We didn’t invent the merino wool sock, but we certainly perfected it when we started spinning ultra-fine merino wool and bamboo rayon together back in 2008. Since then, we’ve developed hundreds of styles using our custom merino wool and bamboo rayon yarn blend. Why? It’s simply the perfect pairing.
With decades of industry experience on our team, we’re passionate about sharing our knowledge of the unique benefits of merino wool and bamboo rayon.
What is Merino Wool? The Natural Choice.
We love merino wool for its unparalleled natural qualities. First of all, merino wool feels super soft and comfortable against the skin. What makes our merino wool stand apart is the fine 20-micron fiber we use. This compares to the more typical 23.5 micron fiber used by many companies. The lower the micron count, the softer and more luxurious the yarn.
Merino wool is also known for the natural crimp the fiber possesses. And American Grown wool has even more natural crimp in it than most other wool produced around the world. As a result of this crimp, merino wool socks possess added natural resilience and cushioning that enhance the wearing experience and provide long lasting cushioned comfort.
And beyond its super soft hand feel and natural crimp, merino wool is the perfect fiber for three key reasons:
- Natural moisture and temperature regulation
- Natural odor control and durability
- Environmentally responsible and sustainable
“Merino wool is the most essential component of our socks. Without merino wool, we cannot produce the highest quality sock your feet deserve. We strongly believe there is no other fiber with better all-around performance characteristics than wool. From its natural temperature-regulating properties to its durability and flexibility, our socks are knit to keep your feet happy and cared for all day long.” - Thomas Lee, Sockwell Partner
Merino Wool Manages Moisture and Regulates Temperature
Like a well-insulated house, merino wool keeps your feet warmer in winter and cooler in summer. So how does it work?
Without getting too technical, merino wool constantly absorbs and evaporates moisture. Wool can hold up to 30% of its weight in moisture, but unlike cotton, wool allows the moisture to freely evaporate. This not only keeps your feet and shoes drier, it creates a comfortable microclimate around your feet in all seasons. Additionally, while you may find your socks slightly moist at the end of a long day, when you take your shoes off, your wool socks, if damp, will be dry within minutes.
Sock companies using synthetic fibers often promise their socks “wick away moisture.” While “wicking” may sound similar to how merino wool manages moisture, the process is actually very different. Synthetic fibers pull moisture away from your feet only after they’re damp, then transfer the moisture to your shoe. As you can imagine, a damp shoe encapsulating your socks and feet can create an unfriendly microclimate conducive to bacterial growth, which can lead to unpleasant odor and blisters.
Merino Wool Offers Natural Odor Control
One of merino wool's great benefits is its natural ability to help control odor. The bacteria that causes stinky feet loves to grow in warm, damp places—and if you’re wearing the wrong kind of socks, your shoe can become just that kind of place. Merino wool’s ability to absorb and evaporate moisture naturally impedes the growth of odor-causing bacteria by keeping your feet and shoes drier.
Pro Tip: One of the biggest environmental impacts socks have over the course of their lives is the water used in washing them. Because of merino wool's natural odor control, our socks can be worn several times before washing. Simply lay them flat overnight and wake up to dry, odorless socks you can wear another day (or even two).
Merino Wool is a Sustainable Choice from Ethically Raised Sheep
We’re all about quality over quantity. Depending on your lifestyle, a sock drawer filled with just 5 or 10 pairs of well-made, merino wool socks can replace 20 or 30 pairs of cotton and synthetic alternatives. What’s more, merino wool is biodegradable and renewable.
In addition, our merino wool is sourced, spun, and knitted into socks right here in the United States. Using a U.S.-based supply chain greatly reduces our carbon footprint, and allows us to support local businesses and help strengthen the American sheep farming and textiles industries.
The American sheep farmers we source our wool from adhere to the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare: Freedom from Hunger & Thirst; Freedom from Discomfort; Freedom from Pain, Injury, or Disease; Freedom to Express Normal Behavior; and Freedom from Fear & Distress.
Our wool also comes from the Rambouilette sheep breed, which is known for having “smooth butts” versus wrinkles that other merino breeds have. This gives them a natural resistance to parasites and disease and eliminates the need for painful mulesing.
What is Bamboo Rayon?
While you might think we couldn’t love a fiber more than merino wool, rayon from bamboo (commonly called bamboo rayon) is another fiber that we embrace in our quest to make the world’s best socks.
The inclusion of bamboo rayon in our Merino Wool/Bamboo rayon blend adds sheen, softness, breathability, and durability to our socks. What’s more, this unique yarn takes and holds dye beautifully, allowing us to offer a rainbow of colors in our gorgeous line socks.
Why Blend Bamboo and Wool? It’s the Perfect Pairing.
Our love for fine merino wool and bamboo rayon run deep. We realized long ago that if we spin the two together, and add a touch of spandex, we could create the world’s best socks–equipped with a tailored, all-day fit, brilliant colors, super-soft feel, and unique therapeutic properties to help everyone feel better in style.
Interested in learning even more about why we love our custom merino wool and bamboo yarn blend? Check out our Why Wool: Three Reasons to Love Our Signature Blend blog post from Thomas Lee, Sockwell Partner and wool enthusiast.