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What does the number of Canvas fabric mean?

Canvas fabric, which you have all heard of at least once, is famous for tote bags and other items.

Canvas is a thick, flat-weave fabric woven from cotton or linen.

It is called “canvas” because it was used as a material for sailboats in Japan in the past.

What is Canvas?

Canvas is a thick, plain weave cloth densely woven with thick threads. In the past, there were many tents and sheets made of cotton canvas in elementary schools, but nowadays it is mostly used for bags, shoes, and other clothing items.

Canvas is characterized by its various thicknesses. Some are hard, some are soft, and others have a variety of textures. Also, since it is cotton, color blurring varies from batch to batch, so it is also characterized by a fair amount of color blurring.

413 セイラー[生地] 仙田

413 Sailor  [Fabric] Senda

No.11 canvas, hard finish

1200 富士金梅 綿帆布2号 糊付加工[生地] 富士金梅

1200 Fuji-Kinbai 

No.2 cotton canvas, glued finish  

Number on Canvas fabric

The weave of cotton canvas was determined by the JIS standard, but this standard has been abolished, but it is still applied in Japan. No. 11 has two warp threads twisted together. The smaller (thicker) the number, the greater the number of twisted threads. And the more threads that are twisted, the stronger it is.

Yarn TwistDensity/inchWeight
No.Warp/ WeftWarp/Weftg/㎡
17 / 828-32 / 18-221014
27 / 828-32 / 16-20941
36 / 628-32 / 19-23867
46 / 529-33 / 18-22794
54 / 532-36 / 23-27720
64 / 432-36 / 23-27647
73 / 434-38 / 24-28573
83 / 334-38 / 24-28500
92 / 344-48 / 33-37510
102 / 245-49 / 34-38428
112 / 143-47 / 39-43343

Usage of Canvas 

  • Aprons
  • Shoes
  • Gloves
  • Chair upholstery
  • Hammocks
  • Athletic tents
  • Mattress
  • Mawashi (For Sumo wrestler)
  • Cheering curtains

Characteristic of Canvas

  • Very durable. Plain weave fabrics are resistant to friction, and since canvas is twisted together, it is even more durable.
  • Highly breathable.
  • Water does not penetrate easily.
  • The more Canvas is used, the softer it becomes.


The characteristic of canvas is its durability. It is a fabric that is hard at first, but as it is used, it becomes tougher and tougher. We often propose it as a fabric for bags, but we have written this first as basic information.

For more Canvas and Japanese fabric, please visit ApparelX’s fabric list.

Hi guys, this is Jane, the editor of ApparelX News. As a foreigner living in Tokyo, I hope my posts will help international readers get an overview about Japanese fashion industry as well as Japanese culture!