Jacket construction: the inside story
Although Duchess suits are stunning on the outside, the internal construction is what makes them an outstanding investment. In today’s market, many suit jackets are given structure through the use of fusible interfacing, a type of fabric that is bonded to the suit fabric with a heat-activated resin. Although fusible interfacing provides some support for the jacket, it is not as effective nor as long-lasting as the standard material - a type of fabric called canvas.
What is canvas?
Canvas is the supportive inner layer of a jacket. It is situated between the outer jacket fabric and the inner lining fabric, giving a supple yet sturdy framework for the lapel and the chest portion of the jacket. A properly canvassed jacket will retain its shape better with frequent wear and dry cleaning, extending the life of the suit.
Benefits of internal canvas:
Allows the jacket to drape smoothly over the front contours of the body, preventing the collapse of the jacket in the hollow under the shoulder
Supports the smooth, gentle roll of the lapel
Provides extra support for the buttonholes
Traditional wisdom provides that the canvas will mold to the body over time, providing a better fit as the jacket ages
“Full Canvas” or “Half Canvas”?
These are terms that describe the shape and extent of the canvas that is built into the jacket.
In a full canvas jacket, the canvas covers the chest/lapel area and extends down the full length of the jacket ending at the hem. This is the most traditional way of constructing a jacket, requiring more materials and handwork than a half canvas jacket.
Full canvas construction is the standard for our Classic Gold and Luxury Collections. Sportcoats can also be made with full canvas construction.
In a half canvas suit, the canvas is built the same way as a full canvas, but it only extends a bit past the top buttonhole. This is a more modern approach to suit making. The rationale is that the canvas is most important in the chest and lapel area. Since most people only ever use the top buttonhole, that is the only one that needs extra reinforcement from the canvas.
Half canvas construction is the standard for our Essential and Classic Collections, along with off the rack suiting separates.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: “Will I feel the canvas through the lining?”
A: No. The side of the canvas that faces the body is covered with a soft flannel cloth that prevents the rougher fibers of the canvas from rubbing against the lining.
Q: “Do your jackets contain any fusible interfacing?”
A: Yes. All modern jackets contain some fusible interfacing. It is used to provide structure to pockets and hems. However, Duchess does not rely on fusible interfacing to provide structure to the chest area or lapel.