Canvas 101

Close-up of Red Table

The word canvas is a generic term to describe an industrial cloth. A canvas is a thick, strong, and rigid woven cloth that is made of cotton or synthetic (man-made) fibers, that can be used for awnings, industrial covers, slipcovers along with various other applications. A canvas comes in different grades, qualities, and weights. A canvas is usually available in a plain or basket (oxford) weave pattern. We’ll review different weave patterns in a future essay.

When trying to find a particular canvas for your project, the internet can be a useful source but can also be confusing because of the varied available choices. Some example products made from canvas materials are, but not limited to: floor cloths, goat coats, scuba divebags, awnings, boat covers, tipis, tents, shopping bags, punching bags, chaps, industrial pipe insulation, slipcovers, pet beds, bag, tennis court displays, theater curtains, stage curtains, upholstery covers and several other products.

Ballistic cloths are made from nylon yarn and are extremely strong. This synthetic nylon fabric is woven in a basket weave, and is coated with polyurethane on one side, making it highly water-repellent. Ballistic fabrics were first used in World War II for airmen. They would protect against small shrapnel and debris (flak). Today, most protective vests are made with a Kevlar/Nylon combination. Ballistic fabrics are primarily utilised in motorcycle jackets and pants, luggage and small packs. Ballistic nylons have high abrasion resistance and virtually no elongation.

Cotton duck is a woven canvas made of 100% cotton (natural) fiber. Popular work wear products are still made with a cotton fabric because of it’s breathability and durability. Heavy cotton duck is also used for tool bags and crafter supply bags. Some of the thicker duck fabric is used in heavy duty tool bags, which can be used by mechanics and linemen in the oil and gas sector. Cotton duck canvas is available in weights from 7 oz/sq yd to 30 oz/sq yd, and in a variety of colors. Waxed cotton duck is used for outdoor industrial covers. This cotton duck is treated with a wax finish making it waterproof, and fire retardant. They are used on farms to cover heavy gear or even made into tarpaulins to wrap steam pipes during the winter. Light weight cotton duck is used in a number of upholstery applications. 7 oz duck can be utilised as curtain liners or artist canvas. 10 oz cotton duck is commonly utilised in substitute slip covers.

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