why we designed it


5 Reasons People Are Ditching Denim & Duck
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Canvas work pants and coveralls? It’s not the late 1800s anymore, yet workwear seems to be stuck in that era. Our infrastructure, tools, and technology have modernized—so shouldn’t our workwear, too? Well, in fact it has: Truewerk’s modern, high-performance technical fabrics blow the traditional fabrics out of the water. Cotton canvas, duck, and denim are the technologies of the past. What is duck fabric or denim doing for you really? They’re the fabrics that should be living on only in black and white photos like these when it comes to use on the job site.

A row of construction workers sit on a girder suspended high above New York City.

A group of construction workers wearing canvas work pants and coveralls on the job on a city streetside.

Blue jeans will probably continue to be a staple in your wardrobe for backyard BBQs, running errands on weekends, and casual date nights—but that's where they need to stay. And as for canvas work pants, let’s leave cotton canvas for the sails on sailboats, back where it began (sorry Carhartt). What is duck fabric or denim even doing on job sites in the 2020s?

Like the people who wear it, modern workwear has a tough job. It’s why people started wearing canvas work pants in the first place: Workwear needs to be strong enough to handle a variety of challenging environments yet flexible enough to move without restriction. It needs to be durable enough to survive the daily toll of a job site yet comfortable enough to wear all day. What is duck fabric or denim contributing to your comfort on the job? Not too much! Modern workwear needs to be as capable, innovative, and advanced as its wearer—which is exactly why Truewerk is leading the softshell revolution creating the most comfortable work pant in the world.

In case you need more convincing, we’ve rounded up 5 reasons that people are ditching their denim, duck, or traditional canvas work pants and embracing performance softshell technology:

Your Benefits Fact Sheet - Truewerk Insights


1. Comfortable Fabric

As our CEO Brian says, “The magic of the T2 WerkPant lies in our proprietary double-woven softshell material which enables us to combine two very different surfaces into a single layer of tightly woven fabric. Exceptionally soft and durable on the inside and tough and water resistant on the outside.”

The first time you slip into T2 WerkPants, you’ll experience the benefits of our performance softshell technology immediately. In jeans or canvas work pants, sometimes it takes hundreds of wears before they finally feel comfortable. For example, raw denim can take up to six months to break in and shouldn’t be washed until then. Not exactly the most practical approach when dust, glue and other materials are coming into daily contact with your pants.

The T2 WerkPant fabric provides next-to-skin comfort right off the bat. And all that bullshit about quality over comfort? Softshell really does have it all, starting with quality AND comfort better than anything canvas work pants can offer. What is duck fabric doing to match softshell in comfort? Nothing! The T2 WerkPants have 5-star reviews with one of the most popular reasons for loving them being comfort. Check out some of these reviews:

“I’ve been working in the construction industry all my life, and have never had a more comfortable and functional pair of pants to work in. I’m in love with the fit and form of them, and how they stretch. No more crotch rash and stains. WOW—I’m blown away!” – Wayne, 6/24/2020

“Superb. Strong, non-snag material, cooler and more comfortable than jeans and block the wind better on chilly days, repels water but if soaked through with heavy rain they dry quickly, good selection of pockets. Highly recommended.” – Joel R., 6/21/2020

“Hands down the most comfortable work pants I’ve ever worn. Normally you sacrifice comfort, more specifically stretch for heavy duty work pants but not with the T2’s. Superior comfort and protection!” – Osvaldo O., 6/20/2020

“Definitely converting from my Carhartt pants. My new T2 werkpants are the most comfortable pants I’ve owned and already ordered a second pair. I work as a carpenter and I go on all day in these pants.” – Alejandro C., 6/14/2020

2. Mobility

 There’s a reason softshell fabric is used by elite mountain guides and the military. It moves with you, not against you, in a way that canvas work pants just can’t—providing a huge range of applications requiring athletic movement. Thanks to 4-way stretch, articulated knees and gusseted crotch in the T2 WerkPant, your mobility is optimized so you can crouch, crawl and reach without restrictions.

Mobility is the nature of our double-woven softshell. Meanwhile, time and time again, brands like Levi are working to “develop technical fabrications that make ‘em stretch and bend in ways traditional denim can’t.” Denim is not meant to stretch or bend, and, if you’ve ever owned a pair of regular cotton canvas or duck canvas work pants, we don’t even need to remind you how much mobility they lack. What is duck fabric even doing on the human body? It’s what you make cots and hammocks out of. It’s only “mobile” compared to steel.

“The T2s are the best pants I’ve ever owned. I got a few pairs for work and have love them. The breathability, pockets and stretch are amazing. I plan to replace all my jeans with them even for outside of work.” – Matthew S., 5/20/2020

“Great quality and construction of pant, very flexible and feels very soft. A lot of movement and range of motion on the pants, keeps you fresh and dry. Very thick linings well constructed and durable pants” – Antonio S., 6/25/2020

3. Lightweight

Tools are heavy enough, our clothes don’t need to be heavy too. It’s often a misconception that durability in our bottoms comes from thickness and how heavy they feel, but that is simply not true. We don’t need to compromise durability for freedom or ease of movement. Bulk is not better and does not equal longer-lasting. How you feel in your favorite lightweight loungewear is how you should feel in your work pants too.

By the numbers, Jeans are 12 oz. – 16 oz., your typical Carhartt or Duluth duck canvas work pants are roughly 12 oz., and a pair of Truewerk T2 WerkPants come in at nearly half of that. A pound may not sound like a lot, but together with everything else you’re carrying, it all adds up, and what is duck fabric and denim if not an extra drain on your energy from the extra bulk?

The heavier the pant, the more it drags you down. Wearing canvas work pants is like wearing a small house around your legs. Plus, when you’re being impacted by the elements, our lightweight T2 WerkPant dries quickly. No more soggy or frozen pant legs. More on this later.

4. Elevated Fit

There’s no such thing as excellent-fitting canvas work pants unless you get them custom tailored—and sometimes not even then. Yet fit matters! The importance of fit is often overlooked, but correctly fitting work pants directly affects additional benefits from comfort and flexibility to safety. No matter your job site environment, not getting caught on stuff, being able to see your feet and work in fluid motions is crucial. What is duck fabric or denim going to do for you on this measure? Make opportunities for trouble, that’s what. If your pants are baggy, saggy, or even too tight—as canvas work pants often are—it could be the first problem of many more to come.

Ensuring your pants fit correctly is one of the easiest precautions you can take to protect yourself on the job site and prevent falls. To put it in perspective, “Falls alone account for nearly 40% of all construction deaths. While falls happen for different reasons, loose clothing may be one of the leading causes tripping you up.

The T2 WerkPant’s articulated knees, gusseted inseam and tailored cut enable precise and unrestricted movement. And that tailored cut gives you a professional, versatile look that your clients will appreciate. Traditional canvas work pants and denim simply can’t compete. What is duck fabric supposed to do in the face of the outstanding performance of a modern technical fabric?

“I climb trees and perform other urban tree care work. The stretch and fit of these pants is awesome. The fabric feel/texture is great. The pockets are outstanding. The phone pocket is spot on with sizing. The cargo pocket is super secure. Can’t say enough good things about these pants.” – Ernie W, 6/27/2020

“I’ve been working in the construction industry all my life, and have never had a more comfortable and functional pair of pants to work in. I’m in love with the fit and form of them, and how they stretch. No more crotch rash and stains. WOW—I’m blown away!” – Wayne, 6/24/2020

5. Technical Innovation

Workwear companies tend to focus on durability as though putting you in a pair of uncomfortable canvas work pants were the ultimate in job site protection. They position cotton as strong and tough, when in reality cotton can be 3x weaker than synthetic fibers. Imagine buying 3 pairs of jeans or canvas work pants for every one pair of T2 WerkPants because the traditional fabric will fail so much sooner. What is duck fabric and denim when it comes to strength? A paper tiger. All talk, all bulk…no muscle.

However, you need more than just durability on the job site. What if you're working in wet conditions, like snow, rain, or a flooded basement? It takes more than slapping a Durable Water Resistant (DWR) coating on the outside of cotton to create lasting protection from the elements. Coatings and modern fabric treatments wear down over time. On traditional cotton workwear, once the coating begins to wear away you’re left with a hydrophilic fabric that absorbs moisture creating uncomfortable working conditions. The result: Your canvas work pants get even bulkier and more uncomfortable. However, with something like our proprietary double-woven softshell material that is naturally hydrophobic, even if that coating begins to wear down you’ll still be left with a fabric that is quick-drying and doesn’t absorb moisture.

The list of advantages to leverage new apparel technology goes on and on, from engineering fabrics that have pick resistance, high breathability, and UV protection for dealing with summer sun and heat, to 3-layer bonded fabrics that are durable, waterproof and warm for battling off the cold of winter.

Comparing duck and denim and canvas work pants to softshell fabric workwear is like having a race between a horse and buggy and an F-150: It’s just not a fair fight. What is duck fabric or denim supposed to do to compete with 21st century fabrics? Bow out gracefully, that’s what. Technical fabrics are the future of work, and whether you’re ready to switch out your denim or duck for a pair of T2 WerkPants for the first time or are stocking up on Truewerk gear you already know and love, we’re celebrating the softshell revolution with a T2 WerkPant sale all-month long.

Order now and take advantage of our customer perks:

The technology is here. Say goodbye to denim, duck, and canvas work pants on the job, and say hello to the future of workwear: high-performance technical fabrics by Truewerk. Check out our Classic T2 WerkPant, the Navy T2 WerkPant, and our Women’s Fit T2 WerkPant.

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