TVF Resource Center

Cotton Duck

Cotton Duck


Few natural fabrics rival cotton duck in terms of durability, resilience, and versatility, thanks to the cloth’s reinforced heavyweight construction. Cotton duck, also called duck cloth, duck canvas, or simply duck, is a heavyweight plain weave cotton fabric. Well-known for its durability, cotton duck features a tightly woven construction using two yarns in the warp and one yarn in the weft.

At TVF, we stock a wide range of cotton duck fabrics in numerous weights and colors.

Why do they call it duck?

The term duck comes from the Dutch word doek, which refers to a linen canvas that sailors’ white trousers and outerwear were made from. The word cotton was added to modern duck items to distinguish it from the traditional linen duck.

Fun fact: Canvas today is made of cotton or linen, but back in the day it was traditionally made from hemp.

Remember: Cotton duck is a plain weave, which sets it apart from other heavyweight cotton fabrics. For example, denim is a twill weave.


In the USA, canvas is classified in two ways:

  • by weight (ounces per square yard)
  • by graded number system

The numbers run in reverse of the weight. For example, a number 10 canvas is lighter than a number 4 canvas.

Duck vs. Canvas

What’s the difference between duck and canvas? Duck is actually a type of canvas! Both fabrics are plain-weave, are made from cotton, and are incredibly versatile. The main difference between duck and canvas lies in thread count. Canvas is known for its coarser weave, while duck boasts a smooth hand thanks to its high thread count.

The TVF Ducks

TVF Sells Several Different Ducks


Army Duck

Army duck is a tight, plain woven fabric with plied warp and filling yarns. While most army duck technically range from 7 oz. to 15 oz., TVF stocks resilient 10.10 oz. and 12.63 oz.

Army duck is used for tents, boat covers, cotton jackets, and occasionally for quality lightweight bags. This duck cloth variety dyes well and is available in ring spun or open-ended yarns. Choose ring spun. for a stronger and overall better quality army duck canvas.

Fun Fact: Army ducks are sometimes referred to as double-filled duck.


Number Duck

Number duck cloth is a tight and firm, plain woven fabric with plied warp and filling yarns. Weights range from 1032 oz./sq.yd. Some end-uses include: Some end-uses include:

#12 (11.5 oz.) – Stretched artist canvas, furniture slip covers, light clothes
#10 (14.75 oz.) – Artist canvas, murals, floor cloths, bags, hammocks, shower curtains
#8 (18 oz.) – floor cloths, heavy bags, backpacks, heavy duty work clothes, director chairs, tents, tarps, awnings
#6 (21 oz.) – utility bags, place mats, awnings
#4 (24 oz.) – industrial strength bags, heavy duty work clothes, hammocks, sand bags, director chairs, place mats, belting
#2 (28 oz.) – Floor and wall covering, sound absorption, equipment covers, heavy bags, horse packs, storage bins
#1 (30 oz.) – Floor and wall covering, sound absorption, equipment covers, heavy bags, horse packs, storage bins
#2/0 (32.7 oz.) – Floor and wall covering, sound absorption, equipment covers, heavy bags, horse packs, storage bins



Single Fill Duck

Single fill duck is a flatweave cloth with single yarn warp and a single filling yarn (single filled duck). Weights range from 7-15 oz./sq.yd. A single yarn warp and a plied yarn filling is known as double filled duck.

End-uses include promotional bags, grocery totes, recreational games and accessories, linings, and fillers.

What grades are available for single fill ducks? 

Single fill ducks are available in A-grade, commonly used to dye for bags. A/B grade is used when appearance and strength is not as important. A/B grade has more cotton seeds left in the canvas.


Known for its plain weave construction and durability, cotton duck is a tried-and-true natural textile used across countless industries for diverse end-uses. Duck’s unique origin as a linen canvas worn by sailors has evolved into the “cotton duck” we know today. Whether classified by weight or number system (the numbers run in the reverse of the weight), cotton duck is a go-to option for many projects – and at TVF, we sure stock a lot of it!