Fused vs. Canvassed suits
A question we are starting to hear more often at Mullen & Mullen is how our suits are constructed? Suit construction is the most common way of understanding the cost differences of ready to wear, made to measure and bespoke suits. They all have positives and negatives; in this blog I will explain what these are and why understanding them will be a massive help when choosing your next suit.
Before the advent of mass produced, ready to wear clothing, having a tailor was a common practice with 100s of tailors making suits in towns across the country. A full canvas suit was the norm at this time. Canvassing is generally horsehair, though some vegan options are now appearing in these more conscious times, and is woven in between the cloth and lining.
It has the job of making the cloth three dimensional, so it will drape correctly over the body and not hang flat. It also allows the cloth to breath, letting out heat and moisture from the body. Making a full canvas suit is time consuming so when ready to wear clothing started becoming more popular a new system was created called fusing. A fused jacket has the lining glued to the cloth, this is much quicker and also more cost effective. It also gives a very sharp look but certainly has its drawbacks. Longevity will be the biggest issue, the jacket will not hold its shape as long as a canvassed jacket and will usually end up bubbling, where the cloth comes unstuck from the lining, this is more likely every time a fused jacket is dry cleaned.
There is now a middle ground, something we use as a standard in our Mullen & Mullen suits, which is a half canvassed jacket. This means there is canvassing where it is most needed, around the chest and lapels but the fused on the lower half of the jacket where the benefits are not as great. Below are some points about the pros and cons.