Why Choose Canvas?
Canvas is the heart and soul of our Battenkill Luggage collection and for century’s canvas has been the top choice when you need a durable fabric for clothing, bags, tents or even sails. But what makes canvas such a rugged, yet good-looking fabric that is still used today, even when we now have more technologically advanced options out there? Let’s take a look at the history of canvas – particularly canvas bags and luggage – to see how the fabric has maintained its place among the top choices for durable construction and fashion for centuries.
History of Canvas and Canvas Luggage
Some of the most prominent uses of canvas in history are seen in its usage as a surface for paintings. From Renaissance artworks to new pieces today, canvas is one of the favorite surfaces for artists using a variety of mediums. As a garment and more utilitarian uses, canvas bags and clothes likely date back into at least the 13th century, where the Anglo-French word “canevaz” described the tightly woven fabric. This word likely came from the Latin word “cannapaceus”, which means “made of hemp”, as most early forms of canvas were, in fact, made of hemp fibers.
Today, most canvas is made of cotton and can be differentiated from other heavy duty fabrics in that it is “plain weave” as opposed to the “twill weave” of denim. In plain weave, each wrap fiber passes alternately over and under each weft fiber. This creates a sturdier fabric, with lower mechanical properties, which is tougher to drape, meaning that it requires more force to fold or crease.
Canvas usually comes in two varieties – plain and duck. You may know duck from its usage in tough work pants. Duck canvas uses more tightly woven threads for a super-tough finish. Plain is more supple and what is most commonly used in canvas luggage like in our Battenkill collection.
Why Use Canvas for Bags and Durable Products?
When you’re traveling across the world or even around town, you want a bag or piece of luggage to withstand the rigors of storage bays and taxi drivers who may slam the trunk before checking to see if your bags are properly stored. The tight weave of canvas, is one of the toughest cotton fibers available. It allows your luggage to hold up to the beating that travel delivers, while protecting your belongings inside. The tight weave also gives the fabric some great water repellent properties, and when treated with oil or wax, canvas luggage gives you a solid protective barrier against the harmful elements of travel. And for an added touch of luxury and function, we added leather handles and detailing to each of our Battenkill canvas bags, to ensure these pieces of luggage will last a lifetime.
Do you choose canvas bags over synthetic options like nylon? What factors into your choice in luggage and business bags? Let us know in the comments below.