Indochino suit construction - canvassed, half-canvassed or fused?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Indochino Suit Construction Fused Canvassed
Indochino Suit Constuction
Updated: July 2016

From the very start of Indochino There has been quite some discussion on whether Indochino suits are fully canvassed, fused, or even a mix of both. First of all, let's shed some light on the different terms and see why this topic matters.

According to an article on Art Of Manliness, the quality of a suit is not necessarily determined by its price, it is the construction of the suit that really makes the difference. The term canvassed basically describes a layer of canvas (e.g. wool, horse or camel hair) between the wool (or whatever material the suit is made of) on the outside and the lining on the inside.

The canvas is cut to your body shape and the wool is stitched (by hand or machine, thanks JeffreyD for clarifying) to the canvas. As you wear the jacket, the canvas conforms to your body's shape, creating an excellent fit. 

Fused jackets on the other hand are constructed in a cheaper way. Instead of a high quality canvas, a fusible interlining is glued to the suit. This generally fulfils the same job, it keeps the jacket's shape, but it can also look rather unnatural and appear stiff. I remember buying an H&M suit years ago that felt like it's made of thick paper, I guess that was fused... Fusing technology has improved significantly in the past years, but there might still be problems if you bring your suit do the dry cleaners regularly. The glue might dissolve and “bubbles” form on the suit – an effect that cannot be repaired and actually makes the suit unwearable.

There is also a third possibility, namely half-canvassed suits. These have canvas around the chest and lapel of the suit, but use fusing for the rest of the suit. Having the canvas on top means you most likely won't have problems with bubbles and the suit is still rather cheap to produce for the manufacturer.

Indochino originally stated to have fused & stitched interlining, according to the terminology established above, this would correspond (mostly) to half-canvassed suits. In 2010, a bespoke tailor by the username of JeffreyD on StyleForum (Blog: made by hand - the great sartorial debate) voiced some criticism concerning certain construction details (no canvas in the lapels).

Indochino was quick to improve following expert feedback and improved. The method used until 2012 was a unique method, similar to a half-canvas construction, but using both fusing and canvassing.

In 2012, Indochino's construction was updated again, the graphics now reveal more details on the process. Since 2013, Indochino officially labels their suits as half-canvassed.

Indochino just confirmed this very important fact via Twitter, their suits nowf all feature true half-canvas  construction.

To sum up: Suit construction is an important factor influencing the drape and durability of suits with the highest quality suits being fully canvassed and the cheapest suits being fused (can lead to bubbling, feels stiff). Half-canvassing is a more cost effective solution providing excellent value for money.

I also talked to Jeffery Diduch, bespoke tailor and blogger and he confirmed Indochino's suits have been upgraded considerably and are now proper half-canvas.

Go here to read more about Indochino suits and learn about the quality and craftsmanship.

- by Lorenz Loidl