The Perfect Canvas! #12 Cotton Duck

What makes the perfect Canvas? Depending on your application this could be a wide range of answers. If you want the heaviest our#1 is perfect; for the most colors our 10oz is it; the smoothest texture check out army duck. The best marine canvas, its Outdura. So, why do I say #12 is perfect?

#12 is extremely versatile with its 11.5oz easy to work with & manage weight.  It is double filled, so it is going to be a bit stronger than a 12oz single fill.  The weave is extremely dense similar to an army duck, but with a bit more texture.  The width selection is incredible from 36″ all the way to 144″.  It also comes primed as an Artist Canvas in widths from 60″-96″.   The weight of this canvas is appropriate for so many project applications and it is easy to dye.  Big Duck Canvas prices on #12 canvas are the most impressive with generous wholesale bulk discounts.  Check it out or request a sample.


Army Duck:The Best for Screenprinting & More!

Along with its many popular uses, Army Duck is one of the best canvas fabrics to screen print! The surface has a very smooth texture created by the densely woven cotton fibers allowing for very fine detail in printing. If you are creating a screen printed bag of any type make sure to get some our Army Duck fabric samples and see for yourself! Here is a quick video of our 10.10oz Army Duck Cotton Canvas.

We offer custom Sunforger® finishes and custom dye lots on our canvas fabrics. Our in-stock color options are limited on Army Duck, but we can work with you to create your own custom colors!

#1 (30oz) Cotton Duck! The Heaviest Canvas of All Time

Our Heavy Numbered Ducks are such a unique Heavyweight textile material that it almost doesn’t feel right to just call them canvas fabric.  They can solve project needs like no other!  Floor Coverings,  Wall coverings for sound dampening,  storage bins, equipment and machinery covers, industrial belting, tool bags, painter bags, horse packs, & more! Here is a quick look at #1

Our #4 Cotton Duck is our next heaviest cotton duck and can basically do everything a #1 can do.  It comes in wide range of widths for every project need.  In a side by side comparison with number #1 it is hard to tell the two weights apart.

6 Elements to Consider in Sourcing & Designing Bags

The basic design of most tote bags or Duffle type weekenders is very simple.  The patterns are simple shapes with simple sewing involved.   Many companies are manufacturing essentially the same bag.   A similar basic pattern is often used for the “free with purchase” tote and the $1200 Open Tote at Neiman Marcus even though the quality is very different.  After sourcing and manufacturing bags for several years I learned some simple ways to improve designs with some extra time sourcing and planning.


1. Fabric & Material Selection –   If the purpose of the bag is to showcase a beautiful textile or fine leather it is often easier to eliminate the need for other elements like pockets, zippers, hardware.   The materials will make or break your bag. Waxed Canvas is officially my favorite fabric for tote bags and duffle bags.  It is cheaper than leather and holds up just as good if not better. Here is a simple example of a great tote design. To check out our best wholesale fabrics for bags click here.

2. Lining – There are some nice bag designs out there getting away with no lining, but when I see a bag without a lining I know it was a huge time saver and corners were cut.  Bags with no lining become just big dump bins.  A lining makes the bag more useful and usually looks letter.  In my opinion it is actually easier to line a bag than bind the exposed seams.  Here is a video of my method for sewing a simple tote design with a lining.

3. Pockets – Pockets and a lining go hand and hand.  Many people leave out pockets because they add several more steps. They require additional planning, cutting and sewing.  If the pockets have zippers that is even more time and material.  That being said, bags with pockets especially strategically placed pockets are far more preferred than bags without pockets.  If a bag doesn’t have pockets many people will not even consider it as an option.   Bags do not need 10 pockets or anything, but even just two well planned, placed, sized pockets will take a bag to the next level. My customers always loved the secret pocket!

4. Zippers – A tote bag doesn’t necessarily need a zipper to function properly and leaving it out saves a lot of labor and material.  I found that consumers tend to want zippers even if they always keep them open.  The option to securely close the bag gives it more value.  Riri zippers are the best quality zippers I have ever used.  They are also the most expensive to source.  YKK zippers are the best zipper made in the usa and the cost isn’t to bad.   Cheap zippers are really just not worth it.  With the time it takes to add and source zippers it might as well be good.  Keep in mind It can often take 3-4 weeks to get YKK orders.

5. Adjustable Strap – Since even the cheapest bags at Walmart and Target have adjustable straps consumers expect this feature on a Weekender bag.  It is easy to add to your bag with slider hardware.

6. Embellishments – Leather trim, top stitching, monograms, bag feet, and key holders and just a few of the extras bags can have.  Many times an embellishment may help compensate for the lack of pockets or zippers if the design works.  It may be faster to add some nice top stitching than including zipper pockets.  Finding ways to incorporate special details is important.  A well designed bag has just enough details to make it special without going overboard on labor and materials.

6 Of The Most Common Fabrics Sourced to Make Dopp Kits

Major retailers like Pottery Barn and J.Crew are all offering bags and accessories these days.  For the men, The Dopp Kit has become a standard. Just like a cosmetic bag, it’s going to spend a lot of time on the bathroom counter top. The fabric you use should be water resistant and pretty heavy duty for such a small accessory bag.  Sewing heavyweight fabrics can be tricky on such a small scale, so there is a balance of fabrics that will be the best performing and most manageable to sew. Here is a list of the best fabrics to consider for Dopp Kits with some real examples of of each thrown in.


  1. Waxed Canvas seems to be the most popular choice for Dopp Kits these days. It’s heavy duty, okay to get wet on a regular basis and it looks upscale with leather trim and vintage brass details.  Check out examples on Land’s End, J.Crew, and Etsy.  All of these are made with waxed canvas fabric.
  2. #10 (15oz)  Double Filled Cotton Duck will require an industrial sewing machine and experienced seamstress. It can be a challenge to handle with small scale patterns, but the results are worth it! We have some good color variety to choose from. Blue Claw Co has a dopp kit that is 14oz. that looks really heavy duty and durable.
  3. Army Duck Fabric is one of easiest fabrics to sew on this list and one of the most durable.  It is 10.10oz with the dense army duck weave for the best of both worlds.
  4. 600 Denier Polyester (or 600D) is commonly used for the exterior and interior of the bag, sometimes even as a bottom trim for extra stability. It is a dream to sew! Our solution dyed polyester is made to battle the elements, so the bathroom sink is easy. Pottery Barn and OGIO on Amazon are both examples of Dopp Kits that are made with 600 Denier Polyester.
  5. 1000 Denier Polyester (1000D) is very similar to 600 Denier, just a bit heavier.  It can more than handle duty as a Dopp Kit.  This fabric is commonly used for luggage and outdoor gear bags. Check out DSPTCH.
  6. 12oz Cotton Duck is often referred to as our most versatile fabric.  It’s heavy enough to be durable yet drapes well enough to be used in decor applications.  Check out the savings we offer on our 12oz Heavyweight 100% Ring-Spun Cotton Duck Factory Seconds … these would make some very nice shaving bags. Maybe the 12oz Cotton Duck in brown with leather trim!  Here are a couple of Dopp Kits that look very similar to our 12oz Cotton Duck on Pottery Barn and Etsy.
  7. Linings – Coated synthetic fabrics and lightweight vinyls are perfect for the interior as these can simply be wiped down to clean. Our 600 Denier Coated Polyester makes a great lining!

Use Cotton Army Duck for Slipcovers and Upholstery?

The majority of our fabrics are perfect for slipcovers. Our 10oz fabrics are very popular, our new USA-made fabrics are great, and our 12oz options are becoming more and more popular too. All great options with equally-great results. One fabric that tends to get overlooked for slipcover use is Army Duck. It’s an amazing quality cotton fabric worth considering!


1. Extremely Dense Weave
Army duck has the tightest weave of all of our cotton ducks.  The tigher the weave the less likely moisture and spills will soak in. There is a reason this fabric is used to make shelters and tents.

2. Lifespan
After years of use army duck tent fabric is often re-purposed and sewn into other things. People are using reclaimed army tent canvas for all kinds of accessory items and decor.  This is the same kind of fabric we offer, just brand NEW!  Army Duck is going to hold up well as a slipcover and when you are ready for a new look, the fabric will still be useful.

3. Army Duck Fabric Looks Beautiful Natural or Dyed
Cotton fabric is easy to dye at home using fiber reactive dyes. The tight weave of the army duck allows for the dye to absorb very slowly creating a very soft shade of the chosen color.

4. Army Duck Shrinks LESS
While not preshrunk, Army Duck shrinks less than other cotton ducks. Once again, the tightly woven cotton is an advantage. There is less room for the yarns to draw up because they are already so dense.

5. Great Price
Our 36″ Army Duck and 60″ Army Duck are both available for a fantastic price. And it gets even better when you buy more! Amazing values for such a great performing fabric.

What makes a Closeout Fabric? Is there anything wrong with It?

I want people to know about Big Duck Canvas because I like my job and I want to be good at it, but also as a fabric designer, maker and hardcore crafter, I want everyone to know where the deals are for sewing projects.

Adding products to the closeout/discount category is one of my favorite things to do. Products in this category could be Overstock Grade A fabrics, Factory Seconds, or Closeouts that for some reason or another didn’t meet certain specifications.  This could just mean the dye wasn’t the exact right color, but everything else is perfect.  We really try to make sure to let customers know exactly what the flaw is IF there is ANY.  If there do happen to be flaws they will be pretty minor and we price it accordingly.

In most cases with this category when the fabric is gone, its ALL GONE.  Occasionally we are able to keep a few things around for a while like our 12oz heavyweight cotton duck fabric (factory seconds), but its best for customers to assume that they may not be able to get that same exact fabric again. If you are seeking continuity for a product, our standard fabric lines are the way to go.

We recently just got in a Cotton Linen Blend Upholstery Fabric in a pretty Oatmeal color. It has a nice crisp feel that makes it really easy to work with. After doing some research we found that this fabric is typically sold for around $23/yd! We were very excited to be able to offer something so nice for much much less ($5.49-8.99/yd).