There is sometimes confusion between "gallery wrap" and a "stretched canvas". Gallery wrap is a method of displaying art wrapped over thick wooden bars. There are no visible fasteners (e.g., staples or tacks). It is a finished product that is intended to be hung unframed.
Gallery wrap is a method of stretching an artist’s canvas so that the canvas wraps around the sides (Stretcher Bar) and is secured to the back of the wooden frame. The frame is usually 1.50” thick. As a result, the hardware (staples) used to secure the canvas is not visible. This method of stretching and preparing a canvas allows for a frameless presentation of the finished painting or photograph.
In canvas printing, the term gallery wrap refers to an image that appears on the sides of the frame as well as the front. The image on the sides is either a continuation or a reflection of the main image, or an otherwise fabricated element such as a solid color or colors derived from the adjacent image. Photo editing techniques are employed to achieve this.
In contrast, stretched canvas is not a finished product. This process precedes the framing process. The hardware is also unique; the stretcher bars are thinner (generally .75”) allowing the fasteners to show.