Sock Fabrics / Tights Materials
Each kind of fabric has its own special form and function. From warm and toasty wool to heavenly soft cashmere or angora, we try to make sure we have what you'll both need and want.
Wool Socks / Wool Tights
Wool is a natural fiber from the coat of a variety of animals, the most popular being sheep. It is both lightweight and a good insulator. Wool is durable, resisting wear, wrinkles, dirt and flame, and washable, but will shrink if improperly washed. Each wool fiber is made up of millions of coiled springs that stretch during use but coil back to their original positions. It features inherent qualities such as wrinkle resistance, colorfastness, shape recovery, and it breathes with your body. Wool absorbs as much as 30% of its own weight before it begins to feel damp.
The feel varies from extra-soft to scratchy. Many people assume that skin itchiness when in contact with wool indicates an allergy. In fact, a true wool allergy to very uncommon and what most people experience when their skin becomes irritated from wearing wool is wool sensitivity. Itchy wool typically occurs when the micron range (diameter of individual fibers) is above 30 microns. Our SmartWool products are so super-soft, in part, because they are spun with super-fine Merino wool.
Although still classified as wool, wool specialty fibers are further classified by the animal the fiber comes from. Some of these classifications include Mohair, Angora wool, and Cashmere.
SmartWool starts out in life as the protective wool coat for New Zealand Merino sheep and goes through a production process that removes all itch and shrink. The SmartWool fiber’s fine micron -- between one- tenth and one- third the thickness of a human hair -- and the application of “smart technology ” makes it very soft and extraordinarily comfortable.
Each fiber harbors thousands of tiny air pockets which insulates naturally, helping to regulate your body’s temperature, keeping you cool when it’s hot and hot when it’s cool.
SmartWool wicks, absorbs and evaporates more efficiently than any other fiber, including synthetics. It can absorb and transfer moisture in its vapor state, before it condenses. And even as they absorb moisture as a vapor, SmartWool fibers have the unique ability to repel it as a liquid.
While it’s helping to keep you dry and comfortable, SmartWool fiber also resists buildup of odor-causing bacteria.
It is made up of 90% keratin, a very resilient protein which is resistant to chemical and bacterial attack, naturally flame retardant and able to withstand the everyday wear and tear.
Mohair is a natural fiber from the coat of angora goats and is highly resilient and strong. Mohair’s long, lustrous, strong fiber provides a luxurious feel and the fabric tends to be a lightweight, warm, good insulator. It resists crushing, matting, pilling and fading.
Cashmere Socks / Cashmere Arm Warmers
Cashmere is an ultra-fine, natural fiber made from the fleece of Kashmir goats. It is the highest class of all natural fiber, rare and luxurious. It is also a durable and practical investment which travels well and doesn’t wrinkle while offering warmth and breathability. Cashmere is long lasting; it actually becomes softer with age and rarely pills after being worn and washed.
A 100% natural fiber from the cotton plant’s seed pod, cotton has a soft, smooth feel, yet is a strong fabric that holds up even after repeated washings. It's also breathable and biodegradable. Cotton is less likely to shrink or show wrinkles and retains color well. Boiling and sterilizing temperatures can also be used on cotton without disintegration. It stands up to abrasion and wears well. "Absorbent" cotton will retain 24-27 times its own weight in water and is stronger when wet than dry.
However, cotton gets wet and stays wet, holding moisture close to your skin. Your feet can get hot and become tender in extreme activity.
[recycle bug] Our RocknSocks line is made in the U.S.A. with regenerated cotton yarns, also known as recycled cotton. Made by reprocessing pre-consumer textile waste, the fibers are collected after garment production, sorted by color and blended. No new dyeing is required, water is saved, no additional pollutants are introduced to the environment, and textile waste to incinerator and landfills is reduced. The use of these regenerated cotton blends lets you be as kind to your environment as you are to your feet!
Lace Socks / Lace Tights
Angora rabbit wool is a completely natural fiber that wicks moisture away from your skin, is flame resistant, and very beautiful. It is also 8 times warmer than sheep wool and is prescribed in Europe for arthritis pain, carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive stress ailments, and conditions with decreased circulation, because of its superior insulating ability. Wearing angora in garments that cover the affected parts of the body can increase warmth, circulation and relieve pain, increasing freedom of movement in the affected areas.
Some are concerned about allergies with angora. Some people are truly allergic to the protein of the hair of dogs, cats or rabbits. However, the majority of people who think they are allergic to these natural fibers are actually allergic to the dander or saliva of the animals in question. Once the fiber has been washed, as it always is when it is spun into yarn, the discomfort disappears.
Many of our socks are created of blends which include synthetic (man-made) fibers such as spandex and nylon to provide the wearer with extra reinforcement or support (particularly at the heel or toe). These fibers also provide shrink resistance to socks and are a good choice for any sock that will receive hard wear (such as work socks). Most are designed to employ a capillary action to wick moisture away from the skin.
A synthetic fiber that provides elasticity, recovery, and close fit, primarily in ribs to hold the leg in place, and in the arch and ankle to provide extra support. Lightweight; can be stretched over 500% without breaking and can be stretched repetitively and still recover its original length. Stronger and more durable than rubber, smooth and supple, it is also resistant to body oils, perspiration, lotions or detergents and presents no static or pilling problems.
Flexible aesthetics for wool-like, cotton-like or blended appearance; dyes to bright colors with excellent fastness. Outstanding moisture wicking ability, machine washable and quick drying Resilient; retains shape; resists shrinkage, wrinkles, moths, oil and chemicals. Static and pilling can be a problem, but static electricity may be reduced by using a fabric softener in every third or fourth washing.
Elastic, versatile, and resilient, nylon is stronger yet weighs less than any other commonly used fiber. Easy to wash it resists shrinkage and wrinkling, and is fast drying. Nylon fibers are smooth, non-absorbent and dry quickly. Dirt doesn’t cling to this smooth fiber nor is it weakened by chemicals and perspiration. Extensive washing and drying in an automatic dryer can eventually cause piling. Nylon whites should be washed separately to avoid graying
Any natural or man-made fibers can be mixed with LYCRA® fiber; it is never used alone. It can be stretched up to seven times its initial length before springing back to the original position and adds comfort, fit, shape retention, durability and freedom of movement.
The most-used synthetic fiber, polyester is washable, quick-drying and resistant to wrinkles, mildew, stretching and shrinkage and most chemicals. Because of its low absorbency, stain removal can be a problem. Polyester offers less breathability and lower resistance to static and pilling than most other fabrics.