Buying a new tailor-made suit can be a daunting experience, not only because of the wide variety of options that come with the customisation process but because you’re presented with choices you simply don’t have when buying an off-the-rack suit in a retail store. On top of that there are different construction of suits: Fused, Half Canvas & Full Canvas. Don't worry we will tell you all about them.
A term many people don’t encounter until venturing into the world of made-to-measure and bespoke suiting is “Canvas”, it can be a confusing. More specifically, this refers to what is also known as a “Canvas Interlining”.
At DeBonair Suave, all our suits come with a Half Canvas construction as standard, but customers can instead choose a Full Canvas construction if they wish.
The Canvas Interlining is typically made from horsehair (often blended with cotton) or synthetic material and, as the “Interlining” part suggests, a layer of this material is sandwiched between the cloth you see on the outside, and the lining you see on the inside.
The purpose of the Canvas Interlining is to help give the suit jacket support for its shape, a bit like a skeleton - indeed, this internal layer (along with other hidden components, such as shoulder padding) is also often referred to as a suit’s “structure”.
Canvas helps the jacket sit, hang and fit better on your body - what’s known as the “drape” - and allows the suit to ultimately achieve what it’s designed for: to accentuate the shape of the masculine physique. What’s more, this means a well-made suit with a canvas construction will actually feel and look better with age.
The Full Canvassed option extends further down the jacket’s front, adding additional structure and weight, allowing the jacket to mould more accurately to your shape with a superior drape. In short, a Full Canvas suit will fit better than any other option.
PROS: Improved the durability of a jacket by distributing tension from stress points (such as the elbows and shoulders) and helps it cope with the rigours of dry cleaning. More canvas to provide the added durability.
CONS: Added cost due as it’s a more involved process which takes much longer to complete. Feels heavier and more structured on the body; some customers prefer this, while others favour the more lightweight feel of Half Canvas.
Half Canvas construction quite literally extends from the padded shoulder to about halfway down the jacket body. This allows for a robust and well-shaped shoulder structure - a very important part of a well-fitting jacket - and also ensures the jacket tapers elegantly towards the waist.
PROS: Less priced than full canvassed option while still providing much-needed structure. It will feel noticeably more robust, comfortable, and will be better-fitting than a suit without canvas, but is also lighter and less structured than a Full Canvas. Less canvas than full canvas but will still last and hold its shape for a longer period of time
The parts of the suit jacket body which are not canvassed (as per the diagram) use what’s called a “fused” interlining; this is a composite of various materials which are fused or laminated together via a heat treatment process. This stiffens the cloth slightly, and is quicker and easier to produce than canvas, but does not really provide the same properties as true canvas - therefore, for a good quality suit, the less fused material and more canvas the better.
You will see this kind of construction in suits purchased from H&M, Zara, and many large production retail stores.
CONS: With fused suits, bubble will often produce with time. There is no comfort with these kinds of suits. The suit has no structure which makes the suit look odd in general.
The days although poor quality fusibles bubbled and ruined many jackets are almost gone, you should still generally stay away from fully-fused garments. Rather than the sourcing of the fabrics, trimmings, and construction of the jacket. Go with our default Half-Canvassed construction for an excellent roll of the lapel and a light drape - or upgrade to Full-Canvassed for a more structured feel.