Traditionally, men’s suits were constructed with a layer of horsehair canvas underneath the wool fabric shell. This canvas holds the shape of the suit and keeps it from sagging or deforming, much like the foundation of a house keeps it upright. The canvas is cut to the jacket’s shape, then the wool is stitched to the canvas. Over time, as you wear the jacket, the canvas conforms to your body’s shape, creating an excellent fit.
The canvas lining allows the suit fabric to drape naturally, allowing a clean, well put-together look.
Many suit manufacturers, as an effect of increased production, no longer use a canvas interlining in their jackets. Rather, a fusible interlining is glued to the wool shell of the suit. And while this does an adequate job of keeping a jacket’s shape, it often creates an unnatural stiffness in the jacket, making a fused jacket appear lifeless compared to a similar canvassed coat.
It’s not just budget brands that construct jackets in this fashion. Many designer labels construct their suit jackets this way to save themselves money.
What is sometimes problematic with fused jackets is the fact that the glue degrades over time, or may come unstuck during the dry-cleaning/pressing process. Where the wool detaches from the fused backing, the fabric ripples around the chest and lapels, a phenomenon known as “bubbling.” Unfortunately, there is no way to fix this problem once it’s occurred – as I’ve learned the hard way.
Nowadays, fusing technology has improved to the point where you may never experience bubbling problems, but there’s always the chance that this might occur.
Between the two extremes lies a compromise – the half-canvassed jacket. Half-canvassed jackets have canvas material running only through the chest and lapels of the coat. Past that point, the jacket is fused.
Half-canvassed jackets have several benefits. First, they generally have a lower price than a similar fully canvassed jacket. Less handiwork means a lower overall cost to you. "Elevate your style...You deserve it!"