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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!,

I've been reading these forums off and on for years and decided to get on board as I have a couple things here and there I would appreciate your opinions on. One thing per post though to make it easier though so here goes. I recently commissioned my first bespoke suit (yes it is true bespoke so there are no misunderstandings) and am extremely pleased with it. I am in the process of commissioning my second and would like some honest opinion on fabric. Basically, after going through the books, this time I have settled on a particular fabric from the Loro Piana Winter Tasmanian Super 150 book. I don't want to get too long winded here so let's just say I chose this because, for numerous reasons, I just really like everything about it. It should be noted that my tailor did an excellent job on my first suit and I trust his guidance. He knows me pretty well now and says that for my needs Winter Tasmanian fabrics are a great choice and he likes working with it as well. However, from what I have read on these forums LP fabrics get a bit of a lukewarm review and I was curious as to why. Anyone with experience with LP fabrics (especially this one and if in a bespoke garment) your thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks and I'm glad to be here!
 

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Loro Piano makes wonderful cloth. However, it is quite pricey. If that is no problem for you, carry on! For my own use, I am reluctant to venture outside VBC, simply because I'm a cheap soul and their suitings are wonderful and cost less. However, there is a Harrison's weave that is calling me . . .
 

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Funny, but I don't recall LP being trashed too much (if at all) on the Forum. I have suits in both LP and VBC that I love equally (humblebrag), but agree with Oldsarge that VBC is slightly (IMO, we're still talking top tier stuff) less expensive. I think the bigger consideration, independent of mill, is the choice of a 150's weight fabric. Others with direct experience would have to comment, but it has been my impression that durability may come into play, but in all honesty I'm not a cretin with my current 120's suits, so the issue of wearability may be more a hypothetical consideration than material (hah, pun intended). While I may dream it, I don't run around in my suits like Daniel Craig playing James Bond whilst wearing Tom Ford.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks for the kind replies. I sincerely appreciate it. I should note perhaps that my first suit was a three piece made from a Holland and Sherry cloth. This LP Winter Tasmanian will also be a three piece and you are correct there is definitely a price increase. However that isn’t a big concern as it is a rather minor increase overall. I hope that doesn’t come across as bragging or gentrified and I apologize if it does. That is not my intent. However, I do want to receive quality for the price. I just remember several posts with people saying something along the lines that LP wool was less than optimum. Perhaps other knowledgeable members will chime in as well.
 

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There’s definitely a bit of a bias toward English fabrics, though I’d stop short of saying that LP and other Italian fabrics get trashed.

My Paul Stuart made to measure suits are all made with Loro Piana fabrics and personally I’m a big fan of the brand.
 

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Member medhat makes a very valid point regarding the unspecified criticisms referenced in the OP. Loro Piana fabrics in general, have not been disparaged, but rather the durability of 150 weight fabrics has been discussed on several previous occasions. The real question becomes...how heavily will suits made of such fabric be worn? ;)
 

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To @medhat and @eagle2250, Super 150s describes the S number, which is the finesse of the wool fibres the cloth is made of, not the weight. The Winter Tasmanian is a decently substantial medium weight at 340g. By comparison, I have a suit made of a lightweight 250g Super 110s from VBC. It's not as soft as the LP Winter Tasmanian because of the lower S number, but it probably wrinkles an equal amount and not more because of the lower S number.
 

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To @medhat and @eagle2250, Super 150s describes the S number, which is the finesse of the wool fibres the cloth is made of, not the weight. The Winter Tasmanian is a decently substantial medium weight at 340g. By comparison, I have a suit made of a lightweight 250g Super 110s from VBC. It's not as soft as the LP Winter Tasmanian because of the lower S number, but it probably wrinkles an equal amount and not more because of the lower S number.
While the super number does not indicate weight there is a relation between high super and durability. S150 is rarely going to be a hard wearing suiting so if you have double digit suits and you go back to the same suit twice a month you can reasonably wear a high super and it will still last well. If you plan to wear this suit every week at a minimum get a second pair of pants. I still would never get a suit higher than a 110, but I am biased towards tougher fabrics that will outlast me.
 

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While the super number does not indicate weight there is a relation between high super and durability. S150 is rarely going to be a hard wearing suiting so if you have double digit suits and you go back to the same suit twice a month you can reasonably wear a high super and it will still last well. If you plan to wear this suit every week at a minimum get a second pair of pants. I still would never get a suit higher than a 110, but I am biased towards tougher fabrics that will outlast me.
That's not all together accurate. Perhaps true for cheaper fabrics but a quality fabric from a well regarded mill will still wear well.
 

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That's not all together accurate. Perhaps true for cheaper fabrics but a quality fabric from a well regarded mill will still wear well.
yes but a lower S number in the same fabric quality tier will in general wear better than a higher S number. I am speaking in grand generalities and it shouldn't be the OP's number 1 concern but if I had to choose between two fabrics I feel equal about I am picking the lower S number(or no S like my recent 14oz dugdale purchase). I also like the drape and hand feel of the bigger fabrics.
 

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I have one bespoke suit made out of LP S170 Royal Wish. Great fabric. No doubt the S150 Tasmanian is excellent too.

With regards to S number or micron, I think there needs to be a bit of a myth buster episode on this one. Foremost, there is some crap fabric out there that isn't actually what it says it is. There was an excellent review I believe in the WSJ where they took a bunch of suits and tried to determine the veracity of the S number. What they found is that some of it just isn't true. So if you are buying less expensive fabric, just remember you are probably getting what you pay for. On higher end fabrics like LP I think you can go to the bank on what you are buying. There is a bias that Matt pointed out that higher S numbers may wrinkle more. He also has made the point (perhaps not in the above post but in others) that a heavier fabric may drape better. I do tend to believe that heavier fabrics may drape better but I think this is irrespective of S number. I also am not totally sold on the concept that higher S number fabrics wrinkle more. Indeed Ciro Paone of Kiton has argued that 14 micron (S180 to S190 ish) fabrics wrinkle less because they are so light weight. My personal experience of S150 plus fabrics is wrinkling is not a major issue at least for me. I am easy on my suits so I think wear problems are not an issue at least for me. There is a post by Jeffery Diduch (of made by hand - the great sartorial debate) where he tears apart suits and there was one such suit that was an S150 (it was a bespoke piece that was 20 yrs old). My recollection was the lining was shredded from wear but the fabric was fine - sort of a myth busted moment! I think the biggest reason to not get S150 plus fabrics is the cost. The underlying wool product is more scarce and the fabrics are more expensive. Not vicuna expensive but easily can add 30 to 40 pct cost to a bespoke item. And of course for items like Kiton it is just another reason the cost is high. Finally, I wouldn't worry too much about the "fabric is nervous" - if your tailor is willing to work with it then you should be fine. When I hear that comment I suspect that must mean the difficulty of doing the work by machine. It doesn't seem to affect Kiton's ability to churn out lots of 14 micron clothing but perhaps that's because so much is done by hand? I don't know, but the most important thing is to let your tailor guide you. And don't worry, the fabric is not going to fall apart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Gentlemen,

Thanks for the replies, this is enjoyable reading. In my original post I was going to mention how I realize the difference in supers because I thought it would be addressed by someone but as I stated I didn’t want to get long winded. That said I have a fun story (who doesn’t like one?!). When I met with my tailor for the first time for my first suit he spent a fair amount of time asking simply about me. Why I was there, what I was looking for in a suit, job, lifestyle, etc. He then pointed me to the wall full of fabric bolts and the table full of books and said to take my time picking out around 4 or 6 favorites. My eyes and hands kept going back to the 120 to 150 fabrics. After picking out several he said based on my answers he thinks they would all be just great. This is because I honestly don’t wear suits all that much. I only break them out for the occasional special event (wedding, special dinner, graduation, etc.) when I need to look my best. He stated that if I was wearing suits on a more regular basis he may (or may not, depending on the client) make some recommendations for different clothes. My first suit was H&S super 130 and it turned out excellent. This time I wanted to try a different mill (just for variety sake, nothing at all against H&S) and also a heavier weight. This book he recommended and I found a swatch color/pattern that (to me anyway) looks beautiful. I have a fitting in a couple weeks and am very much looking forward to it. There is bit more “fun story” to this but I’m getting long winded!
 

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I remember that article. It went on to say something about how the S numbers are used as somewhat a marketing gimmick.

I’ve never had issues with undue wrinkling with such fabrics. And while I don’t wear a suit everyday, my suits have been worn plenty of times and without any premature signs of wear and tear.
 

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We use several Loro Piana bunches at my showroom, the Winter Tasmanian 150s among them. For an Italian super 150s, it has substantial heft - not anything like a heavy-weight English cloth, but not at all light/flimsy, and pretty resilient.

I agree with several posters here: a higher Super number does not necessarily indicate a more fragile/wrinkle-prone fabric.
We have VBC 110s (eg, Blasone) that feel tissue-thin (light, comfy, but more wrinkle prone), and we have SCABAL 150s (eg, Jet Set) that have a ton of springback and resilience to them.
Weight of the fabric, the style of weave (twill vs plain-weave, etc), the quality of the source material, and several other factors may contribute just as much to performance as the relative size of the fiber.

OP, just out of curiosity, and only if you're comfortable saying: How much is the bespoke LP costing you? (My operation is MTM, not bespoke, so I'm curious what the differential is like, given the same fabric.)
 

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How about a nice Escorial chalk stripe?



Only $180 a meter.

The Escorial story -

https://made-to-measure-suits.bgfashion.net/article/14687/74/Escorial-wool-the-pinnacle-of-luxury

(So much for Super numbers! ;))
Super numbers are just part of the story of a fabric (again talking about high end fabrics.) And certainly you don't have to pay thousands for fabric for a suit. As you point out - for around 500 dollars you can get a nice fabric. For me the greater point is if you are going bespoke at least get a great fabric. Maybe you don't need 14 micron (S190ish) but one should not cheap out either.
 

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Super numbers are just part of the story of a fabric (again talking about high end fabrics.) And certainly you don't have to pay thousands for fabric for a suit. As you point out - for around 500 dollars you can get a nice fabric. For me the greater point is if you are going bespoke at least get a great fabric. Maybe you don't need 14 micron (S190ish) but one should not cheap out either.
As you suggest, super numbers don't mean much beyond the thickness of the fiber from which the yarn was spun. And that only if it's factual! It's really become mainly a marketing gimmick that offers a simple numeric value allowing unwitting purchasers to believe that they know more about the quality of the cloth than they really do. "More is better, right?" "I got a higher number so that's better than a lower number, right?" Well, not really. There are so many factors that go into the spinning and weaving of cloth that it tells the purchaser virtually nothing.

Escorial wool isn't a lower priced alternative. This rare fiber is considered to be among the best wool fibers that can be woven into cloth, combining a cashmere like hand with durability and superb wrinkle resistance. I believe an average suit takes 3 to 3 1/2 meters/yards of cloth, so the particular cloth I linked (Which could be of good, poor or indifferent quality . . . I don't know which.) would be around $700 from a mercer without any tailor's mark up. I was being facetious about it being cheap.
 
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