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Denim vs. Canvas: Which Is Better?

Certain fabrics can be produced from the same fiber, yet still feel and look very different. A great example of this is the difference between denim fabric and canvas fabric. These two fabrics can appear relatively similar, but ultimately they differ because of their unique properties and the way they feel on the skin.

Key Takeaways

  • Denim and canvas are durable fabrics, but canvas has an advantage when it comes to being resilient to rain, snow, and ripping.
  • When it comes to breathability, denim is characterized as being a more comfortable fabric that allows your skin to breathe and does not cause overheating such as canvas.
  • The canvas fabric is usually used to produce pieces of clothing meant to be worn while working in harsh conditions, whereas denim fabric is more elegant and suitable for everyday casual or professional wear.
  • Canvas is not particularly flexible and soft when it is compared to denim fabric.

Denim vs. Canvas – How Do They Differ?

Both of these fabrics are produced from cotton fiber. However, manufacturers often blend cotton with synthetic elements such as polyester in the production of denim and canvas to make them more durable. Pieces of clothing made out of denim are used for everyday wear, dressed up or dressed down. Also make sure you throw an eye at the blog that explains if polyester is hotter than cotton.

A denim jacket, blue denim jeans, or denim skirts and shorts always tend to look trendy, regardless of what you choose to combine them with to create an outfit. Denim is also known to be long lasting and a fabric that is not easily ruined. It has a strong weave which further aids in enhancing its durability.

In comparison, the use of canvas fabric can be limited. Because of the way the canvas fabric looks and feels, it is usually used to produce clothing that is suitable for work uniforms.

If this fabric is blended with a synthetic material, the outcome is the production of a piece of clothing that is very hard to tear apart, damage or scratch. Both of these two fabrics are very durable, but canvas is known to be slightly stronger in comparison to denim. They also differ in the different ways they can be worn, styled, and maintained.


The most commonly discussed difference between denim and canvas is whether their durability depends on the way they were woven. The denim fabric is characterized as having a strong weave which makes it appear structured and sturdy.

The canvas fabric is woven with a simple weave very tightly in order to produce a piece of clothing that is sealed and impermeable. Because of the fact that unnatural materials or fabrics blended with synthetic properties are more durable than purely natural materials such as cotton, manufacturers blend synthetic materials with the natural fiber of both denim and canvas.

However, the denim fabric is usually not used to produce pieces of clothing that are meant to be worn in harsh conditions or throughout the day while performing physical work. In comparison, because of its thick type of weave, the canvas fabric is known for its strength and resistance to harsh weather conditions, tearing, or getting easily ruined.

Due to this, canvas is considered to be more durable when it is compared to denim, offering an extremely sturdy look while at the same time being long lasting. Both of these fabrics are durable and long lasting because of their weave types, but canvas has a slight advantage when it comes to its water and weather repellency.

Also make sure you read the differences between denim and twill.


In order for a piece of clothing to be considered as comfortable, it has to offer a sense of breathability and not stick to the skin while it is been worn. However, certain people are required to work outdoors, no matter which season in which season or how cold it can get.

Because of this reason, they need clothing that will keep them warm while at the same time protecting them from the weather and low temperatures. Canvas is the most popular fabric for making work uniforms that are resilient to cold weather and strong enough to endure harsh conditions. It is known to keep the body warm while working and moving around.

However, this characteristic of canvas can lead to the piece of clothing providing no breathability and comfortable feel. It can also lead to extreme warmness that can cause a comfortless feeling.

In contrast to canvas, denim fabric is known to be much more breathable and flexible. Although denim is not known for its resilient characteristics, it is more comfortable to wear throughout the day without producing the feeling of excessive heating.

However, denim is not recommended to be worn in harsh weather conditions because it is not waterproof and thick enough to endure tearing and damage. Denim is a more breathable fabric than canvas and it is characterized as being more comfortable to wear on the daily basis.

Ways of styling

When people are aiming to look stylish, they also consider buying pieces of clothing made out of high-quality materials. The denim fabric has been used for many years in the production of various different pieces of clothing, accessories, and even shoes.

This fabric is known to be very structured, strong, and always. Denim can be styled in many different ways to produce a casual or even a fancier look while at the same time retaining its structure. It is also known to soften after each wear and wash as opposed to getting stiff or uncomfortable.

In comparison, canvas fabric is not usually used to produce stylish pieces of clothing. It can be used to produce accessories and certain types of shoes, but assuredly not pieces that can be worn every day.

The canvas fabric is popular in its use for the production of sturdy work uniforms that will last you a long time and also protect you from the weather. Canvas does not get softer after wearing or washing in comparison to denim, it is not flexible and may appear very rigid.

Denim and canvas differ in the ways they can be styled and worn because they are usually used for different purposes and needs.

Also make sure you read a great list of canvas sewing machines.

Final Verdict

Choosing between these two fabrics is connected to determining what your needs and wishes are. If you need a piece of clothing for working outside in the rain or cold weather, canvas fabric is your best choice that will also keep you warm.

If your goal is to look fashionable and wear a piece of clothing on a daily basis that will last you a long time, denim is a perfect option that will also ensure a better expression of your unique style. Both of these fabrics are great for different purposes.