OK I know it's been done to death, but I still feel that a lot of people (including in the industry, so don't feel bad) don't understand what all this canvas stuff is about. So here is my two cents worth about manufactured tailored jackets. Canvas is a slightly confusing term because it can describe several things; the wool canvas front used in full and half-canvas garments, as well as the stuff that is used in making a chest piece. So the sake of this post, I will refer to the soft-ish wool warp canvas which is found on the entire length of the front of a canvas garment as wool canvas, and is shown in blue in the accompanying diagram (assuming I get it up right). This is usually a wool warp with horse hair , cotton, rayon, and other things woven into the weft to give stability across the garment. There are several different types of canvas used in combination to create a chest piece, and in North America this is commonly referred to as hymo, wrapped hair and haircloth. This is covered in felt or domette to protect the wearer. If you have ever felt plasticy things sticking out of the chest of your garment, this is actually most likely real horse tail, which is a very springy substance used in haircloth to reinforce the chest and shoulder. The chest piece in my diagram is a light grey. Fusible (that dreaded stuff) is shown in red, the garment cloth is shown in dark grey. FULL CANVAS CONSTRUCTION Hymo, wrapped hair, haircloth and felt are cut and prepared according to the designer's instructions, then attached to a large piece of wool canvas and padstitched together. The result is what we call a canvas front. Once the darts and pockets have been made and the armhole taped, the jacket front is basted to the canvas; the process takes some time compared to just laying down some fusible and running it through a fusing machine, and requires a certain amount of skill to do it correctly- a well-made fused garment will fit better than a poorly basted canvas garment so a lot of care must be taken when basting the canvas. The diagram shows that there is no fusible on the front at all. Once the canvas has been basted, most manufatcurers do the pad-stitching on a special machine that rolls the lapel, runs a line of blindstitching, stops, goes back to the beginning, rolls the lapel again, and does this until the lapel has been padded. Sounds fantastic (and it is) but a pair of these (one for the left and one for the right) can cost around $80,000 (yes, eighty THOUSAND). The tailor shop on the corner will NOT have these machines. The bridle tape is applied along the roll line, pulling as it is basted so that the roll line will not gape away from the chest. This will sometimes cause puckering on the jacket along the roll line but that is fine as it is hidden under the lapel. The drawing of the roll line is consistent through the canvas and the cloth since both are done at the same time. Samuelsohn, Hickey, Canali, Zegna, etc. (not Z Zegna) HALF CANVAS CONSTRUCTION As you can see from the diagram, the front is fused, but not the lapel area. This is because the canvas will not extend all the way down the front and stopping the fusing half way would leave an impression. Those who sneer at the idea of fusing because of delamination have little or nothing to worry about these days- technology has improved greatly, and correctly applied fusing will not bubble. Improper application or overtly harsh treatment by dry cleaners may still be a problem, but it is extremely rare these days. The canvas front resembles a full canvas front except that it stops just below the pocket. This saves some time and material, but still providing the benefits of a properly padded lapel and stability in the front chest, right down to the pocket. The padding and bridle are done in the same manner as the full front and so is a decent trade-off when budget is an issue. Joseph Abboud, Coppley, some Jack Victor, among others. PADDED LAPEL This is a technique that Hartmarx claims to have patented, but so many manufacturers do it I'm not so sure about it. The fusible is the same as for a half-canvas garment, except the wool canvas in the shape of the lapel is inserted under the fusible along the rool line as it is being fed into the fusing machine. This is important because the chest piece does not have to be basted on to the front this way; the lapel is padded and then the chest piece is attached. There are variations, but most manufacturers use a technique like this to apply the chest piece; the bridle tape has fusible resin on one side- starting at the top, the 1" or so wide tape is applied to both the chest piece and the front- half inch on the chest piece and half inch on the front, fusing the first few inches of the roll line without pulling. The operator works heir way down the roll line, this time pulling for the next few inches to draw the roll line in, then fixing the last few inches without pulling. The chest piece is now attaced only at the roll line; the garment is flipped over, placed on a large press from which has a shape roughly like that of the finished garment, and the armhole is then stapled temporarily in place- using the form allows the operator to place excess faric where it is needed, to cover the chest, for example. The armhole is then sewn in place through the chest piece, either all the way or only partly up the armhole. This unsexy method of attaching the chest piece eliminates the basting operations and makes it a simple operation to perform. This is a great time saver but there is one thing that I don't like about the way this is done by most makers; the canvas used in the lapel-only method is usually a LOT softer than the full or half-canvas method because in the first two, after pad-stitching, the seam allowances of the canvas are trimmed away by hand, a very time-consuming operation which avoids having the bulky canvas caught in the seam, making a nice thin edge. The canvas of the lapel-only version is usually left in the seam allowance to save the time required to trim it away and for this reason it has to be very soft; you then lose the great loft in the roll provided by a heavier canvas. However, it is still better than a flat fused lapel and gives a nicer roll to an otherwise more affordable garment. FULLY FUSED There is no wool canvas on this garment. The chest piece is applied to the front in the same manner as the padded lapel garment. Not everyone can afford canvas and its variations. No, let me rephrase. Comparatively few CAN afford canvas and its variations which is why there are so many fused garments on the market. I hope this is a little clearer now. If anyone is interested in seeing photos, let me know and I'll put some up somewhere.