Half canvas vs full canvas suits: Whats the difference?

We are fully aware that the land of made to measure tailoring has become more and more confusing, with options you’re more likely to hear in the bespoke suiting world, we clear up the differences, so that you can be confident of the choices you’re making:

Suit schematic

diagrams of suit constructions

What is a canvas?

What this means in simple terms is the interfacing of the jacket, the inner structure that gives the suit jacket its shape. The canvas, also known as the interfacing is typically made from horsehair and can be blended with cotton, or synthetic material and is the layer placed in between the cloth you see on the outside, and the lining you see on the inside. Different thicknesses of canvas are chosen for different weights of cloths, so that the weight is well balanced for the fabric you’ve chosen.

Can a suit be made without canvassing?

Yes, it can, but the overall look becomes much more casual and becomes a light construction, which is more (in my view) practical for travel wear, a relaxed look and not practical for a business, wedding or any kind of professional suit.

So, what is a half canvas?

  • A half canvas suit construction starts at the padded shoulder to halfway down the jackets body. Some jackets are fused and this is where you may find glue being used to attach the interfacing. This is a cheaper option, that I wouldn’t suggest and why on some suits that have been dry cleaned you may find bubbling occurring around the chest area.
  • Our half canvas is made with hundreds of tiny stitches that gently attach the canvassing to the body of the jacket, to give it more of an elegant and flowing finish.

Why would you choose a half canvas suit?

  • A half canvas chest piece, creates a strong look and for those with slimmer shoulders or are wanting to create an illusion of upper body strength, I suggest choosing this option. The shoulders are more structured, ‘firm’ in other words and lends to a striking suit that shows you mean business.
  • A half canvas suit is a less expensive option, while still providing structure to the upper body. It will feel noticeably more robust, and it will feel like you’re really wearing a suit.
  • A half canvas allows the waist to cut in sharply due to the fact that there is no canvassing to manipulate around this area.

What is a full canvas?

  • A full canvas suit is as close to a bespoke suit you can get by way of construction.
  • It is stitched to the inside of the lapels, to allow the canvas to free flow throughout the jacket, allowing its overall finish to look much softer and smoother.

Why would you choose a full canvas suit?

  • A full canvas suit leans more towards a bespoke suit by way of the finished look and feel. It’s weightless and moulds to the body better over time due to its construction process.
  • When choosing a lighter weight fabric or a super 120s+, luxury woolI tend to advise a full canvas as it flows with the fabric far better than with a half canvas, as it runs from the top of the suit jacket to the bottom, it has more flow.
  • The overall finish is much softer, so if you like a clean, elegant look then this is for you.
  • With a half canvas suit in a light-mid weight cloth, you can see a break between the chest canvas and the rest of the jacket, whereas with a full canvas this does not happen.

What is the difference in cost?

A half canvas suit with us starts at £895 for a two piece and a full canvas suit starts at £1100 for a two piece suit. The prices increases with both based on the fabric you choose and whether you add on lots of details to your suit. As a full canvas suit takes more time and care, this is the reason for the increase in cost.

If you’d like to read more on our made to measure suits, we suggest you read:

Six reasons why you can’t afford to buy a cheap made to measure suit

If your minds made up and you want to explore our made to measure service, you can book in for an exploratory chat, or make an appointment by emailing us at: info@alexandrawoodbespoke.co.uk