What defines a fabric as 'Canvas'?

What defines a fabric as 'Canvas'?

Many different fabrics are made of cotton, as showcased in our wholesale store. Each fabric possesses distinct characteristics, even though they all originate from cotton, and in our case organic cotton. But what sets these fabrics apart? In this blog we delve into the fabric 'Canvas'. A fabric we sell by the roll and utilized in various products, such as bags and toiletry bags.

To kick things off, what defines Canvas?

Canvas stands out as a robust and enduring fabric. Initially crafted from hemp fibers, it is now predominantly made of cotton. Naturally, the canvas we sell at Bo Weevil is derived from organic cotton. Its defining feature lies in the specific Panama weave employed during production, resulting in a durable and versatile material.

Cotton canvas finds diverse applications, from fabrics to bags, shoes, sails, clothing, and furniture upholstery. It can be woven across various thicknesses, ranging from lightweight to heavyweight, tailored to its intended use.

Canvas is also renowned for its excellent printing capacity, a valuable addition for customizing products.


A notable aspect of canvas is its Panama weave. What exactly is a Panama binding?

The foundation of a Panama weave is a plain weave, where warp and weft threads alternate over and under each other, creating a tight, regular, and robust fabric, such as canvas. In a Panama weave, two or more weft threads are woven under one or two warp threads.

This particular binding is often employed in crafting garments like pants, jackets, and skirts due to its durability and ability to maintain shape. The fabric strikes a balance between sturdiness and suppleness, ensuring comfort when worn. Additionally, it's utilized in producing accessories like bags and backpacks, requiring strength and stability. The versatility of the Panama weave renders it suitable for various fashion and accessory applications.

Do different qualities of canvas exist?

Similar to any fabric, canvas comes in varying qualities, determined by several factors:

  1. Material: Our wholesale canvas is fashioned from organic cotton. The quality of the cotton (long fiber vs. short fiber) impacts the fabric's durability and strength. Bo Weevil exclusively stocks long-fiber canvas, pilling is unusual.
  2. Weaving quality: The tighter the weave, the stronger the fabric.
  3. Weight: Canvas comes in different weights, measured in grams per square meter (g/m² or gsm), influencing the fabric's strength.

Which fabric weights find use in Canvas and why?

The weight of canvas fabric indicates its density in grams per square meter (g/m²). This weight classification varies, often categorized as lightweight, middleweight, and heavyweight, based on grams per square meter.

  • Lightweight canvas: Typically ranging from 135 to 240 gsm, it is favoured for clothing, bags, and applications requiring flexibility and suppleness.
  • Midweight canvas: Ranging from 270 to 410 gsm, it is sturdier and more durable, suitable for canvases, outdoor gear, and robust bags. All bags at Bo Weevil, except the beach bag, use midweight canvas.
  • Heavyweight canvas: Generally exceeding 410gsm, it is exceptionally strong and serves applications demanding utmost durability, such as tarps, tents, industrial coverings, etc. At Bo Weevil, the beach bag and toiletry bag M in natural colours with prints utilize heavyweight canvas.

Most bags in our range are made of canvas because of their strength, although some are crafted from poplin. How do poplin and canvas differ as fabrics?

Poplin and canvas differ significantly in structure, weave, texture, and application.

  1. Weave construction: Poplin, a fine, lightweight cotton fabric, employs a plain weave, resulting in a smooth, even surface. Canvas, with its Panama weave, yields a sturdier, coarser texture.
  2. Texture: Poplin boasts a smooth, silky surface, while canvas presents a coarser, firmer texture due to its specific weave.
  3. Weight: Generally, poplin is lightweight, whereas canvas varies in weight, from light to heavy.

In essence, poplin is a lightweight, smooth fabric with a fine texture, commonly used in clothing or lining of bags and toiletry bags. In contrast, canvas, known for its sturdiness and coarser texture, is favoured for its durability, catering to heavier applications. However, it is worth noting that poplin bags also exhibit strength. Ultimately, our focus remains on sustainable, enduring products, including poplin bags designed for lasting use.

Comments (0)

There are no comments yet, be the first one to comment
Choose your language

Recently added

Total excl. VAT
Start comparison

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published

This product has been added to your cart
By using our website, you agree to the usage of cookies to help us make this website better. Hide this message More on cookies »