectation was only made possible through our partnership with Breathing Color, who with their endless pursuit of perfection, have taken Maui Giclee to the forefront of the industry. With tens of thousands of flawless fine art prints produced with Breathing Color products, no one anticipated Lyve Canvas to achieve the quantum leap in color gamut, density, and texture by which all other fine art substrates will now be measured. The dramatic results achieved by this revolutionary product is unrivaled by any other canvas on the market today.

Rob Medrano, President & Owner
Maui Giclee
Professional Giclee Printmakers

Peter Latham Says:

"Lyve canvas is a significant step forward - so much more depth in the image with this amazing colour gamut! Shadow areas are reinvigorated & the detail in all areas is massive. The more you look the more you see, very very impressive."

Peter Latham
Professional Photographer

About Peter:  Peter was a keen photographer from an early age, but didn't turn professional until he embarked on a bicycle expedition of the South Island of New Zealand in 1989, with 20kg of camera equipment! A self-taught photographer, I spent many years travelling the world as a photographer on cruise ships and returned home to NZ in 2003, where I began experimenting with images on canvas. Most of my work highlights the diverse beauty of NZ’s grand landscape and flora. Today, many of Air New Zealand’s business class “Koru” lounges are decorated with my art and pieces are avidly collected in NZ and overseas, including the family of the famous Swedish camera manufacturer, Hasselblad. My first exhibition was held at "The Art Bungalow" in Kerikeri, September 2004, where Art Critic Larry Jenkins wrote: "It's a fusion of art and high-tech in a very intimate way, and Latham is a master photographer."

Rich Charpentier Says:

"Creating a startup business isn't the easiest process. Fortunately I've chosen one company, Breathing Color, which has made my life considerably easier. When first launching my business I searched for the perfect canvas for clients. We print reproductions of Watercolors, Oils, Acrylics, Pastels, as well as photo reproductions. Finding something that meets the needs of all clients could have been a difficult process, but it wasn't. Both Chromata White Canvas and Lyve Canvas are staples for our business, and have helped produce success with each print client who seeks out our services in creating color accurate archival reproductions of their work. After trying many canvas producers the only one I found to meet my personal standards is Breathing Color. Thanks for helping make my business a success guys! "

Rich Charpentier
Professional Photographer and Giclee' Reproduction Specialist

About Rich: Rich Charpentier is a photographer and print reproduction expert located in Prescott, Arizona.  For 4 years Rich has been building a client base from the East Coast to the West Coast.  His clients included nationally known painters who utilize his services to create realistic giclee reproductions of their works.  And his client base continues to expand as artists find that Rich is pickier than they are when it comes to matching their originals. 

Rich is an avid landscape photographer and HDR junkie as well.  He takes his own reproductions and color management seriously as he shows in several galleries in the Southwest, and strives to ensure that each print is just like the last.


Dominic Rinaldi Says:

"Just a note to let you know that your products are the best I have ever used. I have been in the imaging business since 1974, owned one of the first 1 hour photo chain stores in NY, and have been offering ink jet printing since the "early days". Your canvas material coupled with the gallery wrap system is a sure winner. No longer do I have to rely on the whims of the local framer to get my customers canvas stretched in a timely fashion. I can now offer same day service for an extra fee or just to provide customer service. And the finished product is a masterpiece. "

Dominic Rinaldi
Big Shot Images

About Big Shot Images
Our journey began in 1974 with a single store devoted to fast, high-quality photo finishing. We soon grew to over 20 full-line camera stores, many with one hour onsite processing. In 1995, we introduced photo enlargement services to photographers across the country..."


 David Turton Says: 

"I have been using Breathing Color for over 10 years and couldn't be happier with both their products and their customer service. I am currently using both Lyve and Chromata canvas on Easy Wrappe bars and protecting the canvas with Glamour 2. Using these products on my work has taken them to the whole next level--the images are crystal clear and my customers love the look of the gallery wrap. Anytime I have ever encountered a problem, the IT support at Breathing Color has been there help me. Their reps are top notch at both trouble shooting and color profiling. I often find that the IT support at Breathing Color is more knowledgeable and educated than that of Canon. As a small business owner, it is a great advantage to have a company like Breathing Color that has both exceptional products AND exceptional employees" 

David Turton
David Turton Photography

About David: David has produced stunning results using creative techniques such as stiching together 180 to 360-degree panoramic images and stretching photos on canvas. He has been established as a real estate photohrapher, and he also creates unique individual and family portraits, as well as invitations, calendars, mousepads and greeting cards. David's photographs have been recognized and published bu top organizations from around the globe, including: The Nw York Times, Homes Magazine, American Red Cross, New Balance and local businesses. In 2009, the Ashbury Park Press Reader's Choice issue ranked David "Best Photographer" in Ocean County, NJ. He was also awarded 1st place for "Best Artist" at the Pt. Pleasant Seafood Festival in 2005 and 3rd place in 2009.

Andreas Browne Says: 

"I am writing today to tell the world about Breathing Color products and their great customer service. Several months ago when I was looking for a canvas to do my clients print on I wasn't sure if I could find what I wanted. The name brand just by looking and feeling them wasn't up to par and I was getting frustrated. Then, one late night while sitting in bed going through my Android phone online I came across an article from Breathing Color about setting up an ICC profile for the Epson 9900. At first I wasn't sure who Breathing Color was; whether it was just a person writing an article or a dynamic company with quality products; but I decided I had to see it for myself. I must say after printing out the first canvas print, Lyve Canvas came alive. It lived up to its name and the canvas was truly "Breathing Beautiful Colors". My building mate saw the print and was so amazed that he called his wife and several friends over to see it. He said the color is so real and the grass looks very natural. You could set this down on Detroit Lions stadium for people to walk on and they won't know it's a print (and not a real grass). You have a customer for Lyve. Just from that first print we ended up selling six more canvas wraps in just an hour and more to come." 

Andreas Browne
A Slice of Life Photography

About Andreas: Andreas brings energy, expertise, and extensive educational services to his clients. His lighthearted sense of humor puts clients instantly at ease; this coupled with his great understanding of lighting creates his recipe for beautiful images. His unique ability to observe people's personalities has led to outstanding photographic images. "Many photographers spend their entire life trying to capture and create the perfect picture; there is no such thing. The only thing that is perfect is the moment. I can't be the pure photojournalist that a lot of people claim they are. It's not who I am. I interact with my sitters, brides and my grooms. Photography is a dance; a dance between moments and a dance with the moment." Andreas is a teacher by nature and offers education and mentoring services for aspiring and professional photographers. Andreas' background has long been heavily grounded in teaching. He professionally teaches at the college level and his name is well recognized and sought by other professional photographers.

Pat McMahon says:

"After extensive industry-wide testing, we have found that Breathing Color's Lyve canvas has the best qualities for digital fine art printmaking.  We require that our canvas be OBA free with the highest D-Max rating. We also require that the canvas be at least 20 mil and last 100+ years before fading. We do direct side-by-side comparisons with all the other reputable canvas manufacturers with these qualities.

Most companies also only sell canvas (made in Japan by a third party) and recommend another third parties varnish to seal the canvas after printing.  With these canvas manufacturers there is no one to back the combination of canvas and varnish if issues arise. Breathing Color has varnish that has been specifically formulated to work the best with their canvas. We believe it is important that the manufacturers of our products back what they are selling 100%. This ensures that IF there are any issues down the road with surface cracks or longevity issues (which we do not expect) we have the full support of the manufacturer.

Breathing Color is also the only company manufacturing their canvas in the USA. Over the years, there have been minimal issues with surface inconsistencies and cotton seeds with Breathing Color's Lyve canvas.  If we do find a seed or surface imperfection, we are given a credit immediately without any trouble from Breathing Color.

We have found, based on customer feedback, that Breathing Color will continually tweak their canvas to make sure it stays the best in the industry. We are confident with the Lyve canvas so much so that it is the only canvas we offer. We use the Glamour II varnish which allows us to mix any percentage matte and gloss to create all different levels of matte, semi-matte, semi-gloss, and gloss to meet our customers specifications, or to match their original paintings.  We recommend Breathing Color's Lyve canvas over any other canvas on the market to date."

Pat McMahon
Old Town Editions


About Pat: Pat was born in Saratoga Springs, NY and grew up in Calvert County, MD. He graduated from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business. He joined Old Town Editions in 2005. Pat and his co-owner, Rachel Baron, bought OTE from Chris Foley in 2009. As OTE continues to grow, Pat helps lead a team that strives to provide the very best art reproduction and digital fine art printmaking the industry has to offer.

“…When working with our clients, I thrive on doing whatever it takes to ensure their success. It is fulfilling to have an artist come through the door, having no idea what a giclee is, and teach them everything there is to know about giclees and how it can benefit their career. It is the best feeling in the world to take everything I know about business, printing, and photography and apply it to artists and photographers by helping them develop successful strategies they can execute.”

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Canvas Sample Pack
This Sample Pack contains (2) un-printed 8.5"x11" sheets of: Lyve, Crystalline Gloss & Satin, Silverada, and 800M
Pro Starter Kit
Includes 17"x10' Lyve Canvas, 17"x10' Pura Velvet, 17"x10' Pura Smooth, 2 Pints of Timeless (one gloss, one matte), 1 Timeless Roller Kit, 1 Printed BC Sample Book
Canvas Starter Kit
Includes 17"x10' Trial Roll of Lyve Canvas, 1 EasyWrappe Pro Trial Kit (1.75" wide), 1 Pint of Timeless Gloss, 1 RollerFoam Kit, 1 BC Printed Sample Book
Lyve Canvas 8.5"x11" sheets, 25 per box
Lyve Canvas 13"x19" sheets, 7 per box
Lyve Canvas 17"x22" sheets, 6 per box
Lyve Canvas 13"x19" sheets, 25 per box
Lyve Canvas 17"x22" sheets, 25 per box
Lyve Canvas 17"x10'
Lyve Canvas 24"x10'
Lyve Canvas 36"x10'
Lyve Canvas 44"x10'
Lyve Canvas 54"x10'
Lyve Canvas 60"x10'
Lyve Canvas 17"x40'
Item Temporarily Out Of Stock
Lyve Canvas 24"x40'
Lyve Canvas 36"x40'
Lyve Canvas 42"x40'
Lyve Canvas 44"x40'
Lyve Canvas 50"x40'
Lyve Canvas 54"x40'
Lyve Canvas 60"x40'
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