duck canvas; duck

Duck is a type of unsized cotton cloth, made in various weights. (Duck is commonly called “canvas” by people not in the business.) The numbering system used to describe the various weights is based on how much a piece 36 inches long and 22 inches wide weighs.

Numbered duck

If a piece of the cloth 36 inches by 22 inches weighs less than 19 ounces, the cloth is called numbered duck. The grade of numbered duck is calculated by subtracting the weight in ounces of a piece 36 inches by 22 inches from 19. For example, a piece of #5 numbered duck 1 yard by 22 inches would weigh 14 ounces (19 − 14 = 5). The bigger the number, the lighter the cloth.

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 weights are:

#1 hammocks, sand bags
#2 hatch paulins
#4 sea bags
#6 large boat covers
#8 clothes bags
#10 shower curtains

Naught duck

If a piece 1 yard by 22 inches weighs 19 ounces or more, the cloth is called naught duck. A 1-yard by 22-inch piece of 10 naught duck weighs 19 ounces; 20 naught duck weighs 20 ounces, and so on. Each extra ounce of weight adds another naught. Thus a piece of 60 duck 1 yard by 22 inches would weigh 24 ounces.

  Grade Weight in ounces
of a piece
36 inches by 22 inches
Numbered duck 10 9
9 10
8 11
7 12
6 13
5 14
4 15
3 16
2 17
1 18
Naught duck 1/0 19
2/0 20
3/0 21
4/0 22
5/0 23
6/0 24

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