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The canvas of a suit

Minotaar

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Hi, I've been looking for the answer to this all over, and I can't seem to find it. It's either too trivial for some sites, or too esoteric for others..

Does the canvas of a full-canvas suit occupy only the front of the suit, or does it also cover the back of the suit?

I have a suit that seems to be distorting slightly at the shoulders as it hangs on the hangar - despite the broad and very thick wooden hangar I bought for my beloved suit. The canvas of this suit is only on the front. I was wondering if this is because it is half-lined, or because all full-canvas suits have canvas only in the front. If I wanted to prevent the suit from stretching on the hangar (it is slowly developing hangar bumps I think) can I ask for some sort of taping or reinforcement underneath the shoulder seam to prevent this? Has anyone done this before?

Sorry, to better explain, I was asking about the canvas because I was wondering if suits have canvas behind the shoulder seam also, thereby creating more resistance to stretching on the hangar.

mino
 

taxgenius

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Never covers the back.
 

the_sartorialist

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Peculiar. I have had fully lined suits, half-lined suits and fully unlined suits, and I have not encountered the issue you described above. May I ask what suit it is and what fabric it's made of? Maybe it's the shoulder pads that is moving / distorting the shape.
 

Sanguis Mortuum

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Originally Posted by Minotaar
Sorry, to better explain, I was asking about the canvas because I was wondering if suits have canvas behind the shoulder seam also, thereby creating more resistance to stretching on the hangar.
The shoulder pads would usually reach either side of the shoulder seam, unless you have a completely unstructured shoulder with no padding; the canvas does not though. Sometimes womens suits have canvassing in the upper back, but never in men's suits.
 

Martin Stall

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A good suit will have a yoke of some sort of canvass on the back shoulder. Yes, that helps keep the suit look tidy, on the hanger and on the shoulder. Yes, yes, modern good suits often have that replaced by fusing. If they have it at all.
 

Sanguis Mortuum

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Originally Posted by Martin Stall
A good suit will have a yoke of some sort of canvass on the back shoulder. Yes, that helps keep the suit look tidy, on the hanger and on the shoulder. Yes, yes, modern good suits often have that replaced by fusing. If they have it at all.
How common is this? I'm not a professional tailor, but none of the books I have on the subject include this, and neither do any of the suits dissected on either the Cutter & Tailor Forum or JeffreyD's blog. The only thing that seems to be rear of the shoulder is half the shoulder pad, tape to stay the shoulder seam, and the padding round the rear of the scye...
 

Martin Stall

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It used to be the law in the old days, say 50 or 60 years ago you would find it in many manuals. Some would only use a strip of 4 to 6 cm's wide along the rear scye, which would sometimes be grown onto the body canvass. Other makers actually used a yoke-type that went from shoulder point to shoulder point. I've seen fused garments where there is a fusible tape used.
 

Martin Stall

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I should add though, that the last century saw enormous changes in cutting systems, at least in the Rundschau system that I'm most familiar with. Those changes were often designed to reduce the amount of shrinking and stretching necessary for a good fit. Canvass works to stabilise the shell cloth, so I guess when there is not as much laborious manipulation of the cloth, it doesn't need to be held in place as much.
 

Minotaar

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Originally Posted by the_sartorialist
Peculiar. I have had fully lined suits, half-lined suits and fully unlined suits, and I have not encountered the issue you described above. May I ask what suit it is and what fabric it's made of? Maybe it's the shoulder pads that is moving / distorting the shape.
The suit was made by Michael Andrews Bespoke. The fabric is a super 120s wool. I have broad but rather un-sloping shoulders, so they went light on the shoulder pads, but they're there. The hangar is about 1.5 inches wide at its ends, and it does not reach all the way to the end of the shoulder. The distortion seems to happen where the rear side of the wide end of the hangar hits the fabric of the back, behind the shoulder seam. The distortion affects the silouette of the shoulder, notably causing a small ripple that drives me crazy. (my hyper-sensitivity to shoulder silouette is actually what drove me to look into bespoke) After working with the taylor to address this issue, (he took in some fabric at the seam, but the distortion came back) I think it is related to stretching in the fabric of the back - and my only conclusion was that it was because of the hangar and the lack of structural reinforcement of the shell fabric by any sort of canvas behind the shoulder.
Originally Posted by Martin Stall
A good suit will have a yoke of some sort of canvass on the back shoulder. Yes, that helps keep the suit look tidy, on the hanger and on the shoulder. Yes, yes, modern good suits often have that replaced by fusing. If they have it at all.
I am definitely having this made on my next suit. I am trying to calm myself by telling myself that the bespoke process often requires more than one garment to be made before we get things right.. sigh.
Originally Posted by Martin Stall
I should add though, that the last century saw enormous changes in cutting systems, at least in the Rundschau system that I'm most familiar with. Those changes were often designed to reduce the amount of shrinking and stretching necessary for a good fit. Canvass works to stabilise the shell cloth, so I guess when there is not as much laborious manipulation of the cloth, it doesn't need to be held in place as much.
Until your hangar decides to stretch your suit out and you want to cry. Do you know if this rear canvassing creates any mobility issues in the shoulder? it seems like it would make the shoulder considerably more solid, but I'm not sure I can accurately imagine how the shoulder would work. Would the shoulder bunch up a lot if I were to reach upwards - say, waving to crowds of adoring fans? (in the untimely event that I have such fans)
 

Martin Stall

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Waving at fans is right out for the sartorially minded.

I'd like to see some pics, both on the hanger and on you. It could be, it sounds to me, that the cloth might simply suffer from a short hanger, picking up wrinkles that it doesn't lose when you put it on.

Canvass across the back should not cause any problems when moving, it should move right along with the shell cloth, just as with the fronts.

It doesn't sound like you should worry about it too much. Ask your tailor if you feel it looks bad when you're wearing it. And get a hanger that is wide and broad enough to support the shoulder. If it's made with a soft shoulder, this is pretty important to keep the jacket in shape, and not just the shoulder but the chest as well.
 

vincerich

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Originally Posted by the_sartorialist
Peculiar. I have had fully lined suits, half-lined suits and fully unlined suits, and I have not encountered the issue you described above. May I ask what suit it is and what fabric it's made of? Maybe it's the shoulder pads that is moving / distorting the shape.



lol....The OP said "fully canvassed." WTF is half-lined and fully unlined? LOL!
 

Despos

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The canvass will extend over the shoulder seam about 1/2" to the back. Your problem is more related to cutting and shoulder construction issues than canvass and hanger issues.
I will say you have somewhat square shoulders that pitch forward and the jacket is not fitting on your shoulder properly. Do you feel pressure at the shoulder point? The jacket pressing against you at the end of the shoulder?
 

Martin Stall

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Chris, from what I gather the problem shows up when the jacket is on the hanger. Would be short hanger + soft shoulders, no?
 

Minotaar

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Originally Posted by Despos
The canvass will extend over the shoulder seam about 1/2" to the back. Your problem is more related to cutting and shoulder construction issues than canvass and hanger issues. I will say you have somewhat square shoulders that pitch forward and the jacket is not fitting on your shoulder properly. Do you feel pressure at the shoulder point? The jacket pressing against you at the end of the shoulder?
No, the jacket feels like it floats consistently over my shoulder, and touches no part more than anything else. It felt like it was "floating" a lot more on the first wearing, and less so now. Im not sure if it's because I'm used to it, or because of the subsequent small alternations we did on the jacket. Here are two pictures of what I mean. I should point out that in the first picture, the issue is exacerbated by the fact that I am reaching tightly across my body with the camera - the bump is higher and more pronounced because of this. But this way it's obvious and you can see what I mean. A less contorted position of my body is shown below, where i didnt have to reach across so far. This is of my left shoulder, not in a mirror (with flash).
Left shoulder, in a (rather dusty, sorry!) mirror, no flash. Theres no bunching of my (T) shirt under the shoulder.
 

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