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Half canvas vs full canvas suits

What’s the difference?

We are fully aware that the land of made to measure tailoring has become more and more confusing. So we’ve made a clear guide for you to clear up the differences so you can be confident in the choices you’re making.


What this means in simple terms is the interfacing of the jacket, which is the inner structure that gives the suit jacket its shape. The canvas, (also known as the interfacing) is typically made from horsehair and can be blended with cotton or synthetic material. It’s the layer placed in between the cloth you see on the outside and the lining you see on the inside. Different thicknesses of canvases are chosen for different weights of cloths so that the weight is well balanced for the fabric you’ve chosen.


Yes, it can, but the overall look becomes much more casual and becomes a much lighter construction which is more (in our view) practical for travel wear, a relaxed look and not practical for a business, wedding or any kind of professional suit.



  • A half canvas suit construction starts at the padded shoulder to halfway down the jacket body. Some jackets are fused, and this is where you may find glue being used to attach the interfacing. This is a cheaper option that I wouldn’t suggest, and this is why on some suits that have been dry cleaned, you may find bubbling occurring around the chest area.


  • Our half canvas is made with hundreds of tiny stitches that gently attach the canvassing to the body of the jacket to give it more of an elegant and flowing finish.

Why would you choose a half canvas suit?

A half canvas chest piece creates a strong look and for those with slimmer shoulders or who are wanting to create an illusion of upper body strength, I suggest choosing this option. The shoulders are more structure and ‘firm’. This lends to a striking suit that shows you mean business. A half canvas suit is a less expensive option while still providing structure to the upper body. It will feel noticeably more robust and it will feel like you’re really wearing a suit.


A full canvas suit is as close to a bespoke suit you can get by way of construction. It is stitched to the inside of the lapels, to allow the canvas to free flow throughout the jacket, allowing its overall finish to look much softer and smoother.

Why would you choose a full canvas suit?

A full canvas suit leans more towards a bespoke suit by way of the finished look and feel. It’s weightless and moulds to the body better over time due to its construction process.

When choosing a lighter weight fabric or a luxury fabric such as a super 120s+ wool, I tend to advise a full canvas as it flows with the fabric far better than with a half canvas. This is because it runs from the top of the suit jacket to the bottom, giving it more flow. The overall finish is much softer so if you like a clean, elegant look then this is for you.

With a half canvas suit in a light-mid weight cloth, you can see a break between the chest canvas and the rest of the jacket, whereas with a full canvas this does not happen.


A half canvas suit with us starts at £1,100 for a two piece and a full canvas suit starts at £1,400 for a two-piece suit. The prices ultimately depend on the fabric you choose.

If you’d like to read more on our made to measure suits, we suggest you read:

What makes the Alexandra Wood tailoring experience different?

If your mind’s made up and you want to explore our made to measure service, you can book in for an exploratory chat, or make an appointment by contacting us.

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