April 9, 2014

Super 130’s, Super 150’s – What does it mean?



In bespoke tailoring for business suits, there’s a way of measuring the quality of the cloth. Just as with wine vintages, which come with ratings from Robert Parker, and diamonds, which can be differentiated by the color, cut and clarity, suit fabric has its own measure of quality.

You might have heard about ‘Super 130s’ and ‘Super 150s’. In general, the higher the Super number your suit is made from, the higher the grade of fabric.

Merino wool suits

Real quality begins its journey in a field. All the best wool comes from fine sheep and you’ll find them in Australia (especially Tasmania) and New Zealand.  Down Under, they’ve made wool harvesting a fine art. And when they began importing Merino sheep from Spain, the fun really began. In the world of bespoke gentlemen’s suits, a Merino-wool suit is the Holy Grail.

But where does the ‘Super 100s’ idea fit in? After shearing, raw wool gets graded according to the thickness of the natural fibers. This is determined using a microscope and is measured in microns. This is the scale that gives you the numbers trumpeted by the sales staff in gentlemen’s outfitters.

To qualify as 100s grade, raw wool must be finer than 18.5 microns. But that’s just the start. The scale takes in 110s, 120s, 130s, 140s, 150s and continues into the 200s, which is a very rare strain indeed. At 150s grade, the micron count is around 16. Not many sheep produce wool so fine, which pushes up the price.

Finely spun bespoke suits

These finely spun bespoke suits feel better on the body. The cloth is lighter and the feel is softer. A high Super 100s suit is undeniably better quality, but it might wrinkle more and be less durable. Which is why many reserve such beautiful bespoke suits for special occasions.

As a regular work suit, many experts believe that a thread count of Super 130’s to 150’s provides the perfect balance of durability and wearability. The choice is yours. Talk to Senszio about getting measured for your high-quality bespoke suit when we next visit your city.