What is Duck Cloth?

By far the most popular workwear fabric, cotton duck is a weighty, plain-but-strong woven canvas. After experimenting with hundreds of fabrics we kept coming back to duck cloth because of its durability and ability to cross between a blazer and barn jacket. Based on these qualities we developed our own refined duck cloth that is also water & stain-resistant. Despite its name, this hardy workwear fabric has nothing to do with waterfowl. The term "duck" comes from the Dutch word doek, which refers to a linen canvas once used for sailors' white trousers and outerwear. The word "cotton" has been added to modern duck items simply to distinguish them from traditional linen duck. Interestingly enough, cotton duck is related to another type of work-ready duck. Duct tape, often called "duck tape," was originally manufactured by adding an adhesive backing to regular cotton duck.

You've heard the expression "tougher than nails." Well, cotton duck may be "tougher than sails." The same general type of canvas duck used for many work clothes has been used for traditional boat sails, since the thick cotton weave is incredibly resistant to tearing and rough wear. This workwear fabric is also found in four-walled tents and other shelters. Usually offered in drab colors like unbleached white, tan, and shades of brown or green, cotton duck work clothes generally don't look very dirty even when they are.

Advantages of cotton duck workwear fabric:

  • It has a relatively smooth surface that isn't prone to snagging and tearing.
  • It is probably second only to leather in the class of true workwear fabrics in its ability to block the wind.
  • The more often it is worn the softer it gets and the more character it develops, like you!