Well fitting, quality garments make us all look great, but we all have budgets, and so compromise is the order of the day, and for most of us this means we buy what we think is the best compromise between quality, fit and cost. To really find that balance though we need to understand the difference that high quality fabric construction actually makes, and there is no better example than the difference between canvas and fused garments.
The very best quality suits available are generally of traditional construction, and that is the full canvas suit. The canvas is sewn between the lining and the cloth outer and is where the strength of the suit is found. Canvas provides the structural strength, distributing the forces from the stress points and making the suit look great for longer. Canvas also conforms to your body shape the longer you wear it, providing the perfect fit that we associate with expensive clothing.
A fused suit is constructed very differently, it is an interlining that is heat glued to the wool of the suit, a process that allows for cheaper price points for the garment. However, it does come with some idiosyncrasies, the stiff chest area that just does not hang as well as a canvas suit, and this kind of garment does not conform to the body in the same way either. Furthermore, over time dry cleaning can lead to the separation of the wool and fusing, which results in a bubbling type of appearance on the garment in question. Fused garments simply cannot match the durability of the canvas garment and will not last as long.
The canvas garment is clearly the better fitting and longer lasting item, but the cost difference between the two is significant, and must be considered as well. Rather than thinking of them as competing, it is better to look at the two options and for different purposes. If you need a suit or garment to wear daily for business wear or similar, the better investment will almost always be the canvas suit, it will look better for much longer, be more comfortable, and is a sound investment. For a suit or garment that will be worn much less frequently and needs to be purchased to a budget, the fused garment offers a fantastic compromise that will not disappoint.