We recently did a post on Suit Breakdown. and spoke about all the different elements that define your suit- the lapels, the pockets, the buttons, the openings etc. These elements form the base of your garment and can be customized as per your preference. Today, we’re going to get a little technical with our suit pieces and talk about Suit Canvasses and its types.
Well, right now, most of you would be wondering “What is a suit canvas?” The Canvas (interlining) is one of the major aspects of your suit that provide a definite shape and structure to your garment. Sandwiched between your main fabrics and the lining, it offers a structured form that contours with your body shape. Even though a canvas is a hidden element of your suit, we strongly believe it’s important to know your suit In and Out.
We’ve been throwing around the words “canvas”, “interlining” and “structure” so that you get accustomed to the terms. A full canvas suit is considered the finest of the fine. The premium of the lot in terms of construction quality. The full canvas, which inter-lines the entire front and lapel of your suit, is loosely stitched to the fabric and is hence also known as a floating canvas.
Why do we believe this is the best of the best? Well, let’s put it this way- Just like fine wine or whiskey that age well, a full canvas suit adapts to your body better with time. Unlike most off-the-rack jackets, a full canvas jacket lasts far longer, drapes better and does not bubble after a couple of wears (wait, we’ll explain “bubbling” in a bit).
Well, the only con to a full canvas is the price of the interlining. Constructing a full canvassed jacket is a labour and time intensive process and requires a great level of skill to execute. Hence, the full canvas suit is traditionally more expensive than your fused or half canvas suits.
If you’ve been to your local brands that sell off-the-rack jackets, and remember its stiff, drape-less appeal, then we’re going to assume that you already know what we’re talking about. If you don’t, then imagine a shapeless, boxy suit that makes you look like a FedEx package (we may be slightly over-reacting here but that’s because we only believe in premium quality)
Let us explain further! A fused interlining is glued to your fabric to give it a temporary structured appeal. We say temporary because with a couple of dry cleaning visits your fusing may lose its stickiness and start to bubble your jacket (yes, we’re back to bubbling). Bubbling is a crease-like effect on your jacket that you cannot iron out.
With so many cons, why does this even exist? The answer is simple! They’re CHEAP! Since the wake of mass production and fast fashion, retailers equipped themselves with easy, temporary solutions to sell low priced jackets that require low skilled labour, and the result is compromised quality and fit. While some men are okay with that, we only advocate the best and fused jackets don’t make the cut.
Somewhere in the middle of expensive and dirt cheap, lies a half canvas jacket. The half canvas only covers your chest region and the lapel of your jacket and hence are a cheaper alternative to a full canvas but better quality and drape than a fused interlining.
How does it differ from a full canvas? A full canvas jacket covers the entire front and lapel of your jacket, hence it’s highly skill/time intensive, whereas a half canvas only covers the chest and lapel region, hence are easier to construct. The disadvantage to half canvas is that they don’t drape as well or last as long but at least they’re a cheaper alternative (you can’t have it all).
The pinch test!
Well if you’re buying off-the-rack there is surely no way to tell what your interlining consists of. 95% of the time they would be fused but the only way to try and understand is through the pinch test. Hold the lapel of your jacket and pull the 2 sides of the fabric aside. If you feel a stiff, paper-like fabric in the middle, your jacket is most likely fused. You may have noticed, some jacket lapels tend to stand away from the chest, these type of jackets are definitely fused.
How are Tailorman suits constructed?
At Tailorman we’ve always advocated quality and fit. Considering the affordable factor, most of our suits currently offer a floating chest piece. A floating chest piece consists of a chest canvas and fused jacket bottom but differs from a half canvas by having a fused lapel. This makes the jacket as affordable as the fused jackets but are far superior in quality and DO NOT BUBBLE!
We’ve recently launched our new range of Italian Half Canvas suits, with premium design details such as a pick stitch and Barchetta pocket to give you a taste of a classic Neapolitan Suit! The Sicilian, as we call it, is a blend of the finest horsehair half and full canvas, beautifully tailored at affordable prices. We’re pioneering the thought of bringing Italian craftsmanship at accessible prices that advocate superior quality every step of the way.
Head over to the Tailorman Website to Design Your Own Full Canvas Jacket.