Full canvas vs Half Canvas

A visual explanation

Suits can be made three different ways, Full “floating” canvas, Half canvas and fully fused. The latter we will disregard entirely as no quality suit is entirely fused, with no canvas structure so there is no need to dwell on them.

Full canvas suits are those where the structure of the suit is stitched independently to the fabric all the way from the collar to the hem. This gives the structure and cloth freedom to move separately during where, thus being more comfortable and also showing off the nature of the light weight super fine wools currently in vogue. With a half canvas construction, the chest piece (the most solid piece of canvas) and the top half of the jacket are canvassed. The rest “fused”. This means in order to give the suit its structure, a layer is heated and glued directly to the fabric to make it stiffer and give it the structured look of a canvassed jacket. The downside is you lose some of the drape of the light weight cloths as the are in effect made stiffer. Despite popular belief, these days it is very rare to see the ‘bubbling’ that used to happen with fusing as technology has improved vastly in this area, but it can still happen in certain circumstances, or if the interfacing has not been applied correctly, and this is something that will never happen with full canvas.

So why would anyone opt for half canvas? Simple answer Price.

Full canvas suits require twice as long to make and much more skill, so are usually much more expensive. For instance a Hugo Boss half canvas black label suit costs currently from $1199, whereas their full canvas line Boss Selection starts at $2100 (both prices AUD$).

If price is an issue opt for a high quality reputable SUIT label (not deisgner label) like Zegna, Boss, etc as almost always these will be made well and represent great value for money.

However if you want the best, love light weight fine cloths you need to look for the top end OTR suit makers, for example higher end Zegna’s Boss Selection, Canali, Brioni, Caruso, Kiton etc or go to a bespoke tailor competent in using a full canvas construction who will ensure you have a suit of the finest quality

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About themaninasuit

I have been involved in the menswear business since university in1997. Have gradually fallen in love with men's suiting and more recently tailor made garments. I am perpetually asked for style advise and things to wear so decided to get some of my thoughts and passions out and about

4 responses to “Full canvas vs Half Canvas”

  1. Alyce says :

    This is a very good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere.
    Short but very precise information… Thank you
    for sharing this one. A must read post!

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  1. BESPOKE VS MADE TO MEASURE | The man in a suit - December 20, 2013

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