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Relevance of suit canvas *material*

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by rgould, Dec 30, 2015.

  1. rgould

    rgould Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    May 12, 2010
    I have not had a lot of luck searching the forums on this question. Assuming in all cases the suits are fully canvassed, what makes a Kiton suit so soft and a random HK fully canvassed custom suit so stiff? I understand it comes down to 1. material of the canvas and 2. how it is attached

    So my questions are, what are the different materials for the canvasses (e.g. horsehair, camelhair, wool, etc) and what are their properties specifically? Does Kiton likely use one type in particular that is very soft that other factories do not? Is one type more or less durable (e.g. is there a reason someone might want a stiffer canvas)? How do the types affect the lapel roll? Anyone have any interesting commentary/experience generally on the matter?

    Thanks very much

  2. zr3rs

    zr3rs Senior Member

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    Apr 21, 2015
    I am no insider and cannot help you with the details, but it is pretty clear that there are different quality levels of canvas, same as there are different quality levels of wool fabric. Quality most certainly does not only depend on the kind of material used, but the raw material quality, the weaving and any other treatment.

    Furthermore, the canvas is not a solid piece, but typically consists of multiple layers, and each of the layers may also be darted in certain places as to achieve a more three-dimensional contour. How the canvas is stitched to the outer layer should also play a major role.

    As far as I know, the type of canvas in high quality suits has to be matched to the outer fabric properties.

    Most likely the cheaper tailors use a stiffer and heavier canvas to be able to "stabilize" even cheap and flimsy outer fabrics. As usual, light and strong (canvas) should be more expensive than heavy and strong.

    That said, I do not think that "full canvas" in itself, much like "goodyear welted" is a quality indicator per se. It all comes down to material quality and production methods. A glued suit with a high quality interlining might be better than a cheap full-canvas suit (but will likely also cost more in production).

    From my (limited) experience, Kiton (together with my current favorite Regent Germany) really excels in terms of light and flexible, yet shaped jackets.

  3. YRR92

    YRR92 Distinguished Member

    Likes Received:
    Nov 13, 2012
    Canvas can also be either cut on the grain or on the bias, which affects how it drapes.

    Check out this blog (http://tuttofattoamano.blogspot.com/) to see how many different ways a well-made suit can be constructed.

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