Tailoring 101: Half canvas or full-canvas: Differences explained

Half canvas or full canvas: The differences explained

You’ve probably heard of full canvas and half-canvas in relation to suit jackets, but what do those two phrases mean and what difference do they make to your suit?

Full Canvassed Jackets

The word ‘canvas’ in tailoring refers to horsehair canvas, a sturdy woven material that was traditionally sewn in between the suiting cloth and the lining to help maintain the shape of the suit and give it longevity. Over time, through wear, the suit would conform to the body shape of the wearer and allow the suit fabric to drape naturally providing an excellent fit. A canvassed jacket is composed entirely of cloth and canvas and prevents the garment from appearing lifeless. It is heavier than a half-canvassed suit but this significantly improves the drape.

Half-Canvassed Jackets

Half-canvassed jackets have canvas material running only through the chest and lapels with the rest of the garment being fused. A fused lining is glued to the wool shell of the suit. Fusing became popular with mass production as it’s quicker and cheaper than canvas, and it does an adequate job of holding the jacket’s shape but can create an unnatural stiffness and feels less structured than the full canvassed alternative. Half-canvassed jackets are generally cheaper than full -canvassed ones but are unlikely to hold their shape for as long.

Why Choose A Full Canvassed Jacket?

The main reason for buying a full canvassed suit is because the fit is better and the silhouette sharper. Half-canvassed suits these days can last almost as long and are much cheaper. But if dressing your best and having the feel of a perfectly tailored suit is important to you, then a full canvassed suit is worth the extra expense. You’ll also find that tailors offering the option of a full canvassed suit are at the top end of their profession and it’s an indication that they use high-quality fabrics.

Fused Jackets

These days many mass-produced suits are entirely fused. This means that a fusible interlining is glued to the wool shell of the suit. Fused jackets are unlikely to achieve the same standard of drape as those with either full or half canvassed interlining and there can be issues with the glue coming unstuck during the dry-cleaning process and with the fabric rippling on the chest and lapels.

At Louis Collections in Sukhumvit, Bangkok, our master craftsmen custom tailor bespoke suits to your precise measurements using the best fabrics and offering the option of full canvassed or half canvassed jackets to suit your requirements. For more details or to place an order for your made to measure suit call us or visit our website for inspiration and to see our range of suits and fabrics.