1. What is the cost of a full canvas suit?
Never assume that because a suit is expensive or comes from a designer brand that it will be fully canvassed. In most cases, you are only paying for the brand. Many popular designers produce half and fused canvassed suits and sell them at a price point of $1300 to over $1900 USD per garment. There are, however, a few remaining brands which sell full canvassed suits with garments starting at $2100 USD. Due to the canvas being contained within the garment, it is not immediately apparent to the consumer if a jacket is fully canvassed.
To ensure that the garment you are purchasing is in fact full canvas:
a) Gently pinch the outer and inner layer of your jacket
b) Slowly pull the layers away from each other
c) Once you have done so, you should be able to feel a third layer in between - canvas!
2. What is canvassing?
Canvassing is an integral component of a superior garment. Although fusing has become more common due to mass production, a full canvassed suit ensures premium fit, craftsmanship, durability and, breathability over time. The primary differences between fused and full canvas garments is that a full canvassed suit has a layer in between the outer fabric and inner lining of the jacket which is sewn in loosely so that it flows naturally with the fabric and forms to the natural contours of your body. Fused suits on the other hand have an interfacing that is glued to the fabric of the front panel, making the garment much more stiff and unnatural in appearance. With fused suits, their lapels often appear stiff rather than natural like those of a canvassed garment. The alternative is half canvassed which canvasses only the chest piece and lapels, and fuses the rest. Although a decent compromise, half-canvassed suits do not provide the comprehensive benefits of full canvasing.
Think of it as the following:
a) Full Canvas Suit = Ferrari
b) Half Canvas Suit = BMW
c) Fused Canvas = Ford
3. What are the benefits?
The first benefit of canvassing is the fit of the garment. A fully canvassed jacket will hang the most naturally and move the most freely. Additionally, as the jacket continues to endure days at the office and evenings elsewhere, the wool and horsehair canvas will conform to the wearer’s body, improving the fit and aesthetic of the garment overtime whereas a fused garment becomes irrelevant after 2 - 3 washes and a half-canvassed garment begins to lose its structure over time. Canvassing is also an indication of durability and craftsmanship, so one can expect that those who leverage this construction will provide a premium garment. While fused suits can be produced much cheaper given the significantly less time and skill required, a poorly constructed suit will only end up costing you more in the long-run.
So, with the average off-the-rack full canvassed suit starting at $1650 USD and a custom full canvassed suit from Knight & Grey starting at just $649, if you could go back in time and save your father $1000, what would you do?
Not to mention that you'll have your personal Executive Clothier visit you at a location of your preference to take your measurements, design your garment, and provide you with sartorial knowledge regarding menswear. On top of that, in 4-6 weeks it's at your door ready to go!