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Third layer in fused suits?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by lierre, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. lierre

    lierre Well-Known Member

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    I applied the pinch test to several suits that I definitely knew were fused (think Macy's) by pulling the front of the jacket and the lining apart in the chest of the jacket. I felt a third layer in the middle that felt thicker than both the front fabric and the lining and was a bit spongy. I was under the impression that a third layer meant that there was canvassing in the chest. Am I applying the test incorrectly? Thanks!
     
  2. MisterFu

    MisterFu Senior member

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    What you are feeling is the chest piece. All suits, fused, half-canvas or fully canvassed, have a chest piece. Generally speaking, if the suit is half canvas, it can be quite hard to use the pinch test to confirm this; even pinching the lapel isn't a good test because the lapel alone may just be padded with canvas to give it desired roll. That said, if you don't feel a third layer when pinch testing the lapel, there is pretty much zero chance that it is half canvas construction. If you do, then it might be half-canvas or it might just be padded lapel. The pinch test really only works definitively on fully canvassed suits where you can pinch an inch or two between the last button and the bottom of the jacket and feel the three layers without interference from pockets, chest pieces, padding, etc.
     
  3. lierre

    lierre Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! So pinching below the lowest button tests for fused vs. full-canvas, but is there any reliable way to test for fused vs. half-canvas?
     
  4. MisterFu

    MisterFu Senior member

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    If you pinch test the lapel and don't feel a third layer, it is almost certainly not canvassed in any form. However if you do feel a third layer in the lapel, to be fully sure if your suit is half-canvas, versus just padded lapel, will require you to open the suit. You'll probably never need to take such drastic action as most suits that are canvassed (half or full) are advertised as such.
     
  5. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Not really.


    The canvas is padded (stitched) to the cloth so you won't ever feel a distinct third layer in the lapel. Only a very experienced hand can tell the difference between a padded lapel and a fused one just by feeling it.
     
  6. Sanguis Mortuum

    Sanguis Mortuum Senior member

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    Though of course if you can see the stitches on the under-side of the lapel...
     
  7. RDiaz

    RDiaz Senior member

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    This. I was expecting fusing in the first suit I ever dissected (it became like 20 sizes too large) and to my surprise it was half canvassed - I couldn't feel the third layer because it was pad stitched. The canvas was also quite soft, so to my inexperienced hand it felt like fusing.

    If you have dissected suits and know how they are built you are more likely to know where to do the pinch test, and what to expect to feel at each area of the jacket (canvas, chest piece, bridle tape, felt layers, wadding, etc). You'll also probably feel the difference between fusible material and canvas, no matter how springy it is. But the pinch test doesn't really work on lapels.
     
  8. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The machines are calibrated so that you shouldn't be able to see the stitches on the underside of the lapel. If you can, it's considered a sloppy job.
     
  9. MisterFu

    MisterFu Senior member

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    Doh! I totally forgot about the pad stitching of the canvas - a good thing I am not a tailor. Note to self: never recommend pinch testing a lapel or recommend methods you never bothered to investigate yourself.
     

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