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 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.
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:
- 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
- "Tough Clothing for Tough Customers: A Guide to Workwear". Sierra Trading Post. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
- Freeman, Jan (March 14, 2012). "Tale of the tape". Boston Globe. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
- "duck canvas; duck". Sizes, Inc. 11 August 2004. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
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