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I have looked on the website and at a couple of retail sellers. I doubt that they are canvassed. I think they are fused. You might call the facotry in chicago or a Nordstrom as they are a big seller of HSM. Hopefully you will get a person that has some knowledge of suits. Having said that, You can buy them right from the website on sale for under $500.
 

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No, but while we are on the topic...

^

They are not canvassed. This has been discussed at length all over this forum - run a search. That being said, TonyP makes a very good and interesting point with his semantics by failing to differentiate between "canvassed" and "half canvassed"; as I was reminded a while ago by the well-respected forumite a tailor, there really isn't such a thing as half-canvassed. A jacket either features canvas construction or it does not. Most people are implying that a jacket has a floating chest piece when they refer to it as "half canvassed". This is not really an accurate description of quality because nearly every jacket on the market has a floating chest piece. It follows that to simply group all jackets with floating chest pieces only is to unfairly group some very well made jackets in with some poorly made jackets.

For example: Southwick and Brooks 1818 jackets are what many would call "half-canvas" - they have floating chest pieces but use fusing in the body. These are generally considered to be well made jackets despite the fact that they aren't made to the old standards of "full" canvas. It is unfair to lump them in with a jacket from, say Banana Republic, that also could be described as "half canvas" even though it doesn't approach the quality levels of the Southwick or BB 1818.
 

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^

They are not canvassed. This has been discussed at length all over this forum - run a search. That being said, TonyP makes a very good and interesting point with his semantics by failing to differentiate between "canvassed" and "half canvassed"; as I was reminded a while ago by the well-respected forumite a tailor, there really isn't such a thing as half-canvassed. A jacket either features canvas construction or it does not. Most people are implying that a jacket has a floating chest piece when they refer to it as "half canvassed". This is not really an accurate description of quality because nearly every jacket on the market has a floating chest piece. It follows that to simply group all jackets with floating chest pieces only is to unfairly group some very well made jackets in with some poorly made jackets.

For example: Southwick and Brooks 1818 jackets are what many would call "half-canvas" - they have floating chest pieces but use fusing in the body. These are generally considered to be well made jackets despite the fact that they aren't made to the old standards of "full" canvas. It is unfair to lump them in with a jacket from, say Banana Republic, that also could be described as "half canvas" even though it doesn't approach the quality levels of the Southwick or BB 1818.
I had a long talk about this with the owner of my preferred shop. I'm looking to get a John H Daniel custom suit this fall, and we went through all the features, fabrics and grades of tailoring. He seems to believe its better to buy the best fused suit you can buy, then to buy a "half canvassed" suit with a floating chest piece. His reasoning is that the chest piece can move to a position that causes the suit to look horrible when worn. It usually occurs when the pressing has been botched or the jacket is in a suitcase for a long period of time.

Apparently if a jacket is full canvas, like a Samuelsohn or Hickey Freeman, this movement of the chest piece is not a problem. I didn't get in detail enough to have that answered, but I was hoping someone here did. Has anyone heard of this view of floating chest piece's and different levels of canvas?
 

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As I understand it, there are high grades of canvassing and lower grades. What we are really talking about is horsehair canvas that is used. I can't imagine a suit that actually has a floating chest piece. This is really what they call half canvas and is used in the chest area to give the jacket some depth and structure. the canvas isn't loose inside the coat. Fully canvassed would be a coat that uses canvassing throughout the jacket and lapels to give more body and resilency. The wool isn't glued to the inside of the jacket but sewn. If done by hand by a very good tailor or suit manf. it will cost substantially more than if sewn by machine.

I disagree with your salesperson. I would rather have a canvassed suit or a half canvassed suit made well rather than a fused suit. There are good fused suits but if you are paying $1500 for a fused suit even if on sale at $750 you are payng too much. I would rather get a canvassed suit for that price. On sale it would be the same. Designer suits are usually fused and expensive. Prada, D&G, Gucci, Valentino Armani Colleczioni all over $1750 each.
 

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I don't argue that a well made half canvassed suit is better then a fused suit. A Southwick or a BB 1818 is hard to beat for value. The question is whether the best fused suits, like Hart Schaffner Marx regular label and Gold label, are better then a mediocre half canvassed suit, like a Burberry, Hickey Freeman LTD, Z Zegna etc. The argument my salesman was making is that its better to spend $800 on a great fused suit then $900-$1000 on a mediocre/poorly made half canvased suit.

As I said we were comparing grades of tailoring that are available for John H Daniel. He seems to believe the fused level is a better value then the half canvas level, which is almost $400 more.
 

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louche is right. there is no half canvas. its a part of the suit sales mens B*** S***. there is only two general constructions canvased and fused.
all canvased jackets have a built up area in the chest, its a part of the standard canvas construction. the canvas starts at the shoulder and goes all the way to the bottom.
all fused jackets are fused from the shoulder and goes all the way to the bottom. a chest piece is added to take the place of the built up area that is in a canvased jacket.
no one has shown me a half canvas to date. if someone can do this i will admit to this.
now someone will show up with a fused that has an extension in the lapels and that is not a half canvas.
 

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louche is right. there is no half canvas. its a part of the suit sales mens B*** S***. there is only two general constructions canvased and fused.
all canvased jackets have a built up area in the chest, its a part of the standard canvas construction. the canvas starts at the shoulder and goes all the way to the bottom.
all fused jackets are fused from the shoulder and goes all the way to the bottom. a chest piece is added to take the place of the built up area that is in a canvased jacket.
no one has shown me a half canvas to date. if someone can do this i will admit to this.
now someone will show up with a fused that has an extension in the lapels and that is not a half canvas.
Tailor please explain why some fused jackets are able to pass the pinch test above the breast pocket and others do not but have a matted feel which obiviousley indicate that there is fusing in the chest area. Also, why is it that some jackets have padded lapels but others do not?

It appears to me as a a laymen consumer that there is 3 levels of construction;

Full Canvass- which everyone seems to understands involves the use of multple layers of canvass material using horsehair or goathair fabric sewn into the body without the using of a bonding agent in the body of the coat.

Half Canvass- A floating chess piece that uses canvass material but does employ the fusing at the seems and does not feel matted above the breast pocket. These garments will likely have padded lapels as well that does not have a matted feel. The canvas material doe not extend below the midway point of the jacket.

Fully fused- no canvassing material used in the chest, and the jacket has a feels matted feeling above the breast pocket. The outer fabric can not be seperated from the inner linning and the lapels are not padded or, if they are, the fabric feels matted and can not be seperated or moved from the inner linning.
 

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now someone will show up with a fused that has an extension in the lapels and that is not a half canvas.
Whether it's called half canvassed or not, if a suit jacket has a canvas in the lapel (in addition to a canvas chest pieice), but not below the midway point of the jacket's front, making the lapel more supple and giving it a nice roll (because it doesn't have an interlining glued to the outer/upper shell fabric that in part makes up the lapel), why doesn't that count for something, Alex? I prefer it to suit jackets with fusing in the lapel. Southwick, BB 1818, HF Ltd., and at least some HSM suits (all that I've looked at, anyway) are made this way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I called HSM, and they said that some of the Gold line is half-canvassed, and some are fused. The ones on the internet are all supposed to be half-canvassed, but in the store you should check the lapel is the vibe I got. The Travelors are all supposed to be fused.
 

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Whether it's called half canvassed or not, if a suit jacket has a canvas in the lapel (in addition to a canvas chest pieice), but not below the midway point of the jacket's front, making the lapel more supple and giving it a nice roll (because it doesn't have an interlining glued to the outer/upper shell fabric that in part makes up the lapel), why doesn't that count for something, Alex? I prefer it to suit jackets with fusing in the lapel. Southwick, BB 1818, HF Ltd., and at least some HSM suits (all that I've looked at, anyway) are made this way.
yes that does make for a nicer roll to the lapel. but its still a fused suit with about 25 or so square inches of canvas and a chest piece. i just dont think that justifies the title half canvas. i hope am not playing a semantic game its just my opinion.
 

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Thanks to all posters. This has been the most illuminating discussion yet on this topic, it seems to me. The terms, fused, half canvassed and full canvass appear so often in posts, its good to have a clear picture of just whats involved.
 

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There are still some misconceptions, I think. Everyone knows about a fused garment, altough I disagree with the pinch test being done above the breast pocket- it's too difficult to tell accurately. Pinch the lower front to feel for canvas between the front and facing.

About half-canvas and the Golden-Trumpet; some manufacturers will put fusible on the front of the jacket, but not extending into the lapel area. They will apply a canvas front (chest piece attached to wool-warp canvas) but the canvas front has been chopped off just below the pocket. It is basted to the cloth front the same way a full front is applied, it just doesn't go all the way down. This saves some time and material (thus, $$). You can't fuse just the lower half of the garment where the canvas stops or you would see an impression so the fusing goes all the way, except the lapel. This is what is known as half-canvas, and can be found in garments by Joseph Abboud, Coppley, some Jack Victor, among many others (I can post a picture if you like). However, the HMX jacket is NOT done this way. The fusing is the same- the whole front, just not extending into the lapel. Instead of having a chest piece attached to a large piece of canvas which also extends into the lapel, which has to basted to the jacket front, the lapel canvas is inserted between the fusing and the cloth along the roll line- this holds the lapel canvas in place. The chest piece is then separately attached in a process which is much quicker than basting. HMX claims to have patented this process but Jack Victor, among others, do the same thing on some of their garments.
 
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