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, suit fabric has its own measure of quality. You might have heard about Super 130’s and Super 150’s. Super denotes the wool being new and pure and the numbers correspond to the thickness of the wool fibers. In general, the higher the Super number your suit is made from, the higher the grade of fabric. However, a deeper understanding will ensure you choose not only a fabric that looks and feels nice but one that will be appropriate for its intended use.

Grading Process

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 or micrometres. This is the scale that gives you the numbers trumpeted by the sales staff in gentlemen’s outfitters. Some mills ditch the “S numbers” completely and advertise the micron thickness instead (such as Ermenegildo Zegna).

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 finer quality, but it might wrinkle more and be less durable. Which is why many reserve such beautiful bespoke suits for special occasions. Weather can also be a factor. The higher Super 100s fabrics let air pass through more easily and thus don’t keep you warm in cold weather. If weather is a serious factor, wearing a topcoat is a more practical approach for the established gentleman.

Weight

Generally, as the thread count increases the weight will decrease, but there are outliers. in Super 130s and others that are particularly light, or particularly heavy. The weight of your fabric will affect how cool the suit is to wear, and how your suit carries you. Be sure, to also pay attention to fabric weight when picking your Super 130s and above.

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, wearability and luxury. The choice is yours. Talk to Senszio about getting measured for your high-quality bespoke suit and view hundreds of Super 100s fabrics at your leisure when we next visit your city.

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