What makes a woolen fabric a high quality fabric? That's certainly the first thing you want to know when you're about to invest money in buying a man's garment. "Is a 160s fabric better than a 100s?", is one of the most frequently asked questions. To get a precise answer, you first need to understand what the fabric in question looks like.
The characteristics to know about wool
Le lane is now classified as raw, freshly sheared. The characteristics taken into account are:
-Animal of origin: the breed (the rams that produce the finest wool are merinos), age of the beast (the fibres are generally thicker as age increases).
-The chemical treatments suffered by the fleece.
-The presence of the fur: a fleece is composed of fur and duvet (look at a dog's or cat's fur to distinguish them: the fur is composed of long fibres, those that form the outside of the fur, while the duvet is composed of the shorter and sweeter ones that remain inside. Only the fibres of the duvet can be used).
-The colour: the more white the wool is, the more it will lend itself to being dyed with light colours.
-The presence of stains (to be removed from the fleece).
-The length and average diameter of the fibres (objectively evaluated with portable optical diameter measuring devices, or sent to laboratories for analysis with an equipment called Laserscan).
-The ripples of the fibres (crimp): the wool of the ram is naturally "frisé". The number of twists in the fibres per unit length is evaluated, taking into account the fact that the more "frisé" the fibre is, the finer it will be overall and therefore better suited to providing finer yarns. Fibres with opposite characteristics will tend to agglomerate with each other and become less suitable for spinning.
-The mechanical resistance of wool (elastic resistance) which determines the capacity of the wool to undergo spinning, weaving and finishing treatments. Less resistant wools produce a lot of waste during carding and combing and will be used to produce felt, or mixed with other fibres.
As we can see, there are therefore many criteria to take into account when classifying wool into homogeneous categories. This classification is entirely carried out by specialists as soon as the animals are sheared.
Classification of wool into super and why?
The quality of a wool is the set of criteria that make it possible to describe the fibre of the wool, i.e. the sheep hair.
The classification in "super" refers only to the fineness of the fibres, i.e. their average diameter. The larger the "super" number, the finer the fibre. Let's take an example: a super 150s wool will certainly be finer than a super 100s and so on.
Does the quality of a wool depend on the fineness of the fibres?
This depends on what we mean by better quality. Supers are yes grades of wool quality, but they simply indicate the fineness of the wool fibres. The fact that a fibre is finer can be a quality or a defect, it all depends on what you intend to do with it.
So can we say that the finest wool is of better quality?
Surely it will be softer, and the difference between a super100s and a super150s will be indisputable in this respect. But you have to take into account the use: ultra-fine wools are used to make very light fabrics: 250g/m, 220g/m or even less. The flip side of the coin is that these are fragile fabrics, which require more careful care: dry cleaning is out of the question, the dress would not survive. For the tailor these fabrics are a real challenge, and only the more experienced ones can process them, since wool is particularly nervous (i.e. it moves continuously under the needle) and sewing it regularly becomes difficult.
Did you like this article?
Visit our super wool collections now with the links below: