Know your suits: Full Canvas VS. Half Canvas VS. Fused
The true character of one’s suit is often defined by it’s fit, quality of fabric and it’s construction. Unfortunately, many people often forget that the latter, construct, is just as important as the former, especially if you’re an individual that wears suits often. Construction plays are large role in the overall quality of a suit, which is why in this article we’ll be discussing the different types of suit jacket construction—namely, full canvas vs. half canvas vs. fused and why they should matter to you.
Full Canvas Suits
→ The best quality you can buy in a suit, but are generally more expensive.
Back in the day, all suits were made of canvas. It was usually a horsehair canvas, which is sewn between the lining and the cloth of the jacket. The canvas allows the suit fabric to drape properly and will mold to your body over time (for the perfect fit). It aids in the longevity of the suit by distributing tension at stress points (shoulders, elbows), it allows the suit to “breathe” and holds up to repeated dry cleaning. Costly to make, full canvas suits usually retail for $1,500+.
Half Canvas Suits
→ Gives you best of both worlds.
Eventually, a compromise was developed: a half canvas suit. A half canvased suit uses a sewn in canvas piece in the chest and the lapel of the jacket, and is fused on the bottom part of the jacket. This allows you to have the canvas at the most important part of the suit, and keeps the price down by having less handwork.
→ A great price point but quality is sacrificed.
As the demand for suits increased, a fused suit was developed to appeal to the mass market. This is an interlining that is heat pressed (glued) to the wool of the suit. While it allowed for suits to be produced at a better price point, it also has a stiffness to the chest and if over dry-cleaned, can lead to bubbling in the chest area (this is caused when the wool separates from the fusing). It is also less durable over time and loses flexibility. Fusing is good if you want a price point suit and don’t plan on wearing it every day.