Wool-based tailoring fabrics may be marked ‘Super 110’ for example. This ‘S-system’ is derived from the 18th century ‘worsted count’ (worsted yarn is spun from fine, smooth and hard combed long-staple wool) which indicates how many 560 yard-long ‘hanks’ can be spun from 1 lb of wool. As finer wool goes further, the S-system therefore indicates how fine the wool is.
Today, materials categorised as S100 – 130 are considered ‘durable’, S140+ as delicate, and S200 as very luxurious. Typically in the USA, a two-piece man’s suit in a S110 fabric might costs $500, whilst the same garments in a S130 fabric might cost $700 – $800.
Any buyer should also be aware that the ‘S’ prefix (as above) indicates that the material may be a wool blend. Only the word ‘Super’ indicates that the material is ‘pure new wool’, or a blend of wool with a rare fabric such as cashmere.
The weight of a fabric is also important for durability and comfort. Typically, a ‘classic’ European worsted weighs in at around 380 g (per square metre) or 13-14 oz (per square yard), whilst a ‘lighweight’ worsted weighs in at around 280 g or 9 oz. Herringbone fabric is stronger, and all good fabric should ‘rebound’ when crushed.
With a usable minimum width of 150 cm between the selvedge, averaged sized items require the following:
Trousers – 1.5 metres
Jacket – 2.5 metres
2 piece – 3.5 metres
3 piece – 4.5 metres.
Therefore 4 metres of suiting will cover most needs.
Again with a minimum width of 150 cm, the following is also required:
2.5 metres of lining
1.5 metres of cotton twill for pockets
3 metres of interfacing.