Have you ever wondered what sets the price points of suits apart from each other? One big factor is how the suits’ canvas interlining is constructed. There are 3 Ways to construct the interlining of the suit. From the lowest quality to highest quality, there are fused suits, half canvas suits, and full canvas suits.
How is a suit constructed?
To simplify the construction of a suit without going into too much detail about the add-ons, I would say a suit has 3 layers like a sandwich. There is the fabric that you see on the outside, the lining that you see on the inside, and in between them lies the interlining. The interlining is either canvassed or fused. A canvassed interlining is usually made of synthetic fabrics or a wool blend with horsehair. The purpose of the interlining is to give rigidity and shape to the suit.
Gotstyle Blog has a great diagram of the different types of suits.
Fused / Glued
The fused suit is also known as a fully glued suit. This is a suit in which the whole interlining is glued to the fabric of the suit through heat pressing. The fused suit was created for the masses and a way to cut down production costs. When coupled with a blended or full synthetic fabric I would consider it to be a suit that is part of the throwaway economy. In sacrificing quality, it has become the most inexpensive type of suit.
I wouldn’t recommend getting this type of suit unless you are on a very tight budget and / or only plan on wearing it once or twice in your lifetime. Typically brands will use a low-quality wool blend and cheaper materials. Because the suit is constructed with glue, this opens the jacket up to a possibility of delaminating after taking it to the dry-cleaner. When made with a cheap material they are often less breathable, don’t last very long, and don’t fit or feel right. One way you can tell if your suit is fused is if it has a limp or flat lapel roll with no structure to it.
While the initial investment is low, you will need to replace it much faster and save money in the long run if you shell out the extra dough to begin with.
A half canvas suit makes use of both worlds. This is a suit in which the canvas interlining extends from the shoulder to over halfway down the jacket and follows through inside the lapel. It’s more like a 2/3rds canvas suit. It's more affordable than the fully canvassed suit but is significantly better quality than a fused suit and worth the investment. Because there is less canvas, this also makes the suit feel noticeably lighter than the full canvas suit. A quick and easy way to tell if a suit or blazer is half canvas is to feel the lapel of the jacket. If there is structure and a rough coarse material between the fabric it is likely to be a true half-canvas construction, if not, it is likely to be fused or glued.
This is the traditional tailor-made suit. It’s more time consuming to make and is more expensive but results in an incredibly high-quality suit that fits well, looks crisp, and lasts long. A full canvas suit has an interlining that is sewed to the entire front of the fabric. This makes the suit more flexible and helps it maintain its crisp shape. When you move, the suit moves with you. This makes the suit feel much more comfortable and is less prone to wrinkling since its construction allows the fabric to quickly bounce back. These types of suits are custom-made so you can sometimes choose how stiff you want them to be. An indication of a canvassed suit is a good lapel roll that springs back into position when it’s moved. A canvassed interlining “drapes” over your body. As a result of this, the more you wear your suit, the more it conforms to your body, and the better it looks over time.
If you care about how you look and how your suit feels, I would advise you not to buy a fused suit. Canvas suits will not only look better with age but will feel 10x better than a fused suit. It is good to know the details about big purchases such as a suit. Now you won’t be confused the next time you hear about canvasses and interlinings.
What type of suit interlinings do you prefer and why? Let us know by leaving a comment below or by sharing this article!