What’s the Difference Between Numbered Duck and Ounce Duck?

Numbered duck and ounce duck are both types of cotton duck fabric, a heavy-duty, tightly woven canvas known for its durability. The primary difference lies in their classification systems:

  • Numbered Duck: Uses a number system (#1 – #12) where lower numbers indicate heavier weights. However, weave tightness and weight per square yard can vary across manufacturers.
  • Ounce Duck: Directly references weight per square yard, offering more consistent standardization.

Understanding the Distinctions

FeatureNumbered DuckOunce Duck
Weighting SystemInverse Numbered Scale (#)Ounces per Square Yard
Typical UsesIndustrial (tents, tarps, bags)Apparel, Painting Canvas, Lighter Duty

Numbered Duck: Pros and Cons

  • Pros: Extremely strong due to the double-fill weave. Ideal for heavy-duty, outdoor applications requiring maximum durability.
  • Cons: Weight standardization lacks consistency across brands. Fabric choice often requires direct sample comparison.

Ounce Duck: Pros and Cons

  • Pros: Consistent weights make it easier to select based on the project’s needs. Generally a more lightweight and pliable option.
  • Cons: The single-fill weave offers less strength than numbered duck for heavy-duty industrial use.

Choosing the Right Canvas for Your Project

Consider the following factors when deciding between numbered duck and ounce duck:

  • Durability: How much wear and tear will the fabric need to withstand? Numbered duck offers superior strength for demanding applications.
  • Weight: A lighter canvas might be preferable for flexibility and ease of handling. Ounce duck is often the choice for garments or other projects where weight is a major concern.
  • Intended Use: Match the canvas type to your project.
    • Industrial: Numbered duck is commonly used for tents, tarps, heavy-duty bags, and covers.
    • Painting Canvas: Ounce duck is the standard for artist canvases due to its lighter weight and consistent weave.
    • Apparel: Both can be used depending on the design and desired weight.

Additional Insights from Canvas Etc.

At Canvas Etc, we specialize in providing a wide range of canvas fabrics and customized solutions. Here are some key points to remember about numbered and ounce duck:

  • Conversion Considerations: There is no exact conversion chart between numbered duck weights and ounces per square yard due to manufacturer variations. Consult supplier specifications.
  • Beyond Cotton Duck: Explore other fabric options such as denier fabrics or specialty treated canvas based on your project’s requirements (waterproofing, fire resistance, etc.).

For Your Project Needs

If you’re unsure which type is right for you, feel free to contact our expert team at Canvas Etc. We are committed to helping you select the perfect fabric to bring your project to life.


Can I convert numbered duck to ounce duck weight?

Due to variations in manufacturing, there’s no universal, exact conversion chart. It’s essential to consult the individual supplier’s weight specifications for their numbered duck fabrics.

Which is stronger, numbered duck or ounce duck?

Numbered duck typically offers superior strength due to its double-fill weave. This makes it an excellent choice for heavy-duty, industrial applications.

I need a fabric for painting. Should I use numbered or ounce duck?

For artist canvases, ounce duck is the industry standard due to its lighter weight, consistent weave, and suitability for stretching.

Summary and Key Takeaways

Choosing between these canvas types largely depends on intended use and required durability for your textile project. Always consider consulting fabric suppliers like Canvas Etc. to clarify specific fabric features and find the most suitable options. Understanding this distinction empowers you to select the optimal canvas for any need, from custom bags to primed artist canvases.

Key CharacteristicNumbered DuckOunce Duck
ClassificationInverse Number SystemWeight per Square Yard
StrengthSuperior (double-fill weave)Good (single-fill weave)
Common UsesIndustrial, OutdoorApparel, Painting Canvas

Explore our extensive selection of numbered duck, ounce duck, and other specialty fabrics at Canvas Etc! Contact our team for personalized recommendations and bring your next fabric project to life.