From Hype to Reality: Evaluating the Practicality of “Super” Numbers in Wool

In the world of textiles, the quality and characteristics of wool have long been a subject of fascination and exploration. The fineness of wool is a crucial factor in determining its value and usability. It has traditionally been assessed through physical measurements and subjective evaluations.

Here’s where “S numbers” or “super numbers” come in. Super numbers are a tool to quantify and understand the fine attributes of wool fibres. This article aims to understand what Super numbers are. Beyond the basics, we will evaluate these numbers’ true practicality in wool.

What Are Super Numbers in Wool?

Super numbers in wool represent an intersection between mathematics and textiles. Essentially, they refer to a specific set of numerical values. These values define the fineness or thickness of the individual wool fibres used to create a fabric. It provides valuable insights into the wool’s:

  • Quality
  • Characteristics
  • Performance attributes

The Super numbers were originally based on the worsted yarn count system (or the Bradford count) in England. It was later replaced by the metric yarn count, though the older method is still used for finer wool. Nowadays, it’s the International Wool Textile Organisation that governs the designation of Super S for fine wool as well as wool blends and is determined by the correlation to maximum fibre diameter.

The most common range of super numbers in wool starts from Super80 or Super90 and can go up to Super250 or even higher. The lower super number values generally correspond to thicker and more robust fibres, while the higher super numbers indicate finer and more delicate fibres. The application of such thickness and density will depend on the wearer’s preferences (which we will elaborate on below).

Common Misconception about Super Numbers in Wool

One prevalent misconception surrounding super numbers in wool is that higher numbers always indicate better quality or performance. However, the truth is that the relationship between super numbers and fabric quality is more nuanced. Super numbers represent the fineness of wool fibres in a fabric, but higher super numbers do not always guarantee superior quality.

Super100 and Super110 are considered standard in the wool industry due to their well-balanced characteristics and versatility. This range represents a sweet spot where wool fibres exhibit a desirable combination of fineness, softness, and durability. These lower super numbers tend to be heavier (thus, more durable) and resistant to wrinkles. This makes them ideal for enduring everyday use.

Conversely, higher super number fabrics can be preferable for formal occasions or when seeking a luxurious feel. Fabrics with higher super numbers, like Super140 or Super150+, offer a smoother appearance and lightweight comfort. It will also feature an elegant drape that makes them well-suited for tailored garments or special events.

It is essential to approach wool garment purchases based on individual needs. You should also consider fibre quality and fabric construction. Consulting experts can provide valuable guidance on selecting the most suitable super number for your specific requirements (be it for a party or seasonal wardrobe choice).

Where to Find These?

Finding wool fabrics in different super number ranges can vary depending on individual preferences and availability. The customisation options offered by your tailor can also influence your decision. Here are some common places where you can typically find wool fabrics with specific super number values:

Super 110

Fabrics with Super 110 are relatively easy to find as they fall within the standard range. They are commonly available in a wide range of fabric stores, both online and offline. Many ready-to-wear brands and manufacturers offer garments made from Super 110 fabrics due to their versatility and balanced properties.

Super 130-150

Fabrics within the Super 130 to Super 150 range are considered higher-end. They are often found in made-to-measure or custom tailoring services. These fabrics offer a luxurious feel and are of a finer quality.

This type of wool is a popular choice for tailored suits, jackets, and other bespoke garments. Specialty fabric stores and upscale tailoring establishments often carry these goods. Online retailers specialising in made-to-measure clothing are good places to explore Super 130-150 fabrics.

Super 150+

Fabrics with super numbers exceeding 150 are rare and considered even more luxurious.  These fabrics may come from renowned mills and are curated for high-end bespoke creations. They are often sought after by discerning customers looking for exceptional quality and exclusivity. You can find them in specialised auctions or through experienced tailors with access to unique and premium fabric collections. Since they are hard to find, be wary if you find them in a local shop—most times they could be made of short fibres or could be a synthetic blend to artificially create a high super number, either of which can compromise quality.

Find the Perfect Suit at Briggins

At Briggins, craftsmanship and sophistication converge. We have a wide variety of wool fabrics to choose from for your bespoke suit. This includes Super 100 to 150 for individuals seeking the perfect blend of style and quality.

Our curated collection of suits embodies elegance and refinement. As you enter our exquisite showroom, you’ll be greeted by rows of meticulously crafted garments. It showcases the artistry and mastery of our skilled tailors.

Discover the allure of super numbers and exceptional tailoring at Briggins today. Experience wearing a perfectly fitted suit crafted from the finest British and Italian wool fabrics. You can visit our showroom at Level 1/156 Maroondah Hwy, Ringwood, Victoria. For more information, you can also call us on 1300 452 251 or email us at info@briggins.com.au.

Save $100 On Your Next Suit!

Fill in your details below and we’ll send it straight to your inbox (no spam here, promise!)