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

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by complexmic, May 14, 2008.

  1. ginlimetonic

    ginlimetonic Senior member

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    When you go for fitting for the made-to-measure suit, and you see that one sleeve is on the jacket, and numerous chalk marks and threads, does it mean its CANVASSED? or can it also be fused at that point of the jacket construction?
     
  2. benjamin831

    benjamin831 Senior member

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    This "third layer thing" is misleading.

    Many half fused jackets contain a third layer as well, often reaching down the length of the jacket. A third layer does not mean that the jacket is fuse-free. Fusing and full-canvas are not mutually exclusive. Most upper-middle range jackets may have fusing on the underside of their stitched lapels along with a full canvas construction to the give the lapel more rigidity and structure, especially in the case of light suiting material. Sometimes, you can find fusing around the skirt of the jacket to give the bottom extra weight.

    In top range jackets like Brioni, absolutely no fusing material can be found anywhere on the jacket, not even on the underside of pocket flaps where it is commonly found. Jackets such as these are truly fuse-free full-canvas jackets.

    You can detect fusing by pinching up the fabric and assess whether there is a spongy/felty underside to the fabric. Compare this to the fabric on the back of the jacket, where fusing is almost always absent. You can detect full-canvas by following the instructions made by previous posters. Again, fusing and full-canvas are not mutually exclusive.
     
  3. furo

    furo Senior member

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    You can detect fusing by pinching up the fabric and assess whether there is a spongy/felty underside to the fabric. Compare this to the fabric on the back of the jacket, where fusing is almost always absent. You can detect full-canvas by following the instructions made by previous posters. Again, fusing and full-canvas are not mutually exclusive.

    I still fail to see how you can detect the difference using that technique where you pinch the front and expect it to feel like the unfused back.

    And here's why: all suits, regardless of construction, have a chest piece. Determining whether that chest piece is half canvas, full canvas, or fused, isn't easy. I've felt a "fused" suit (that I knew for a fact was fused) and it had a chest piece in it that made it thicker in the chest (as it should) than the back. And then I tested a mainline HF suit the same way and felt the same thickness in the chest. Interpreting the difference between a fused chest piece and a canvas one still evades me.

    And then you have to figure out if it's "free floating" ... and does a free floating chest piece necessarily imply "canvas-construction?" (i.e. a horsehair chest piece)
     
  4. benjamin831

    benjamin831 Senior member

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    And here's why: all suits, regardless of construction, have a chest piece. Determining whether that chest piece is half canvas, full canvas, or fused, isn't easy. I've felt a "fused" suit (that I knew for a fact was fused) and it had a chest piece in it that made it thicker in the chest (as it should) than the back. And then I tested a mainline HF suit the same way and felt the same thickness in the chest. Interpreting the difference between a fused chest piece and a canvas one still evades me.
    You just need to know what to look out for when testing for a fused suit. It is hard to explain what exactly fusing is without pictures. If you've seen it before in the raw then you'll know exactly what to feel for. Fusing is a black synthetic mesh that has been glued directly onto the suiting fabric itself. That is why when you pinch up the fabric and rub it between your finger, you'll be able to feel the fusing on the underside. Again, pictures would help here. For me, the priority would be to find any signs of fusing before anything else. I'll first test the chest fabric and then the lapels for fusing. If I determine that there thick fusing in these two areas, I would reconsider the suit very seriously. If there is only light fusing behind the lapels, I'll test for a full-canvased piece that runs down the length of the jacket. Just take it as it is. Many manufactures have different ways of configuring their fusing/canvas combination. Just buy top tier suits, then you won't have to stress. PS. As for "free-floating," I have no idea what that means exactly. As I understand it, canvas is always attached to the underside of the lapel by dozens of hand stitches. At times it may also be attached to the fabric by the frontal dart seams.
     
  5. emakris

    emakris Senior member

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    In my opinion, the best way to find out if a jacket is fully or half canvassed or fused, or anything else for that matter, is to ask the salesperson. They are bound to tell you if they know (as it is illegal to lie about the product). You are shopping at the wrong place of they do not know.
     
  6. instep

    instep Senior member

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    In my opinion, the best way to find out if a jacket is fully or half canvassed or fused, or anything else for that matter, is to ask the salesperson. They are bound to tell you if they know (as it is illegal to lie about the product). You are shopping at the wrong place of they do not know.
    Then just about everywhere is the 'wrong place'? [​IMG]
     
  7. brescd01

    brescd01 Senior member

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    Take my observations with a grain of salt, because I do nt have the experience of previous posters: the problem I find with many of these suggestions is that they ignore the differences in quality between different canvas and different fusing. I brought a jacket custom-made for me in Romania, to my wonderful tailor Centofanti. He commented that he thought it fused. Yet I could clearly feel the canvas in the jacket and separate the two sides.

    I think the problem is that 1) some canvases are lower quality than others, the poor quality of raw materials in Romania is a distinctive feature of everything made there 2) the tailor might use both fusing and canvas, actually the way tailors in Romania work they send the pieces to a cooperative and they could do anything, literally, no matter what the tailor wants. I know that this seems like a unique situation (Romanian manufacture) but actually a large number of garments marked "made in Italy" are actually mad in Romania, though not in the cooperative system.
     
  8. ysc

    ysc Senior member

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    ^ that is interesting, plus the is fusing and there is really bad fusing, I have a fused suit that looks fine after five years and multiple trips to the dry cleaners, and have seen others that have "bubbled" within weeks and looked like shit.
     
  9. instep

    instep Senior member

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    I think what has a lot to do with the confusion/uncertainty is that there are many many many different 'blends' of wool canvas - each containing different proportions of wool, rayon, cotton, horse hair, etc - and each thus feeling different. Say, a Brioni jacket with 9.5oz S130s wool with a stiff horsehair-wool canvas will feel different in the 'pinch test' from a 13oz Loch tweed jacket with a soft wool canvas. I have 3 jackets I know to be fully canvassed, and each feels different. Each also 'drapes' on me differently. The canvas IMO plays an important part in determining the 'drape' of a jacket, and as well all know - not all jackets drape the same.
     
  10. brescd01

    brescd01 Senior member

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    These two last posts by youngscientist and instep are very revealing. Plus, there is a sub-text that we are dancing around. Since we all know that canvassing is "superior" to fusing, the manufacturers will do all that they can to make their jackets appear canvassed or to be able to claim that their jackets are canvassed, so the landscape shifts. Ah, Adam Smith's Invisible Hand....
     
  11. ginlimetonic

    ginlimetonic Senior member

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    These two last posts by youngscientist and instep are very revealing. Plus, there is a sub-text that we are dancing around. Since we all know that canvassing is "superior" to fusing, the manufacturers will do all that they can to make their jackets appear canvassed or to be able to claim that their jackets are canvassed, so the landscape shifts. Ah, Adam Smith's Invisible Hand....
    invisible hand? that market efficiency forces economy's resources to its most productive use?? i don't get you... how are resources directed to where it smost highly valued? you talking more about marketing and appearing?
     
  12. brescd01

    brescd01 Senior member

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    By making suits that will appear canvassed and whose fusing will be concealed, thereby increasing their value.
     
  13. bigbris1

    bigbris1 Senior member

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    I think dudes are doing the pinch test, feeling the chest piece, and saying "yes. it's canvassed" in error.

    A view inside a coat that is quarter lined and fused will set matters straight. That or Ed's way of taking a sawzall to it.
     
  14. seeclark

    seeclark Active Member

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    Not that I couldn't imagine what "bubbling" might look like on a suit, but I take it that this is a good example of the end game for fused lapels?

    [​IMG]
     
  15. instep

    instep Senior member

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    Not that I couldn't imagine what "bubbling" might look like on a suit, but I take it that this is a good example of the end game for fused lapels?

    [​IMG]

    No. That just looks like careless steaming of a jacket lapel around pick stitching.

    For lack of a better comparison, bubbling in fused jackets looks just like air trapped under a film, not unlike poorly applied or old car window tinting - bits of the fabric 'lift' off the fusing, and look 'puffy' compared to the surrounding still-fused areas.
     

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