A Little Look Inside: Construction
After talking about various fabrics like flannel, linen, Solaro and travellers, we touched on the details that finish a garment. As promised, we now move on to construction. Where fit, fabric and style details are on the surface, the construction is the hidden foundation (although some of it can affect the look). For simplicity’s sake, let’s say there’s four options: fused, half canvas, full canvas and unconstructed. The lines between these categories can get a little blurry at times, but dividing it up like this makes for a clear playing field.
We can be real short about fused. It’s when the fabric and lining are fused together using an adhesive. It’s inexpensive and gets the job done, but the suit loses breathability, longevity and most importantly, its shape loses depth. There’s a time and place for fused, but we simply don’t recommend it.
Half canvas, or semi-canvas, is by far the most common and generally our construction of choice for ready-to-wear and most custom items. Half canvas means the vital parts of the jacket (the chest and lapels) are lined with a canvas made of all natural materials. This canvas provides body, flexibility and breathability where it matters most. The lower half is often partially fused so it maintains its shape.
Full canvas is the epitome of craftsmanship. The canvas is padded and stitched by hand, running the full length of the jacket. The natural materials of the canvas allow for the most natural shape and drape whilst molding itself to the wearer over time. It’s a little more costly than half canvas, but for those who want to take their tailoring to the next level, it’s certainly worth it.
Unconstructed is a bit of a wildcard. It’s often considered the standard in Neapolitan tailoring, but something we usually reserve for jackets and casual suits. An unconstructed jacket will have no lining or shoulder padding whatsoever—whereas the other three options can come fully lined or half lined and with or without padding. Consider this option if you want to take the formality down a notch or are looking for something a little more easy and comfortable.
In the end, your choice of construction can vary, depending on what you need the item for, what fabric you choose and what kind of look you’re aiming for. Personal preference definitely plays a role in this choice, but we highly recommend discussing the options with our personal tailors.