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How do one distinguish a full canvas suit from a fused suit?

complexmic

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How do one distinguish a full canvas suit from a fused suit just by touching it?
Thanks
 

grimslade

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Pinch the suit fabric above the breast pocket and rub the sides together. Then do the same on the back near the bottom. Does it feel thicker and smoother in the front?

Not fool proof because the technique takes some practice. Lots of threads around here with suggestions on this topic.
 

Holdfast

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^ not just thicker, but if it's fully canvassed you can actually slightly pull the front and back fabric layers apart and feel a third middle layer between them.

It takes a bit of practice to learn how to do it and and there are still times I need to recheck to be sure, but it's doable.
 

Fuuma

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Originally Posted by grimslade
Pinch the suit fabric above the breast pocket and rub the sides together. Then do the same on the back near the bottom. Does it feel thicker and smoother in the front?

Not fool proof because the technique takes some practice. Lots of threads around here with suggestions on this topic.


I'd say a canvassed jacket doesn't feel smoother as the canvas creates friction, or maybe I'm not just getting what you're trying to convey.
 

AnGeLiCbOrIs

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I also use the pinch test below the bottom buttonhole. Just feel for the third layer.

Be careful because yesterday I checked a Tahari suit that was definitely fully canvassed but had fusing along the whole front as well.

I find it much more difficult to check if a suit is half canvas than full canvas. In fact, I'm not even sure what half canvas actually means.
 

edmorel

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Get a pair of scissors, cut across the chest (make sure jacket is not your size), look inside chest. If it is, then just grab one in your size. If not, you're not out any money. Just make sure you are in good shape as very speedy running might come into play.
 

wq1999

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I performed the pinch test on the E. Zegna sportcoat I'm wearing today. Seems canvassed both above the chest pocket and below the bottom button, but when I test the lapels, I only get two layers. Is this normal for a canvassed coat, or is this some kind of semi-canvassing?

Thanks.
 

stickonatree

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Originally Posted by AnGeLiCbOrIs
I also use the pinch test below the bottom buttonhole. Just feel for the third layer.

Be careful because yesterday I checked a Tahari suit that was definitely fully canvassed but had fusing along the whole front as well.

I find it much more difficult to check if a suit is half canvas than full canvas. In fact, I'm not even sure what half canvas actually means.


half canvas is used by a lot of middle range lines these days; it's where only the chest is canvassed, and the rest below 3/4 of the jacket fused. the theory is that the chest drape matters most, and economically the rest of the jacket doesn't need to drape or curve as much, and so fusing the lower part saves money.
 

polar-lemon

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Originally Posted by stickonatree
half canvas is used by a lot of middle range lines these days; it's where only the chest is canvassed, and the rest below 3/4 of the jacket fused. the theory is that the chest drape matters most, and economically the rest of the jacket doesn't need to drape or curve as much, and so fusing the lower part saves money.

I can definitely tell if something is fully canvassed, but I have to agree that half canvass is tricky. There's no real standard for determining it, and testing the lapels for canvassing is very tricky as well.
 

stickonatree

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Originally Posted by polar-lemon
I can definitely tell if something is fully canvassed, but I have to agree that half canvass is tricky. There's no real standard for determining it, and testing the lapels for canvassing is very tricky as well.
i don't think it's tricky at all. pinch above the breast pocket to chest for "chest canvassing" and pinch below the bottom button to check for "full canvassing." if you can easily tell if something if fully canvassed, the fusing at the bottom should be an easy indication that it's a half canvassed suit.
 

polar-lemon

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Originally Posted by stickonatree
i don't think it's tricky at all. pinch above the breast pocket to chest for "chest canvassing" and pinch below the bottom button to check for "full canvassing." if you can easily tell if something if fully canvassed, the fusing at the bottom should be an easy indication that it's a half canvassed suit.

That's true, but I find that a relatively large number of suits have at least a partially canvassed chest piece, but the lapels are often fused. The only method of which I'm aware for testing lapel canvassing is to rub them together; if rough, canvassed, if smooth, fused. Is there a better way?
 

binge

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As Holdfast describes, if you gently pull apart the front and back, you can feel a middle layer in between. Performing this below the bottom button is easier IMO then up on the chest since there won't be pockets and such in the way.

Once you've done it on a jacket that you know is fully canvassed, then again on one that certainly isn't, it becomes a lot easier to tell.

Go to Sak's or any high-end clothier and find a Borelli, Kiton, Brioni, etc. jacket as anything from those makers will certainly be fully-canvassed and perform the test. Then, head over to Macy's and find any number of inexpensive jackets and perform the same test, you'll quickly notice the difference.

To me, the fusing feels slightly rubbery or spongy on the inside of the front piece.

I also have found that super-1xx's wool suits are easier to tell than say a heavy tweed jacket. On my Belvest suit jacket, it's very easy to feel the canvas layer. On my Hickey-Freeman heavier wool sportcoats it's a bit harder to find. On my cheapie (but much loved) Arnold Brandt sportcoats, it's pretty easy to tell that they are not canvased, the same is true for my JAB sportcoat.

IMO, canvassed vs. fused isn't the end-all-be-all for everything. In my experience, low-cost casual odd jackets can be just fine even with fusing. Sure, they may lack some drape/body compared to a high-end fully-canvassed jacket, but for me, the it's a reasonable trade-off for the budget-minded clothes-horse.

Where I do look for full-canvassing is in my suits. I did pick up a Hugo Boss Selection suit last year (in my pre-SF days) and compared to my Belvest, it sure feels fused. For this and other reasons, I'm not all that happy with the Hugo Boss suit and I rarely wear it. I'm saving up for my next suit (conventional SB navy) and for that, paying extra for a high-quality, fully-canvassed garment is worth it IMO.
 

literasyme

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I have two unlined sportscoats (one Loro Piana, the other Barbera), in which you can actually reach into the chest of the jacket. The Barbera is canvassed; the Loro Piana is fused -- in fact, it's so unconstructed that there is no material at all between the two layers of cloth anywhere, not even in the lapel. Is that normal in fused jackets?
 

Holdfast

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Originally Posted by literasyme
I have two unlined sportscoats (one Loro Piana, the other Barbera), in which you can actually reach into the chest of the jacket. The Barbera is canvassed; the Loro Piana is fused -- in fact, it's so unconstructed that there is no material at all between the two layers of cloth anywhere, not even in the lapel. Is that normal in fused jackets?

I'd say you can usually feel all but the thinnest fusings as a fractional extra thickness on one of the two layers. Loro Piana has some summer unlined jackets that are almost completely uncontructed, with just (I think) a little very, very light fusing in the lapels and upper chest and a little wadding in the shoulder. I have one or two of these myself.
 

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