What Does the Super Number Mean for Wool Fabrics?

You’re looking at a stack of sample books labeled Super 100s and Super 150s. What does the Super Number mean? And why are the suits made with higher Super Numbers more expensive?

What Does the Super Number Mean?The terminology describes the diameter of the yarn fiber used to weave the fabric. The word “super” is part of a subjective list used by early British wool merchants. They originally described the grade of their wool fibers as “low,” “medium,” “fine,” and, finally, “super.” So “super” is the finest quality of wool.

The higher Super Number means the wool fibers are thinner in diameter. This results in a lighter weight fabric that feels smoother and more delicate but will be less durable, relatively speaking. However, all of our suits are durable and expected to last a lifetime. 

So where should you start? A Super 150 yarn is a great middle-ground with a nice feel and excellent bang for the buck. Super 180s will feel amazingly luxurious, if those are within your budget and to your taste. Super 100s are cheaper and commonly favored by tuxedo rental establishments for their durability, but they feel more coarse.

Despite these ranges and rules, there is still some variation in fabric from one manufacturer to another, even for wools graded the same way. This means that some of the most luxurious products may fit the definition for a Super 120s wool but feel like Super 180s.


What does the Super Number mean?

Higher Super Numbers mean the wool fabric will generally feel finer. Wool with lower Super Numbers will usually feel coarser.

How do I pick a fabric?

Feel the Super 150s first, then move up or down in fineness and budget.

Thanks, Ken! I will continue buying suits and spreading the word! For a number of years I contemplated buying custom suits but continued my 'off the rack' ways. Unfortunately, my store suits never fit right due to my build. I also ignored the old adage, 'you get what you pay for.' Then, I had the fortune of meeting Ken Sharma and his lovely wife at a law conference. Ken spent a lot of time with me perusing fabrics and educating me as to the difference in quality of tailor-made versus store bought. His wife and I picked a couple of fabrics, I bought two shirts, two ties, and he personally delivered my suits to my Atlanta hotel. He made sure they fit like a glove, which they did (finally I have a suit that fits perfectly!), and the rest is history. Ken truly cares about his customers and his attention to detail is second to none. The quality, price, and professional/personal relationship is second to none.

J.M.F Psychologist, Expert Witness