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A different full/half canvas, fused/sewn question: When does it matter most?

zimmt

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And thanks everyone for the helpful advice!

OP, why do you need to have so many suits made all at once?
That's actually not what I'm doing, but if I'm happy with the two I've now ordered, I will order one more, and at some point over the next 6 months or so, I should have had made a total of at least four. Indeed, I ideally need one or two more than that.

maybe get a half canvas navy blazer which should cover about 70% of your needs.
My wallet would certainly appreciate that, and it's no doubt excellent advice for many readers. However, I need the suits for work, and for me, blazers don't work for work.

My last point is, if a "tailor" offers all construction methods from fusing to full canvas, he is highly unlikely to meet the quality threshold that's acceptable on this forum. To avoid major disappointment down the road, I'd be leery of getting all my suits made by this tailor.
I understand your point and dieworkwear made a similar one. However, is this not basically the same as saying don't use a good MTM tailor? Because I believe good ones who don't offer both options are unusual. Anyway, that's my experience. And as I've mentioned, I do not have any better options that I can afford. Neither bespoke nor RTW are options for me. At least I am hedging my bets by trying two tailors now.
 

TimothyF

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I understand your point and dieworkwear made a similar one. However, is this not basically the same as saying don't use a good MTM tailor? Because I believe good ones who don't offer both options are unusual. Anyway, that's my experience. And as I've mentioned, I do not have any better options that I can afford. Neither bespoke nor RTW are options for me. At least I am hedging my bets by trying two tailors now.
From what I've seen, good online MTM tailors would not offer fully fused. They might offer half and full canvas options. Since it looks like you'll spend a good portion of the week in suits, I would advise getting a second pair of trousers.

To answer your original question, canvas option should depend on your budget and choice of cloth. A cheap or lightweight cloth would not made the added cost of full canvas worthwhile. If you have the funds, and the cloth is a durable variety of adequate weight, and you have confidence the tailor can execute the right fit and details, and you see the suit as more-or-less a heirloom piece, then full canvas should be seriously considered.
 

zimmt

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From what I've seen, good online MTM tailors would not offer fully fused. They might offer half and full canvas options. Since it looks like you'll spend a good portion of the week in suits, I would advise getting a second pair of trousers.
Interesting. I think they offer fully fused, but I'm not entirely sure. I do know at least one offers half canvas, and that I'm paying both extra for full canvas.

To answer your original question, canvas option should depend on your budget and choice of cloth. A cheap or lightweight cloth would not made the added cost of full canvas worthwhile. If you have the funds, and the cloth is a durable variety of adequate weight, and you have confidence the tailor can execute the right fit and details, and you see the suit as more-or-less a heirloom piece, then full canvas should be seriously considered.
So it sounds like if deciding whether to go full canvas on a 4-season or winter suit, I should choose the winter one. Thanks!
 

zimmt

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This is a misunderstanding. Fusing on a light weight cloth and or light colored cloth is a benefit. The fusing stabilizes the cloth and reduces puckering that would occur from steam and humidity along the jacket edges. Lighter weight cloths are more prone to this as they are harder to handle in tailoring.
Now this is interesting, and makes me worry that the two suits I'm having made will either pucker, or will not be nearly as light, cool, and breathable as I'd hoped :- (

However, I have three full canvas Zegna suits made from their very lightweight "High Performance" fabric (probably ~200g, though it's hard to be sure of the weight with RTW), and I cannot find any sign that they have even a skin-fuse. When I look at the backside of the front fabric through an opening below the armhole, it looks exactly the same as the back fabric (they are half-lined). It also feels the same, on both sides of the fabric. And sounds the same when rubbed together. Yet I've owned them for a long time (hence the need for new summer suits), worn them in hot weather, and no puckering. They wouldn't have skin-fused the back, would they? Or could it be so almost undetectable that I am somehow missing it.

I am hoping that there are some very lightweight fabrics that don't need skin-fuse, and that the two similar (lightweight, breathable wool) fabrics I've chosen are among them.

Though for all I know, the tailors (or should I say MTM manufacturer's?) are skin-fusing them. Which raises a question: I've seen it suggested in other threads that fusing makes a suit warmer and less breathable. But if skin-fusing is needed for all lightweight fabrics, and one wants a cool, breathable suit, is it better to go full canvas with skin fuse, or normal (heavier) fused with no canvas?
 

TimothyF

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Honestly, you're getting stressed out over things beyond your control. Some of the questions you're asking are very difficult to answer. Maybe only the company that manufactured said fusible, and had a staff of scientists test its lab performance, would have the answer.

Know that a gazillion things could go wrong in the making of a suit. Some are evident during the fitting process (the best kind of mistake), some are evident (e.g. bad fit) when you first put on the finished suit, and some manifest themselves in the course of the suit's lifespan. Some come out of carelessness, some are defects in the tailor's craft (we're all human), and some are conscious decisions to find shortcuts. The use of fusing is only one of the thousands of ways that a suit's quality can be compromised.

Virtually none of these defects or errors the client has any control over, because the client does not have the expertise and so does not recognize the particular defects until too late. Some defects even the pros cannot spot unless they witness the making. The only options if a client wants to avoid all/most defects is find a great tailor and trust in his abilities, or become a great tailor himself and make his own suits.

So your best course of action would be to find the best tailor within your budget, trust that he will give you sensible advice re. full/half canvas, trust that he will execute full/half canvas in a sound way, and clearly communicate your preferences as to fit and features. If the tailor is competent and trustworthy, he will know much more than you about canvassing, what pitfalls to avoid, and most importantly, he will not take kindly to a client telling him how to sew.
 

DavidLane

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It seems like you need a bunch of suits all at once, which puts you in a bad position already. If you need them asap, go to Jos A. Bank and get a buy 1, get 10 free deal to get you through. Actually @upr_crust has a few suits from them and they look great.

From there, buy the best 1 suit a year you can afford, from a reputable tailor in a high quality cloth. Look at clients of tailors and determine what you like/dislike, consider your size, shape and silhouette. Take your time in finding the right tailor or tailors, it will pay off to establish a relationship with them. They are the pros, and the best part is you don't need to question their methods, whether half or full canvas or whatever. The longer you are with them the better your suits will be.

I spent years trying all different types of options, some to save money and/or time, and in the end I wish I just went with one tailor all the way through.

DL-
 

upr_crust

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It seems like you need a bunch of suits all at once, which puts you in a bad position already. If you need them asap, go to Jos A. Bank and get a buy 1, get 10 free deal to get you through. Actually @upr_crust has a few suits from them and they look great.

From there, buy the best 1 suit a year you can afford, from a reputable tailor in a high quality cloth. Look at clients of tailors and determine what you like/dislike, consider your size, shape and silhouette. Take your time in finding the right tailor or tailors, it will pay off to establish a relationship with them. They are the pros, and the best part is you don't need to question their methods, whether half or full canvas or whatever. The longer you are with them the better your suits will be.

I spent years trying all different types of options, some to save money and/or time, and in the end I wish I just went with one tailor all the way through.

DL-
If one is buying a popularly-priced suit (JAB or other), it's more important that it fit than it be fused, half-canvas or full. In my experience, one can buy moderately priced suits, and better accessories, which, so long as they are well-coordinated, will raise the "look" of the suit.

My two current JAB suits were "crimes of opportunity". The first was a purchase made with my husband, when he was buying three suits at once, and the offer was for "buy one, get three free", and had the feature of peaked lapels on a single-breasted jacket, something I wanted. The other was bought on clearance, and was from JAB's highest-end line (at that time JAB Signature Platinum), and by chance, the suit fit. I had to have the suit refitted by my alterations tailor after purchase and alterations at JAB, and, even so, I spent less than $400 on it.

An amusing sidelight to this story was that my alterations tailor, a native Neapolitan, who learned his skills at Isaia, looked at the finish on the lapels of the JAB Sig Plat, and said, "it was made by Zegna". (There is a tab of suit fabric sewn to the back of the lapel.) The only other suit I own with this detail is a Ralph Lauren Purple Label suit - also rumored to be made for Ralph by Zegna.
 

zimmt

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As always, thanks everyone for the helpful advice! There seem to be some recurring themes here, like (1) don’t buy everything at once (I’m not, but I do indeed have a lot planned over the coming 6 months or so), (2) fusing/canvas is not the most important thing, fit (probably) is (couldn’t agree more, and I chose the tailors I’m using to get the best possible fit I can afford – the fusing/canvas thing doesn’t affect which tailors I’ll use), (3) R2W makes sense especially when buying several suits quickly (I’m convinced it often/usually does, though as already noted, I personally can’t wear R2W suits), (4) one should rely on a good tailor to make such decisions (I will of course ask, but if I’m only ordering one more suit from them, they may be inclined to push canvas rather than telling me “no, wait until if/when you do a winter suit”), and (5) my question is too complex / too hard to reliably answer.

Probably true. When I posted my question, I thought I’d post a broad one that could help me and others with most such decisions. But maybe I should instead ask a simpler one about my most likely next decision. Suppose you were going to make two suits: A 4-season suit from ~260g wool (probably not very dark, maybe grey, maybe striped), and a winter flannel suit (~300g, probably a dark blue plad or overcheck (not bold, but not subtle either)). Which one would you fuse, and which one would you do with canvas?
 

DavidLane

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As always, thanks everyone for the helpful advice! There seem to be some recurring themes here, like (1) don’t buy everything at once (I’m not, but I do indeed have a lot planned over the coming 6 months or so), (2) fusing/canvas is not the most important thing, fit (probably) is (couldn’t agree more, and I chose the tailors I’m using to get the best possible fit I can afford – the fusing/canvas thing doesn’t affect which tailors I’ll use), (3) R2W makes sense especially when buying several suits quickly (I’m convinced it often/usually does, though as already noted, I personally can’t wear R2W suits), (4) one should rely on a good tailor to make such decisions (I will of course ask, but if I’m only ordering one more suit from them, they may be inclined to push canvas rather than telling me “no, wait until if/when you do a winter suit”), and (5) my question is too complex / too hard to reliably answer.

Probably true. When I posted my question, I thought I’d post a broad one that could help me and others with most such decisions. But maybe I should instead ask a simpler one about my most likely next decision. Suppose you were going to make two suits: A 4-season suit from ~260g wool (probably not very dark, maybe grey, maybe striped), and a winter flannel suit (~300g, probably a dark blue plad or overcheck (not bold, but not subtle either)). Which one would you fuse, and which one would you do with canvas?
Neither. I would stick with a solid navy and a solid gray. If it were me, I would pick a 10-13oz. Fresco for the navy and an 18oz. flannel for the gray. If you want specific fabrics, check out the Unfunded Liabilities thread or just go Minnis for both or Fox Bros. for both.

DL-
 

zimmt

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Neither. I would stick with a solid navy and a solid gray. If it were me, I would pick a 10-13oz. Fresco for the navy and an 18oz. flannel for the gray. If you want specific fabrics, check out the Unfunded Liabilities thread or just go Minnis for both or Fox Bros. for both.

DL-
Solid Navy 4-season I've already got. And soon will have something VERY close to solid Navy as a summer suit. I'm curious why fresco though. The summer suits I'm making are fresco or similar, but why for a 4-season suit?

As for the winter suit, maybe I need to try one on again, but I've never thought anything solid grey looked good on me. Sean Connery yes (was it solid?), but me no. 18oz? That's a seriously heavy fabric, and actually might be just what I need. But I've seen LOTs of fabrics from lots of manufacturers (definitely including Minnis and probably Fox Bros.), and I'm almost never seen anything above 400g (~14oz). And every flannel I saw above 290g I didn't much like. Maybe these super heavy fabrics are not widely distributed? Maybe I did see one of these 18oz fabrics and didn't like it because it was solid. (I definitely remember seeing some sets of heavy flannels that were only available in solid colors.) Could also be that I didn't like the feel. Indeed, when I touch an English fabric, it more often than not just feels wrong. Is there some disadvantage to softer, smoother fabrics? Anyway, I've noticed that a lot of people on the forum very much do like English fabrics. Perhaps I'm missing something. Otherwise, to each his own, I guess.
 

DavidLane

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Everyone looks good in mid gray flannel. Everyone.

Flannel tends to wear out faster than most other cloths. A 10oz flannel will not have the longevity of an 18 oz flannel. If you want something for winter, get a true winter cloth. I have several 18-20oz. flannels and they wear wonderfully up to 40 degrees F, unless you are in southern California. Although @Andy57 has several heavy weight flannels who I believe is in the Bay area and wears them wonderfully.

Don't get caught up too much in the weights. The weave and quality of the wool is more important.

As for the Fresco, its a toss up, but by design is a hard wearing high twist open weave and can wear cooler in 10-12oz. than a tropical in 6-7oz. Not a fast rule however.

DL-
 

rharlow

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Quick question for you folks out there: based on the photos of the lining, below, can you tell whether this jacket is canvassed at all?

The lining does not appear to be hand sewn into the chest and quarters in panels like all of my fully-canvassed jackets. The lining frankly looks like some men's wearhouse fused crap, but what do I know. However, I wouldn't think a Martin Greenfield suit for "Alan Flusser custom" would be fused.

It's just the right size for me and I've been searching for a solaro suit for over a year, but I'm not going to buy some fused p.o.s.
Thanks for your more expert feedback based on these pics!
s-l1600-5.jpgs-l1600-4.jpgs-l1600-3.jpg
 

DavidLane

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Quick question for you folks out there: based on the photos of the lining, below, can you tell whether this jacket is canvassed at all?

The lining does not appear to be hand sewn into the chest and quarters in panels like all of my fully-canvassed jackets. The lining frankly looks like some men's wearhouse fused crap, but what do I know. However, I wouldn't think a Martin Greenfield suit for "Alan Flusser custom" would be fused.

It's just the right size for me and I've been searching for a solaro suit for over a year, but I'm not going to buy some fused p.o.s.
Thanks for your more expert feedback based on these pics!
View attachment 1193423View attachment 1193424View attachment 1193425
https://putthison.com/chest-canvas-and-the-pinch-test-id-been/
 

dieworkwear

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dieworkwear

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It's just the right size for me and I've been searching for a solaro suit for over a year, but I'm not going to buy some fused p.o.s.
I wouldn't let issues about quality get in the way of your judgments. Just see if the garment looks and feels good on you. Ultimately that's the only test that matters
 

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