Blank Canvas – The starting point of every suit
How every tailored suit ultimately fits hinges on a single crucial piece – the canvas. This piece of fabric, traditionally made from horse-hair, rests within the chest of the jacket and governs the drape of the entire garment.
There are three types of canvas – fused, half-canvas and full-canvas, each of which we will explore in detail.
This is commonly held to be the least favoured type of interlining. Normally used to save money during production, it consists of a stiffened and sometimes plastic board that has been glued into the jacket.
There are two easy ways to tell if your jacket has been interlined with a fused canvas. The first is to ‘pop’ the front of the garment by folding the chest roughly between your hands, if you can hear and feel the tell tale snapping of the canvas back into position then it is guaranteed that the item has been fused.
The second is the eventual bubbling that happens as the glue melts during cleaning or is worn away during wear. This causes the drape to become misshapen around the chest and will render your jacket useless. Thankfully, Scabal does not use fused interlining in any of its garments, which brings us onto the next distinction.
In this technique, which Scabal sometimes uses for both its blazers and made-to-measure garments. A base of soft horsehair canvas interlines the chest and lapels of the jacket, while the lower extremes are lightly fused to keep the garments shape.
Despite fusing being used there is little to no chance of bubbling, as the areas and materials used allow the stiffened canvas to rest naturally in the contours of the jacket, meaning no deformity is possible.
The horsehair upper canvas allows for a natural and attractive drape, which emphasises the masculine body, increases comfort during wear and extends the life of the garment.
The gold star of jacket construction. Fully-canvassed jackets feature a single piece of horsehair canvas that is stitched into the body of the garment. This creates the most natural silhouette for a made-to-measure or prêt-à-porter suit, as if cut precisely it conforms exactly to the natural shape of the wearer.
The ultimate test for such a jacket is to fold the item up and sit upon it for a minute. Upon release the garment should immediately spring back into shape.
This type of canvassing is increasingly being used by Scabal and is the only option for out Blue and handmade lines.