Whether you are seasoned bespoke suit wearer or first-time customer you will probably have come across a term referring to suit cloth weight, known as the ‘super numbers’. So, what exactly do the super numbers mean?
To put it simply S of the ‘super number’ relates to the width of the wool yarn in microns and is used to state, with precision, the fineness of the individual wool fibres used in the cloth. When a sheep is shorn of its wool, the wool is placed under a microscope to measure its thickness. The wool is measured in Microns and graded using a numbers system. For example, a Super 130’s fabric will have yarn that is roughly 17.25 microns wide or 0.00172 milometers. This number will also represent how many individual yarns you will have in a single weave.The phrase ‘Super’ dates back about 30 years and was used by tailors working with Joseph Lumb & Sons, spinners of the finest quality worsted weaving yarns. While at the time they were simply meant as a quick method of measurement, they soon became associated with high quality fabrics through years of marketing and today they denote the quality and grade of some of the finest fabrics in the world.
A thread count of a Super 100’s or higher denotes a ‘fine quality wool’ and the cost of each fabric can rise significantly as these numbers rise especially when these fine wools are blended with luxury fibres such as mohair, cashmere and alpaca. Some might say that the finer the cloth then the better the suit, however this is not entirely true as each cloth has different performance properties and because of this you should consider carefully how you will be using the suit. If you are looking for a suit for regular daily use, we would advise avoiding selecting a fabric above a super 130’s as the cloth will lack the durability you are needing.
Suits ranging from super 120’s to super 200’s wool are likely to be made with merino wool which is one of the best quality wools available in the world today. The finest merino wool is actually sourced from Australia and New Zealand as these countries have the best climates and conditions for producing the finest quality wool. These wools are supremely comfortable and have significantly higher performance and making qualities over other types of wool and for this reason they are highly sought after.
When you are buying your next suit, instead of searching for the highest super numbers we recommend asking yourself the following.
How often do you intend to wear the suit?
What type of climate will you be wearing the suit in?
How long do you hope to own the suit for?
How important is comfort to you when compared to durability?
Suits made from Super 100’s ,110’s,120’s graded wool are best for people who require a good quality suit to wear often that is both durable and comfortable to wear. These grades of fabric are ideally suited for use in a climate that is not bitterly and are chosen by people who have a good build and want a suit with a finer fabric to highlight their body shape.
Suits made from Super 130’s and 140’s are best for people who do not use their suit as often and live in countries with warmer climates or for use in the warmer summer months. These fabrics are ideal for customers who place superior comfort above other factors like durability and warmth.
Suits made from Super 150’s to 200’s suits made from these fabrics will be incredibly fine and almost silk like in their texture and weight. These luxury fabrics are incredibly appealing to touch and wear however they are not as durable as cloths made using lower super numbers and for this reason are usually made for special occasions or for instances where the suit will only be worn occasionally.
Like all things in life selecting the correct cloth is a balance between personal taste and matching your own personal preferences and needs against the benefits and properties of the cloth in question. Our knowledgeable tailors are always happy to discuss a cloth in greater detail and answer any questions you may have to ensure you make the perfect choice when selecting a cloth for your next suit.
Super 100’s by SCABAL ‘ A passion for Cloth ‘