A BLANK CANVAS
Understanding the different kinds of suit construction and when to use them.
One of the aspects that makes a suit truly remarkable is the construction that goes into the suit jacket to make it fit so well time and time again. This refers to the canvassing of the suit, and outside of the fabric, there are no factors more important than the canvas. It is integral to the shape and fit of your coat, ensuring mobility, flexibility, and a resilient body that will always spring back and hold the silhouette that was tailored to your measurements. In fact, over time it even helps the garment fit you better. Let’s explore more about the canvassing and what it consists of!
The construction of a coat was invented to hold the shape of the suit over continuous wear. It consists of a shoulder patch accompanied by cotton pads depending on the structure of the suit, padded lapels, and of course the canvassing — often woven with horsehair. The canvas is made with horse hair because it moves like the fabric only stronger, and more durable, whilst still being breathable. A good canvas has a unique resilience that does not crease easily.
Furthermore, the malleable nature of the canvas means that it will mold to your body overtime as it adjusts to your movement. It is hand or machine-stitched into the inside of your fabric so that it moves with your movements. This ensures that your suit will retain its body and that the fabric drapes properly without any pinching or wrinkles even after years of continuous wear.
Today, the most popular option for canvassing is the half-canvassed suit. Instead of going all the way to the bottom of the coat, the canvas will only reach as far as the waist of the jacket. The half-canvas was popularized due to being less time-consuming and less expensive than the traditional full canvassing. Additionally, this can be a lighter-weight option for summer or spring fabrics that do not need as much structure and are more relaxed fits.
The full-canvassed suit is the most traditional and by far the best-fitting bespoke garment. It starts from the top of the neck and extends to the full length of the jacket. The excellent fit is in part due to the shape of the jacket being molded around the entire body and not just the chest and shoulder area. Therefore, it molds to your entire torso which provides a better and more controlled fit over the full wear of the suit.
It is incredibly time-consuming for the tailor to stitch each piece and requires very precise tailoring operations which in turn makes it far more expensive than its half-canvassed counterpart. However, if you have the time and money to spend, we highly recommend making a full canvassed piece for your next bespoke suit.
Your Canvas Never Forgets
A canvas ensures that the 2-dimensional fabric will always fit your 3-dimensional body because it holds the shape of your body from within the coat even after you wear it. It gives the suit life and body, allowing for the lapel to roll over smoothly and always return to the same angle without fail. This is a hallmark of bespoke suiting and an aspect that clients will appreciate learning more about as it can only ensure a better-fitting suit when all is said and done.