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Canvas Construction

It's what's inside that counts.

Though you never see them, these two internal construction techniques can subtly change the look of your jacket and affect the way it wears over time. Whether you upgrade to the full floating canvas or opt for our standard half canvas, all of our internal construction options make for suit jackets that are vastly more supple and durable than anything you can find in a big box suit store today. Even designer labels have stopped sewing canvas inside of their suits. It's just one more reason why a Duchess suit is a worthy investment. 

Full Floating Canvas: The Creme de la Creme of traditional tailoring.

Standard for our Deluxe suits or an optional upgrade to our Classic suits.

What is canvas?

Canvas or ‘canvasing’ refers to 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.

Note: The photo above shows the canvas on the outside of the suit for a convenient visual reference of where it actually lays on the inside of the jacket. 

Why is it called “floating” canvas?

Instead of being entirely secured to the inside of the jacket fabric with lots of small stitches (as was traditionally done when wool suiting fabrics were much thicker than we tend to wear today) the canvas is tacked at strategic places along the internal seams. The result is a canvas that “floats” between the suiting fabric and the lining. As the jacket is worn, friction between the suiting fabric and the canvas can start to naturally felt the two layers together, securing the two layers without the risk of stitches creating visible dimpling on the outside of the suit.

Benefits of a full canvas:

  • Allows jacket to drape smoothly over the contours of the front of the body. Prevents the collapse of the jacket in the hollow under the shoulder.

  • Supports the smooth roll of the lapel. Canvas is malleable and therefore the lapel will gently roll over into a “bloom.”

  • Provides extra support for each buttonhole.

  • Traditional wisdom says that the canvas will mold to the body over time, providing a better fit as the jacket ages.

  • All of this combined mean the jacket will withstand the rigors of dry cleaning and frequent wear better than a fully fused suit, extending the life of the suit.

Half-Canvas: A hybrid of traditional tailoring and modern fabric innovations.

Standard for all of our Classic suits.  

A half-canvas construction provides all the same benefits as full canvas for the upper half of the body and lapel of the suit. It stops just below the first buttonhole, giving support to the place that will receive the most wear and tear. The bottom half of the jacket is then fused. This allows you to have the canvas at the most important part of the suit, and keeps the price down by requiring a bit less handwork for our tailors.