Fused or Canvassed?
In the market for a new suit or sportcoat? Remember that there are two methods to constructing the jacket. The most commonly used method is a Fused jacket. As the name implies, a fusible interlining is glued to the wool shell of the jacket While this keeps the total cost down, and does an adequate job of keeping the jacket’s shape, it often creates a stiffness to the jacket. Additionally, the glue that is used for the fusing may degrade over time, or may actually come unglued during dry-cleaning. While the days when poor quality fusibles bubbled and ruined many jackets are mostly gone, you should, however, generally stay away from fully-fused garments. It is always better to own a quality garment than a cheap one.
The most traditional and highest quality method is a Canvassed jacket, Candidly, it isn't considered a well-made garment if it doesn't use a Canvassed construction, period. These garments are crafted with a layer of canvas underneath the wool fabric shell. The canvas interlining is typically made from horsehair (often blended with cotton) or synthetic material and is used to hold the shape of the jacket. The canvas is cut to the jacket’s shape and is stitched between the cloth you see on the outside, and the lining you see on the inside. Over time, as you wear the jacket, the canvas conforms to your body’s shape. The jacket will actually fit you better the more times you wear it. Just like a pair of broken-in jeans...and there is nothing more comfortable than your favorite pair of jeans. There are two Canvassed methods of construction, Full Canvass and Half Canvass. The highest quality suits are of the full canvassed construction (pictured). Here the canvas starts at the top of the jacket and extends the full length of the garment, adding additional structure and weight, and allowing the jacket to mould more accurately to your shape for a superior drape. In short, a Full Canvass jacket will fit better than any other option. The only real downside to a Full Canvas suit is the added cost, as it’s a more involved process which takes much longer to complete. Half canvassed jackets will have a canvas material running only through the chest and lapels of the coat, past that point, the jacket is fused. The half canvas method is the best choice for a well-made suit as it gives you the shape in the chest and thus a good fit, without breaking the bank.
While a fused jacket is often much, much cheaper than a similar full or half canvassed jacket, a canvassed garment has three distinct advantages:
1. Canvassed jackets look better on you.
2. Higher-end manufacturers using canvassed construction tend to have a better mastery of style, cut and fit.
3. Canvassed jackets generally last longer.
Perhaps the best reason to buy a high quality, canvassed sport coat or suit is for the love of quality, craftsmanship and dressing well....You know, the same reasons why you buy ENRO shirts.