Super 150s? Pure wool? Wool stretch? What does it all mean? Choosing a suit cut and colour is difficult enough, but choosing the right wool fabric for your suit can be even trickier. Here we are going to explain a little more about these suiting terms and how to get it right.
Wool is the most popular choice of fabric for suiting, as it can be worn all year round. Super 100's, 120’s, 150’s etc. denote the various wool suiting fabric types available, and although you may not understand this jargon, we are going to explain it so that next time you decided to buy or have a suit made, you will do it with confidence.
The term ‘Super’ originated in England as a means of proving grading for the best wool. In the USA, Super numbers may be refered to as Choice Wool. Supers refer specifically to the fineness of the wool fibres. Simply, the higher the Super number, the finer the wool fibre, the more expesive the fabric will be - Higher Super numbers are more suitable for special ocassion suits that are worn less frequently. The lower the Super numbers, the thicker the wool fibres will be and therefore more suitable for suits worn daily. Each Super number correlates to a maximum fibre diameter measured in micrometres - The higher the Super number, the lower the micrometers and the finer the fibre. Fiber diameters are measured from the finished, dyed fabric. Luxury suiting brands and designers don't work with anything less than Super 150's.
Brioni Super 150's wool suiting - light, fine & luxurious
Something to remember as well is that Super numbers can apply to any fabric with at least 45% wool in it. Some fabrics mix wool with silk for a more luxurious feel, or elastane for a slight stretch, and then there are the rare wool mixes than include fibres such as mohair and alpaca for an altogether more luxurious (and of course warmer) cloth.
Alexander McQueen Blue Wool/Mohair Blended Suit
So, with all of that in mind, how do you choose the right Super wool for your suit?
It might seem like an obvious answer – the higher the Super number, the finer the wool fibre quality, the better the suit. However, there are other factors to consider too, like how often you’ll be wearing your suit. The higher Super numbers are usually lighter cloths that more wrinkle, therefore more suited to the spring/summer months but also for special ocassions due to the finess and strength of the fibre. Happy Super shopping!
Holland & Sherry Super 150's Wool, Black Pinstripe
Valentino Super 130's wool/silk mix, for a more luxurious feel
Valentino Wool/Mohair mix in navy