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Full Canvas vs Half Canvas: Custom Suit Interlining Options

All of Hartter Manly's suits come with half canvas as standard. Image shows two men in suits and overcoats with half and full canvas interlining.

Suits are complex things. There are many aspects that go into constructing a quality suit. From the lapel roll to the cuff break to the interlining, you’ll have a lot of choices when designing your custom suit. Today we’re going to talk about custom suit interlining options. That is, the options you have for the lining that holds your suit together.

What exactly IS interlining?

At its core, interlining is the layer of fabric that goes between the inner and outer layers. It’s what allows the suit to hold shape, kind of like a skeleton. But as with many things in life, there are different levels of quality when it comes to interlining. In the end, what kind of fit your suit has all depends on the suit’s construction. In turn, many times the construction depends on the price point you’re willing to work with.

Price points for custom suits

Suits can vary greatly in price. You can find some suits as low as $50, and some go up to far beyond a several thousand. There are many different factors that go into deciding a suit’s price, and one of them is the interlining type. There are two main variations on suit interlining: fused, and canvas.

Full canvas vs half canvas and other custom suit interlining options
via joebutton.com

Interlining Options

Fused: Cheap in price AND quality

A fused interlining is a thin sheet of fabric (usually wool) heated and pressed between the inner and outer layer. It’s cheap and easy to produce, which means that suits constructed with a fused interlining are usually less expensive. In fact, roughly 95% of off the rack suits are fused. But there are several downsides to getting a suit with a fused interlining.

Since a fused interlining attaches directly to the inner and outer layer, it can feel pretty stiff. In addition, it is also less breathable. So not only will you be hot, you will also be sweating a lot. More sweat of course means more dry-cleaning. Over time, excessive dry cleaning will start to break down the interlining altogether, and that will diminish the suit quality and the fit. With a broken down interlining, the outer fabric layer will bubble up. The fit will get less flattering. Instead of forming to your movements, your suit will sit on top of your body and will sag.

Canvassed: High-class, high price

If you’re looking for a better fit and don’t mind shelling out a bit more cash, consider getting a canvassed suit. Canvassing is a form of interlining where a layer of fabric lays between the inner and outer layers of the suit. While canvassing fabric is usually linen or horse hair, other variations exist. Since the interlining only makes contact at the points where it is sewn, a canvassed suit is very breathable compared to a fused suit. It will move and shift with your body. Even better, the more you wear it, the better it will fit as it begins to mold to your shape.

Full canvas

Compared to a fused interlining, a canvassed suit is both more expensive to produce, and more time-consuming to construct. As a result, you will definitely see the quality reflected in the price. If you are going to a tailor to have a bespoke suit made, be sure to check that they will be creating a canvassed suit for you. There’s no point in paying to have a bespoke suit made with a fused interlining. That would entirely defeat the purpose of having a custom fit.

Diagram showing the difference between full canvas suit and half canvas suit. Both are excellent custom interlining options for your suit.

Half canvassed: A healthy middle

If you’re interested in a canvassed suit but can’t quite afford the price, consider a half canvassed suit. This suit is constructed with a combination of both fused and canvassed interlining. You will have canvas interlining through the chest, lapel, and down to the pocket. The lower half of the jacket is fused. Fused interlining on the lower half is alright since the drape isn’t quite as important there. It’s okay to let the suit taper down so that it has freer motion. You want to retain the heavier structure on upper half of your jacket, where it can serve its purpose. The canvas interlining must form to your shape to accentuate it. That, after all, is the point of a well-fitted suit.

How Can You Tell If A Suit Is Full Canvas or Fused?

If you’ve found a suit you’re interested in and want to know what kind of interlining it has, you can use the ‘pinch test’. Use two fingers of each hand to pinch and separate the inner and outer layer on the chest. If you can feel a third layer in between, then the suit has a canvas interlining. If you can’t feel a third layer, it is because the suit has a fused interlining. 

Which Custom Suit Interlining Option Should You Choose?

In virtually all situations, a canvassed suit is the way to go. Canvas gives the best fit and drape, and the longest lasting suit. As mentioned above, the more you wear a canvassed suit, the more it will adjust to your body. The fit will actually improve over time. While fused is a more economical option, we think your best bet is to go at least half canvassed. It makes a big difference if you’re looking for a proper fit. Though canvassed suits are not the cheapest choice, they will last longer and only look better as time goes on. If you can, splurge. At the very least, go half canvassed. Your closet, and your body will thank you.

HARTTER MANLY's Custom Suit Interlining Options: Half or Full Canvas

HARTTER MANLY’s entry level suits are half canvas. Since we choose to only produce the highest quality garments, we offer you an upgrade to full canvas at cost. That means you get the absolute best price on full canvas interlining. Because of our pricing, 90% of our customers pick full canvas for their custom suits and jackets.

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Blake Stitch vs. Goodyear Welt: The Shoe Welt Types Showdown

different shoe welts Black welt vs Goodyear welt

Quality shoes are complex: they have a wide variety of construction methods for every aspect of the shoe, and these options all have their pros and cons. You may be considering whether to go with a Blake Stitch vs Goodyear Welt, or you may even be considering something else. In the shoe welt showdown, we are going to look over shoe welt types, and what you need to know when making a decision on the type of shoe welt you want in a pair.

What Is A Shoe Welt?

Put simply, the welt is the layer of material that rests between the insole and the outsole of your shoe. A shoe welt is a structural layer providing support and durability to the shoe’s construction. 

The shoe welt lays between the insole and the outsole and serves a few important purposes. The welt layer is essential in order to create extra support and water resistance. Choosing the right shoe welt type makes for a superior, more durable overall construction. 

In reviewing the Blake stitch vs Goodyear welt, you will need to be familiar with some general shoe terminology.

Shoe Terminology: Insole, Outsole, and Upper

The insole of a shoe is the layer of material your foot makes contact with when you’re wearing your shoes. The outsole is the layer that makes contact with the ground. Another term we will be using here is the upper: the pieces that construct the main portion of the shoe, the portion your foot goes into.

Custom shoes with goodyear shoe welt types

Shoe Welt Types

shoe welt types diagram comparing blake stitch vs goodyear welt

There are three main varieties of shoe welt types when it comes to attachment, but we’re going to look in depth at two today. The third shoe welt type is called cementing, and it’s simply gluing the layers together. It’s cheap, easy to do, and is usually found on more casual shoes that are less well built. Here, we’re going to mainly focus on the Goodyear and the Blake welt. When comparing a Goodyear welt vs Blake welt, both of these shoe welt types are high quality. As with many garments, the more durable options speak to a higher quality product.

What is a Blake Welt (a.k.a Blake Stitch)?

In a Blake welt, the upper wraps all the way around the insole, resting between the insole and the welt layer. A single stitch pushed down through the insole passes through the upper, the welt, and the outsole. It comes to rest perpendicular to the shoe’s layers.

Blake Welt Construction

Industrial and flexible – the Blake welt is more common than the Goodyear. It’s more common because it’s easier to construct. The Blake welt’s industrial construction method requires a specific machine and cannot be done by hand. 

Blake Stitch vs Goodyear Welt: Benefits of The Blake Welt

The Blake welt is simpler to construct compared to the Goodyear. It does require a specific machine to create, but on the whole, it is less expensive than a Goodyear welt. The stitch goes through only a few layers, making it more flexible. Because of its simplicity in construction, resoling is simple as well.

Blake Stitch vs Goodyear Welt: Drawbacks of Blake Welt

On the other hand, because the Blake welt requires a specific machine, resoling can be more expensive, despite the initial construction of a Blake welt being on the less expensive side. In addition, while fewer layers does make the shoe more flexible, it also makes it less water resistant, and in some cases, less durable. Some men say their foot becomes irritated by the interior stitching on the insole, as well.

What is a Goodyear Welt?

Most shoemakers and footwear connoisseurs consider the Goodyear to be the superior among all shoe welt types. Custom and intricate, the Goodyear welt is less common and more complex than even the Blake Welt. Overall, the Goodyear welt is more expensive to construct than other shoe welt types because the design is more intricate. Not to mention, shoes with Goodyear welts are handmade. Because of the intricate hand-construction, the welt is also more durable compared to a Blake Welt. 

Construction of the Goodyear Welt

When we say the Goodyear welt construction is complex, we mean it. There is a three-step system involved in constructing a Goodyear welt. First, the shoemaker prepares the insole by creating a perpendicular rib that extends below the insole into the welt. Sometimes the rib uses material cut and sculpted from the insole material itself, or it can use an entirely different material. The maker then stretches the upper into the shape of the toe, and presses it up against the insole rib. A second rib, made from the upper, rests next to the insole rib.

Blake Stitch vs. Goodyear Welt: Benefits of the Goodyear Welt

A major benefit of the Goodyear welt is that the two separate stitches makes for an easy resole. Also, while they are more expensive to construct up front, due to the extra materials and manual labor required, the lack of necessity for a specific machine makes for a less expensive resole. While the ribs make for a less flexible shoe, it is more supportive, durable, and water-resistant.

Dark aubergine patina chukka boots with goodyear shoe welt types

So Which of the Shoe Welt Types is Right For You?

When picking a welt style, your choice comes down to trade-offs. In the Shoe Welt Types Showdown, we’ve highlighted some of the pros and cons, now it’s just down to what you’re looking for and what you’re willing to forego. When it comes to deciding between the Blake Stitch vs Goodyear Welt, keep in mind that if you’re looking for a hardy shoe that is going to last you for many, many years, go with a Goodyear. The Goodyear welt, with its durability, more involved construction process, and resoling capabilities, is widely considered the superior welt.

Therefore, we strictly offer Goodyear welt shoes here at HARTTER MANLY. We want your shoes to last a lifetime and to only fit better with time. Like most elements of a man’s wardrobe, it’s a good idea to have a variety of options. If you’re only looking to invest in one pair of shoes now, take these tips into consideration. Head over to our store and shop our shoe collection, or book an appointment to customize the perfect pair for you.

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How to Identify a Well-Made Custom Suit

Well made custom suit

Suits are always going to be an investment. More often than not in menswear, you get what you pay for. Here, we’re going to talk a bit about what it is that makes a suit worth more. Ensure you are making a worthwhile investment by learning how to identify a quality, well-made suit.

In order to identify a suit’s quality, you need to look at all aspects of the suit, including the fabric, the proportions and cut, the lining and other aspects of the construction, and the tiny little details, like the buttonholes and the seams.

First, What’s It Made Of?

With a cheap suit, you are going to see polyester or blend fabrics which, if you ask us, is an immediate quality disqualifier. Most well made custom suits use only 100% wool. Beyond looking at the tag for the fabric composition, you can determine quality by feel as well. Pure wool feels softer and more flexible than a polyester or a polyester blended suit. Additionally, you will see a better drape over your body, and the fabric is more breathable. If the material is blended, look for predominantly wool composition with a satin or a cashmere blend. Avoid polyester! Satin and cashmere blends with wool are some of the highest quality fabrics on the market. The suit’s tag might identify where the yarn comes from. In that case, look for Italy, France, England, or the United States.

fabric in neutral tones

Second, How Is It Constructed?

Standard Suit Patterns

All suit-making requires patterns. Where that pattern comes from can be a good way to tell the quality of a suit. Ready-made patterns result in one-size-fits-all construction. A ready-made pattern means the suit will never fit you perfectly even if you take it to a tailor after purchasing. Suits you find at Joseph A. Bank or Men’s Wearhouse all use the same pattern and will never have a perfect fit.

Custom Suit Patterns

High quality, well-made custom suits are bespoke or made-to-measure. If you want the bespoke look but don’t want to break the bank, consider our hybrid MTM process. We alter a pattern with your measurements, so the pattern fits your body before we start constructing the suit. This process produces a suit that’s a perfect fit. Even better, our H|M Mobile Tailor calculates your precise measurements down to a millimeter at home. All it takes is two photos from your smartphone camera.

Half Canvas vs Full Canvas Custom Suits

The jacket interlining is a great indicator of quality. Cheap suits usually have a fused interlining, which means the lining is glued onto the fabric of the suit jacket. High quality suits, on the other hand, have either half or full canvassed interlining. In these cases, the lining is sewn instead of glued. Full canvas means the whole lining is sewn to the jacket. For a half canvas suit, only the most important part has sewn lining: the shoulders and collar. Canvas provides flexibility and breathability in your suit. A canvassed jacket molds to your body, fitting better over time.

half canvas vs full canvas suit

Third, How Do the Details Look?

Sometimes you can tell whether a suit is cheap or quality just by looking at the little details, like the buttonholes, the buttons, and the stitching. On a cheap suit, the buttonholes are machine-made, and typically have fraying on the thread. In a quality custom suit, you will find buttonholes that are either hand-sewn, or are machine-made with a high quality machine, resulting in neater, cleaner stitches without fraying.

The buttons themselves are another good indicator. Cheap buttons may be plastic, and are more than likely attached with glue. Quality buttons are composed of nacre, or Mother-of-Pearl – the inner shell layer of an oyster, and are stitched on. Here at HARTTER MANLY, we use a hybrid approach. Our process utilizes both hand-sewing and high-quality machine techniques to construct the details of your suit. Combined with our customization tool, we can make your suit exactly the way you want.

As we all know, a lot goes into constructing a well-made custom suit. Some suit-makers cut corners, use cheap materials, or speed through the construction. In order to make sure you are getting the most for your money, you can use this guide to analyze a suit and know with certainty that you’re making a quality investment. Ready to have your very own bespoke suit? If so, start shopping for your custom suit to get the creation process started.

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Got The Time? How to Identify a Well-Made Watch

Gold colored classic pocket watch against dark black background. Internal watch components are visible.

Watches are, at their core, machines – small but powerful. There are so many moving parts that go into a working timepiece, which means that there is a broad window of price ranges that go along with them. Today we will look into what makes a timepiece high quality, and how you can identify a well-made watch before buying.

A hand holding a luxury watch with leather strap

First Things First

Does the watch industry operate along the lines of “you get what you pay for”? Not always. Price does not always directly correlate with quality. Above a certain price point, you’re no longer paying for superior quality. Instead, you’re paying for the brand name and the status that comes with it. For example, is a $500 watch going to be five times better than a $100 watch? Definitely. Is a $5000 watch going to be ten times better than a $500 watch? Probably not. So how then do we determine quality?

First, companies that make lower quality watches use mass production and fewer parts. With that in mind, you can assume that a $10-$50 watch is probably priced that low because of how cheap it was to make. In that instance, you can know that you’re getting what you pay for, simply because it makes sense mathematically. Generally, what is inside the watch is more important than the outer aesthetic in terms of quality, because the inner workings are what makes a watch function well. However, you are not always going to be able to see the inner workings. So we’ll talk a bit about how to identify a well-made watch simply by looking at the outward appearance.

Black and bronze watch placed on stone surface

What’s On The Outside of a Well-Made Watch?

Angles and Shapes

Sharp edges are an easy way to identify a cheaper watch. Even on hard angles, there should be a slight curve to a watch for comfort. You will tend to see slightly rounded edges on higher quality watches. You will see simpler case shapes and fewer details on the watch face in a lower quality watch. The surfaces are less polished and are less likely to be bead blasted or brushed for a smooth finish. Higher quality watches typically have hand-finishing: the beveling, engraving, and enameling are all done by hand.

Dials and Details

Cheaper watches will have flatter dials, which end up looking more two-dimensional in appearance. You’re also less likely to see hobnailed bezels or stylized numerals in a cheaper watch. Those kinds of details are more expensive and time-consuming to produce.

Face

On a cheaper watch, you will see cheaper crystal or mineral glass as the face covering, which is more susceptible to scratching. On a well-made watch, you are more likely to see sapphire, which is highly durable and clear. In addition, you will see more complications – a term used to identify additional features of a watch – such as a chronograph, the date on the face of the watch, water resistance, and more.

Rolex deepsea watch with silver band an blue face

What About The Inside of a Well-Made Watch?

Well-made watches will typically have mechanical movements, which involve more working parts to keep the watch functioning well. These are usually more expensive because they require a large amount of time and labor to put together the small, intricate, complex mechanisms that make the watch tick. They are powered by mechanical parts that sit on a spring, with an oscillating balance wheel used to regulate time. The inner pieces of a mechanical watch are usually made of precious metals and jewels used to keep the watch parts from deteriorating.

Quartz movements are typical of cheaper watches, as they are more affordable to manufacture. In a Quartz movement, electricity powers the Quartz crystal, which then create small vibrations at a very specific frequency. The watch determines how much time has elapsed by measuring those vibrations. While they are cheaper to make, they are highly accurate and durable. In some cases, they are even more accurate than a mechanical movement.

As we mentioned above, a higher price doesn’t always mean a superior product once you pass a certain point. We’ve given you the tools you need to identify a high-quality timepiece for the next time you go accessory shopping. Use these tools to make an informed decision, as a watch is an investment – one you’ll want to make with as much knowledge as possible.