What's the POINT of chest canvassing on jackets?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by lightsaber, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. lightsaber

    lightsaber Senior member

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    So far I've just gone along with the crowd, but lately I've been wondering what's the point of having all that canvassing in the chest of a suit jacket or a sportjacket? Is it heard of to have none at all?

    Would it be insane to do have a custom order and not have any chest canvassing put in?

    Thoughts.
     
  2. Faded501s

    Faded501s Senior member

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    Canvassing gives shape to a suit. I've seen linen/blends without it and it takes unstructured to the extreme. Minus the canvas you basically are going to have a shirt posing as a jacket.
     
  3. binge

    binge Senior member

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  4. lightsaber

    lightsaber Senior member

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    Canvassing gives shape to a suit. I've seen linen/blends without it and it takes unstructured to the extreme. Minus the canvas you basically are going to have a shirt posing as a jacket.

    When people talk about "unstructured jackets" don't they basically mean a jacket without shoulder pads and without chest canvassing?
     
  5. Sator

    Sator Senior member

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    The problem about shirt jackets is that they go dreadfully out of shape after a while. They look shapeless and are a testimony to why soft-structureless tailoring is a dead end. It would be quite reasonable for a tailor to refuse to have their name on such a garment and refuse the order.
     
  6. binge

    binge Senior member

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    The problem about shirt jackets is that they go dreadfully out of shape after a while. They look shapeless and are a testimony to why soft-structureless tailoring is a dead end. It would be quite reasonable for a tailor to refuse to have their name on such a garment and refuse the order.

    Can you show us pictorial evolution of a shirt jacket from original shape to dreadfully out of shape; and a time-line to accompany. This way, if any of us wish to take the shirt jacket plunge, we can accurately predict when we will have to bin the item.
     
  7. Faded501s

    Faded501s Senior member

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    When people talk about "unstructured jackets" don't they basically mean a jacket without shoulder pads and without chest canvassing?

    It's a subjective term but generally, how I perceive it, the term "unstructured" is usually used in the context of a jacket's shoulders (and the amount of padding). It is also used, not as frequently I think, to describe the stiffness of the chest canvas. On one extreme you have something completely unstructured like an unlined linen jacket with no shoulder padding...basically a linen "shell" and nothing else except buttons. On the other extreme you have the 80's power suit with broad padded shoulders and a very firm chest canvassing...one that completely lacks "drape". And then everything in between.
     
  8. chestercopperpot

    chestercopperpot Senior member

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  9. Zenny

    Zenny Senior member

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    The problem about shirt jackets is that they go dreadfully out of shape after a while. They look shapeless and are a testimony to why soft-structureless tailoring is a dead end. It would be quite reasonable for a tailor to refuse to have their name on such a garment and refuse the order.

    This might be a desired look by some. Instant sprezzatura, if you will.
     
  10. sho'nuff

    sho'nuff grrrrrrrr!!

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    From what I know, coats with canvassing makes the front part of the coat (main part besides the shoulders) very fluid and drapes accordingly.

    Those without canvassing and are fused have almost a cardboard pliability to them. They don't move well.

    An unstructured coat I think doesn't really have anything to do with canvassing, no?
    I have a completely unlined and almost no shoulder pad rlpl olive glen sportcoat and it is fully canvassed. But it is unstructured. No?
     
  11. Sanguis Mortuum

    Sanguis Mortuum Senior member

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    From what I know, coats with canvassing makes the front part of the coat (main part besides the shoulders) very fluid and drapes accordingly.

    Those without canvassing and are fused have almost a cardboard pliability to them. They don't move well.


    He's talking about without canvassing or fusible...
     
  12. Faded501s

    Faded501s Senior member

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    He's talking about without canvassing or fusible...

    Yes, this.

    From what I know, coats with canvassing makes the front part of the coat (main part besides the shoulders) very fluid and drapes accordingly.

    Those without canvassing and are fused have almost a cardboard pliability to them. They don't move well.

    An unstructured coat I think doesn't really have anything to do with canvassing, no?
    I have a completely unlined and almost no shoulder pad rlpl olive glen sportcoat and it is fully canvassed. But it is unstructured. No?


    I'm sure it is threads like this that cause so much confusion about the subject. Firstly, the OP needs to be clarified to define "canvassing". The term can be a noun synonymous with interlining or it can be an adjective used to describe whether the canvas is glued (fused) or sewn (canvassed).

    So, to repeat...the canvas (interlining) can be glued (fused) or sewn (canvassed) to give a jacket form. Theoretically a fused jacket can be just as unstructured as a canvassed jacket. Theoretically a jacket will have more structure if it is fused as opposed to canvassed if using the same type of canvas. These two seemingly contradictory statements can both be true because there are different "weights" and types of canvas that provide varying degrees of structure or "stiffness" to the jacket. The main difference between glued and sewn should be obvious...a glued jacket "fuses" the canvas to the outer material so that it becomes one whereas a sewn canvas allows movement between the canvas and outer material and therefore less "structure" and more "drape". With that being said, a light interlining combined with a good fusing process (which seems to be the norm today) can provide a very unstructured jacket whereas a heavy interlining sewn into the jacket will result in a much more structured jacket.

    And not to pick on you sho' but for the sake of clarification...
    From what I know, coats with canvassing makes the front part of the coat (main part besides the shoulders) very fluid and drapes accordingly.

    I think, the "fluidity" and drape have more to do with the type of canvas as opposed to how it is attached...assuming that whether sewn or glued that it is done properly.


    Those without canvassing and are fused have almost a cardboard pliability to them. They don't move well.

    This might be true with "cheap" or improperly fused suits, or those from yesteryear, but I don't believe this is the case in a jacket properly fused today. With that being said, fusing can never match the fluidity of a properly canvassed jacket.

    An unstructured coat I think doesn't really have anything to do with canvassing, no? I have a completely unlined and almost no shoulder pad rlpl olive glen sportcoat and it is fully canvassed.

    This is the opposite of correct. Canvassing has everything to do with the structure of a jacket and literally defines it (I'm not addressing shoulders here). The only kind of jacket that is fully canvassed and unlined is one that has not been completed yet.
     
  13. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Canvas, which is a material made up of wool, animal hair, and other fibers, is NEVER fused to the garment. Fusible (which is used in the place of canvas) is usually polyester and has none of the properties of canvas, but when bonded to the cloth, stiffens it, which provides some of the support canvas would but without the resilience of natural animal hair. There are steps taken when inserting the canvas which help to give/ preserve shape, which can not be done when fusing. All garments will have either canvas or fusible on the front; even unstructured ones will have something to support the front, though it can be very light or soft if desired. A jacket CAN be fully canvassed and be unlined. The degree of structure in a garment is governed by the type of chest piece, if any, that is used. The chest piece and shoulder pad, (again, if any) are what give expression to the shoulder (round, natural, pagoda, etc.) and cleanliness to the chest. The collar bone, shoulder point, and other protrusions of the shoulder and chest create some complex shapes; heavy cloth does not need as much structure to support a clean chest and shoulder but lighter weight sutings can look very messy if the chest is too soft. Some people do not mind ripples and a bit of a slouchy appearance (it is prized by some) and fusible helps create cleanliness without the bulk of heavy chest pieces as it has the effect of essentially thickening the cloth. The following two garments both have canvas fronts (in fact, the exact same canvas). One is unlined, and is also unstructured by virtue of it having no chest piece. The other is very structured and has a very complex chest piece [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  14. Faded501s

    Faded501s Senior member

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    A jacket CAN be fully canvassed and be unlined.<clip>

    All garments will have either canvas or fusible on the front. <clip>
    The degree of structure in a garment is governed by the type of chest piece, if any, that is used.


    OK, it was probably a mistake to lump "fusible" in with actual canvas but essentially they are both "interlining", no?

    And if a jacket is unlined, the canvas is left exposed?

    The last statements seem contradictory. I thought the chest piece was part of the canvas (or fusible).

    I am now very confused [​IMG]
     
  15. jefferyd

    jefferyd Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    OK, it was probably a mistake to lump "fusible" in with actual canvas but essentially they are both "interlining", no?
    Both interlining, but there is a huge difference between canvas and fusible, and it is important to specify that canvas is never fused (there have been a few people thinking that by feeling off the fusible they could convert their fused garment into a canvas garment)

    No, here is the inside of the unstructured garment
    [​IMG]

    While it's certainly not part of the fusible, the chest piece is, in a sense, a part of the canvas inasmuch as it is mounted to the canvas before the canvas is basted to the front. However in the context of this discussion, the unstructured garment shown above has no extra piece of canvas in the chest or the shoulder, thus no chest piece, while the structured garment has quite a bit of stuff in it.

    This is the top of the canvas that was used in the soft garment- note the single piece of canvas with nothing attached to it (I did put a piece of light felt for comfort but that does not constitute a chest piece).
    [​IMG]

    This is the canvas used in the more constructed garment- I have started to insert the haircloth pieces which make up the chest piece in this photo.
    [​IMG]
     

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