Cotton duck

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Cotton duck (from Dutch: doek, "linen canvas"), also simply duck, sometimes duck cloth or duck canvas, commonly called "canvas" outside the textile industry, is a heavy, plain woven cotton fabric. There is also linen duck, which is less often used.

Duck is used in a wide range of applications, from sneakers to use for artists' paintings to tents to sandbags.[1]

Duck fabric is woven with two yarns together in the warp and a single yarn in the weft.


Van Gogh, Vincent, Self-portrait with Bandaged Ear, Easel and Japanese Print, January 1889
Oil on canvas, 60 × 49 cm
Courtauld Institute Galleries, London (F527). Van Gogh wears a coat made from cotton duck.

Duck is classified according to weight in a numerical system, with grade 1 the heaviest and grade 12 the lightest variety. Besides this, traditional names exist, which are rarely used today.

A numbering system is used to describe the various weights of duck cloth, based on the weight of a 36×22-inch piece. Weights below 19 ounces are called numbered duck. The grade of numbered duck refers to the number of ounces subtracted from 19 for a 36×22-inch piece of fabric. For example, a piece of #8 numbered duck with dimensions of 36"×22" weighs 11 ounces (19 − 8 = 11); those above 19 ounces are called naught duck.[2]

Numbered duck is nominally made in weights from 1 to 12, but numbers 7, 9, and 11 are no longer used. Some typical uses of various grades (with weights in ounces) are:[1]

  • No. 1 (18 oz): hammocks, cots, sandbags
  • No. 2 (17 oz): hatch paulins
  • No. 3 (16 oz): heavy-duty bags
  • No. 4 (15 oz): sea bags
  • No. 5 (14 oz): heavy work clothes
  • No. 6 (13 oz): large boat covers, heavy work clothes
  • No. 8 (11 oz): work clothes, clothes bags
  • No. 10 (9 oz): work clothes, shower curtains
  • No. 12 (7 oz): light clothes

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Tough Clothing for Tough Customers: A Guide to Workwear". Sierra Trading Post. Retrieved 30 March 2010. 
  2. ^ "duck canvas; duck". Sizes, Inc. 11 August 2004. Retrieved 23 June 2011.