What Are The Differences Between Cotton And Canvas Fabric?

Chapter 1: Introduction: Cotton vs Canvas

Cotton and canvas are produced from the same raw material, therefore, it may be difficult to identify the difference between cotton and canvas. Both cotton and canvas are used interchangeably but they are different. In this article, you will discover the difference between cotton and canvas fabrics.

The following chapters will explain in detail the difference between cotton and canvas fabrics.

Chapter 2: Know Your Fabrics

2.1, Cotton

Cotton is one of the most commonly used fabrics around the world. Cotton fabric is gotten from the fibres surrounding the seeds of cotton plants, which emerges as a fluffy formation when the seed is matured.

Cotton is soft with heat retention properties. Cotton is considered to be more durable than silk but less durable than wool. As a result of this, cotton remains one of the most popular fabrics in the world.


2.2, Properties and Advantages of Cotton Fabric

The following are the characteristics of cotton fabric:

Breathability- Cotton fabric allows air to pass through it freely. Breathability is considered an asset in clothing, most especially in warm weather.

Absorbency- Cotton absorbs liquid in a large quantity. Cotton fabric can absorb up to 27 times of its normal weight in water. Cotton makes comfortable clothing because it can absorb sweat.

Versatility- Cotton can retain colour, therefore it can be dyed into any colour. Cotton is also versatile and it can be woven into cloth for different purposes.

Wrinkling- Most cotton fabrics wrinkle easily but they can be ironed regularly to keep up their appearance.

Elasticity- Cotton is non-elastic in nature because of its crystalline polymer. This is the main reason cotton can easily wrinkle.

Thermal properties- Cotton has the ability to conduct heat energy, hence, cotton fibres can withstand heat when ironing.


2.3, Canvas

Canvas is a plain-weave, heavy-duty fabric made from cotton. Canvas is traditionally made from cotton, hemp or linen.

The yarn in canvas is thick, hence, the thread count in canvas fabrics is relatively low. Canvas is naturally water-resistant but polyvinyl chloride coating is added on both sides of the fabric for additional water-resistance features, especially in industrial canvas.

There are different types of cotton including plain, duck, cotton, linen and hemp.


2.4, Properties and Advantages of Canvas Fabric

The following are the properties of canvas fabric

  • Canvas is strong, durable, sturdy and thick. For this reason, it is used in numerous outdoor applications.
  • When canvas fabric is treated properly, it is water-resistant and flame resistant.
  • Canvas is long-lasting and does not require a lot of maintenance.
  • Canvas can be treated with chemicals to enhance its physical properties. Canvas can be treated to increase its water resistance, flame retardation and mildew resistance properties.
  • The tight weave of canvas means it can retain colour when it is dyed.


2.5, Difference Between Cotton and Canvas

Cotton and canvas have some similarities, hence, they are often mistaken for each another.

Below are the differences between these two types of fabrics:

Cotton fabric Canvas fabric
Cotton fabric is made from unbleached cotton. Canvas is made from bleached or unbleached cotton.
Cotton fabric is lightweight. Canvas fabric is medium weight.
Cotton fabric is a plain weave. Canvas fabric is a diagonal weave.
Its other variants include duck fabrics. Its other variants include denim, cotton twill and cotton drill.

Chapter 3: Uses of Cotton and Canvas Fabrics

Canvas is a firm and heavy-duty fabric suitable for outdoor activities like tents, boat sails, sports gear, sneakers and bags. Further uses of canvas include photography backdrops, furniture and jackets, useful as coverings for the military and construction industry.


Uses of cotton include t-shirts, dresses, sweaters, undergarments, rugs, pillows, sanitary wear, bags, and so on.

You would notice that both cotton and canvas have a certain use in common and that is their use as bags. We will focus more on cotton canvas bags.


3.1, Cotton Canvas Bags

In the bag-making industry, there are three types of canvas used in making bags. These are pure cotton canvas, polyester cotton canvas and all polyester canvas.

Cotton canvas fabric can be made into different types of bags including shopping bags, tote bags, dust bags, drawstring backpacks, garment bags, etc.


3.2, Cotton Canvas Bags and Their Uses

  • Cotton canvas shopping bags- Cotton canvas is strong material suitable for making grocery shopping bags. Canvas cotton shopping bags are sturdy with handles making them convenient to carry. These bags are washable and reusable.
  • Cotton canvas tote bags- These bags are used as a fashion accessory. They are lightweight and easy to hold personal items like books, wallets, files, etc.

  • Cotton canvas dust bags- Dust bags made with cotton canvas are used for packaging and storing shoes and handbags. Dust bags also serve the purpose of preventing dust or moisture from damaging your items.

  • Cotton canvas drawstring backpacks- Drawstring backpacks are also used for product presentation and packaging. The drawstring backpack design can be used as a fashion accessory just like the tote bag.

  • Canvas garment bag- The canvas garment bag is used for packaging and transporting dresses and suits. A canvas garment bag helps to prevent moisture, mildew and dust from damaging precious clothes.


Chapter 4: Benefits of Cotton Canvas Bags

Cotton canvas bags have many benefits you can think of. The following are the benefits of cotton canvas bags:

Since the increase in awareness of climate change and the need for a green planet, people are gradually switching from plastic bags to reusable bags. Cotton canvas bags are reusable as many times as possible.


Cotton canvas bags accept many types of customisation methods. Therefore, you can easily customise your bags for personalisation and brand promotion.

Cotton canvas bags are durable, long-lasting and easy to maintain. You can wash your bags regularly to keep them going.


Chapter 5: Conclusion

Most tote bag sellers often list their cotton bags as canvas bags. When in actual sense they are different.

The difference between cotton and canvas lies in the material, weave, texture, weight, shrinkage, durability and variety.

Now you know the difference between cotton and canvas fabrics, you can easily choose any of them for your shopping or tote bags based on personal preferences.a

If you’re looking for some answers about a variety of custom bags manufacturing, you’ve come to the right place!

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By |2022-11-05T09:09:57+00:00October 27th, 2022|Blog|0 Comments

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