If you have ever gone to buy a suit-custom or not-you’ve probably noticed the words “Super _____” located somewhere on the fabric label.
What exactly does this mean?
Wool is measured in microns, and categorized via a grading system. The term “Super” in front of the number is actually just for show/marketing purposes. The number is what you really want to pay attention to. It corresponds to the fineness of the individual fiber. The higher the number, the softer the fabric. This will also create a better drape on the body. Below are some of the characteristics of each grade set.
70’s, 80’s, and 90’s: Thicker, heavier hand. Very durable. Will keep the wearer warm.
100’s, 110’s, and 120’s: Still have great durability, but are more lightweight.
130’s and 140’s: Very fine, soft wool. These are lightweight, do not trap heat inside, but are less durable.
150’s and higher: Extremely fine wool. Almost silk-like hand. The least durable out of the grades.
What I need to consider when choosing a fabric
There are a handful of questions you will need to ask yourself before you purchase a “Super” suit.
Once you have a better idea of the answers to the questions above, you’ll be able to determine which grade range you want to stick to. If you’re still unsure, we would recommend going to an experienced tailor or clothier; they will be able to determine which fabric is best for your needs.
Is bigger better?
Typically after the Super 150’s range, you’ll start seeing and feeling fabric that is much softer, lighter, and overall more luxurious than the lower ranges. There will definitely be a difference in hand, but does that mean it is truly the better option? Once you get to the high 100’s and 200’s, the fabric becomes more difficult to work with due to its svelte nature. Increasing in numbers also means a finer fabric; something you have to take into consideration when you purchase a suit. It is recommended that for a more everyday suit that you choose a fabric between 100-150. This will make a more durable and long-lasting suit. Indulging on a higher-grade fabric for a special occasion suit such as a tuxedo is more ideal since you will only wear it a few times a year and can stretch the life of the garment much longer.