What is Duck Cloth?

What is Duck Cloth?

Duck cloth has existed for a long time, but not many recognize it by its name. What is duck cloth? Duck cloth fabric is a plain-woven cotton fabric typically known as canvas duck. Canvas fabric rings a big bell with most people, but when you put duck cloth vs. canvas, you’re essentially putting the same style of fabric against one another.

What is duck fabric? It’s a tighter plain weave canvas that is usually heavier than other styles of canvas cloth or cotton canvas fabric. Originally made with natural cotton, duck canvas or duck cloth has an abundant amount of uses and lends itself to many different applications.

What is Duck Cloth Made Of?

Exactly what is duck cloth made of? Is canvas cotton? Interestingly enough, not all canvas is 100% cotton.

Certain canvas styles remain blended using synthetic fibers like polyester or nylon. However, duck cloth canvas products will utilize natural cotton. Cotton use in canvas persists as tried and true and works well with this standard fabric.

Basic Duck Weaves:

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what is duck cloth and how to use in projects canvas etc
Durable fabric duck bag.

Duck Canvas Styles

There are many kinds of canvas weight fabric. Historically, they had different names like army, belting, and sail. Today, the same weighted duck canvas styles aren’t named but simply numbered to distinguish them with ease.

Single Filled Cotton Fabric Duck

Single filled cotton fabric duck is generally lightweight, loosely woven into the oxford style, and made from non-plied single yarns. The more common single filled ducks weigh 7, 10 and 12 ounces per square yard. The weight corresponds to how much one square yard weighs.

Some of the more popular projects that utilize single filled cotton fabric duck are:

  • Liners
  • Table Cloths
  • Slip Covers
  • Bags
  • Industrial Covers

Because single filled duck cloth has one yarn in the weft, it’s slightly softer, with more give than a numbered duck cloth style.

Numbered Cotton Duck Cloth Canvas

A heavier, plain weave fabric, numbered duck cloth uses plied yarns that weigh 12 to 32 oz/square yard. For example, #1 cotton duck cloth canvas is 32 oz/square yard, while #12 cotton duck cloth canvas is 12 oz/square yard. Our cotton duck cloth, woven tight with a firm cotton fabric feel, ranges from 22″ to 150″ in width. This style, often called wide duck, weighs using the inverse scale.

To figure out the weight of the fabric, you’ll subtract the duck number from 19. For example, number 8 cotton duck fabric will weigh 11 ounces per lineal yard when you subtract 19 from 8. To get the ounce per square yard, you prorate the width to 36″ since one square yard of fabric is 36″ by 36″. 11 ounces per lineal yard (or 22″) is the same as 18 oz/sq. yd. A little confusing, but that’s how the original numbering system defined our current one.

Is this fabric right for your next project? Learn more about different duck cloth varieties to find the right duck cloth for you.

Army Cotton Duck Cloth

Our army cotton duck cloth comes in 10 oz and 15 oz. varieties. This plainly woven fabric exists from the use of two ply yarns. The yarns used in army cotton duck cloth remain finer and tighter than traditional numbered duck canvas. Army cotton duck cloth is firmer than single filled fabrics. Originally used for army tents and clothes, this versatile cotton duck fabric lends itself to a variety of applications.

Belting Cotton Fabric Duck

As a heavy, plain-woven, plied yarn cotton duck cloth, belting cotton duck canvas lends its use specifically to conveyor belts. Belting cotton duck has the greatest strength from its fill yarns. This fabric is very thick and perfect when needing a textile to go through tough wear and tear.

Hose Cotton Duck Cloth

Hose cotton duck cloth traditionally found its first use as liner for garden hoses. This soft, open plain weave fabric from plied yarn offers intriguing use as cotton duck. Hose cotton duck canvas made their debut in fire hoses before rubber and other materials were readily available. This formidable canvas cloth remains a great choice for pumping water in an emergency or in sump pump use.

Boot or Bootleg Cotton Duck Cloth

Similar in construction to hose duck cloth, bootleg cotton duck cloth happens to be a soft, pliable fabric made from plied warp and fill yarns. This cotton duck cloth finds its use in the leg of rubber boots and plastic reinforcements. This fine duck canvas works well since it yields to the wearer, but offers water resistance.

Biscuit Cotton Duck Cloth

The heaviest range of numbered ducks, biscuit cotton duck cloth works well for projects involving quilting. This durable fabric helps do-it-yourselfer’s in a number of ways with many different applications.

duck cloth vs canvas canvas etc

Chafer Cotton Duck Cloth

A low weight single yarn, chafer cotton fabric utilizes well when making bags, box spring or mattress covers, linings, and upholstery. It offers a medium texture, balanced strength, and weighs from 8 to 17 oz/sq. yd.

Enameling Cotton Duck Cloth

Enameling cotton duck cloth usually has two warp yarns that lay parallel to each other when woven. This fabric offers single or double filled flat duck canvas styles. Used for rubber industry liners, it’s also found in canvas footwear, coats, aprons, and book binding. This delicate duck canvas works great for finer use.

Flat Cotton Duck Cloth

The term flat duck lends itself to this single and double filled canvas weight fabric. Two strands of single yarn weave side by side (warp yarn) and interlace with a filling yarn. This medium-weight material works well in a number of different applications. It looks just as good hanging on a wall at home as it does as a purse slung over your shoulder. You’ll also feel free to try your hand at painting on it, as it works great as artist canvas.

Shelter Tent Cotton Duck Cloth

Shelter tent cotton duck fabric makes the perfect choice for covering a boat, camper, or antique car. The plain carded cotton duck cloth has two plied yarns in both warp and weft. The weight of this fabric weighs roughly 8.5 oz/sq. yd. It equally works well for tents, tipis, bed rolls, or even a sauna cover.

Sail Cotton Duck Cloth

Sail cotton duck cloth offers a hard constructed numbered duck perfect for military equipment, tarps, covers, ground cloth, filter cloth, coal bags, and other heavy-duty applications. Cotton sailcloths were stronger than most materials available at the time of its inception.

Paper Felt Cotton Duck Cloth

Paper felt cotton duck cloth is canvas that’s used as conveyor aprons in paper-making machinery.

Press Cotton Duck Cloth

Originally used with cider presses, press cotton duck cloth offers a heavy-weight plied yarn loosely woven in a balanced construction. The strong material stays together even when extreme pressure exerts upon it.

Canvas ETC: Premier Cotton Duck Supplier

Canvas ETC doesn’t compromise quality over cost pressures. While most available artist canvas weight fabric today is lighter and more coarse, Canvas ETC maintains the higher standard. We give the below example of the average weight of Canvas ETC canvas or duck cloth (greige/natural canvas in ounces per square yard) so you can see how we stack up against the competition:


Canvas ETC


#12 duck cloth 11.80 11.50
#10 duck cloth 15.00 14.40
#8 duck cloth 18.50 17.50
#6 duck cloth 21.00 19.80
#4 duck cloth 24.50 24.00
#1 duck cloth 30.50 29.50
10 oz duck cloth 10.00 9.60

what is duck clock weighted fabric printed fabric canvas etc

How Should I Select a Canvas?

When choosing a canvas, the best thing to do is consider your needs. Are you looking for canvas to build a shelter? Will your canvas be used in an artistic endeavor? Whatever the need, has all types of canvas that will be sure to fit your needs.

  • Painting – The most commonly used canvas are the 7 oz, 10 oz, #12 & #10. The #12 duck is however the only one easily available in a wide range of widths from 36″ to 144″. Our canvas is the perfect base for your work whether you’ll be using a gesso or not.
  • Floor-Cloth – The heavy fabrics like #1,#4,#06, #08, #10 are the perfect choice for your draping needs. You’ll be able to repaint a room without worry of spills.
  • Photo Backdrops – The wide-width muslin (natural & colors) and the wide width #12 duck are a perfect backdrop. They can easily be rolled away and are the perfect choice for a mobile photo booth.
  • Aprons/Bags – You can easily choose the right fill for your next project. The Single Filled ducks work best for cheaper products (natural & dyed). Any of the numbered ducks are best for more expensive products.

duck canvas duck cloth canvas etc apron

Overall, we value providing the finest cotton duck canvas we can, however we can. We also offer wholesale canvas for those who have a commercial use for their duck cloth. Learn more about our commitment to quality by contacting one of our experts today.



“Canvas.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 19 Nov. 2018,

“Cotton Duck.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 14 May 2018,

National Bureau of Standards, United States. National Directory of Commodity Specifications: Classified and Alphabetical Lists and Brief Descriptions of Existing Commodity Specifications. Washington: Gov. Print. Off., 1924.