Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by brueshin, Apr 27, 2004.
just wondering if my suit is canvas or fused. thank you
The simple test is to pinch the sleve and then the chest area. If the material feels thicker on the chest, then it's probably fused if not it's got a floating canvas.
You should note that almost all suits have canvas, or what passes for canvas. The difference is how it's attached to the suit i.e. glued or sewn.
Do a search for more info..
This is a topic that has generated much confusion. Most posters give very unintentionally misleading and confusing information. I think that A. Harris gave the best explanation. Feel the fabric at the middle of one of the sleeves (not the lining, just the wool). Then, feel the fabric at the chest, just above the pocket. A fused suit's fabric at the chest area will feel slightly "thicker" -- in a good fused suit only just a little bit -- than the fabric at the sleeve. This is due to the fusible fabric that has been literally "fused" to the on the inside face of the wool fabric. (Imagine a giant iron on patch, only much of much more supple material).
Even in a fused suit you will feel a distinct third layer at the chest area. This is the canvas chest piece, and I have never seen any decent suit (read: over $250 retail) that didn't have a "floating" chest piece. Some posters here -- for example, Bjorn H above -- have stated that the difference between a fused and a canvas suit is that in the former the chest piece is "glued" in. I doubt this is the case. I have had one experience deconstructing a fused suit, and the chest piece was most definitely stitched in to the jacket (the stitching was at the perimeter, such that the interior of the canvas was floating). I can't imagine how the chest piece could be glued in. Such a suit would be unimaginably cheap and would likely get ruined in a matter of months.
It seems to me that in a canvas suit the "chest piece" is actually a full front piece. That is, the canvas layer runs all the way down to the bottom of the jacket. In a fused suit, because the canvas only runs down to about the pocket level, the manufacturer must use a fusible material to make the lower half of the jacket have shape. Because it would look silly to have only the lower half of the jacket fused (I imagine you could see a line if this were the case), the fusing runs all the way up. This is why even the chest area's fabric will feel thicker. Additionally, this is why another good way to tell if it is fused or not is to feel the bottom half of the jacket -- if there is a distinct third layer near the bottom hem, chances are its canvassed.
Also, note that even fused suits will often have canvas in the lapels that is padstitched in. Hart Schaffner and Marx is a good example of this. Though the Gold Trumpeteer is a fused suit (and in my opinion a good one), the lapels contain handstitched canvas. In my opinion, the canvas lapels are very important to look for as well.
Thanks for your reply....wow, that is soo confusing i will try the pinch test but it seems as if you are suggesting that it will not really tell me whether or not it is fused. Is there any other signs/tests that says a suit is well constructed besides this and the stitching? thanks
Yes. It's a confusing matter. Thanks for the explaination though.
However, for me, it is more confusing to decide what I should value more when it comes to choosing suit. Is it construction, style, fit, fabric, or/and label. I have tried Canali, Zegna, and Brioni that have full front canvas. However, those suits may look fabolous on slender guys .. but rigid shoulders on those suits make me look like a brick (I have big shoulders and lats). However .. I am thinking about getting 2 button made to measure Zegna suit though .. : )
It is confusing, but the pinch test works very well. Pinch an Oxxford or most Hickey Freeman suits (I actually saw a fused HF Collection the other day and was sort of shocked) and you'll notice the difference immediately. I promise.
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