Why Merino Socks Are The Best Socks To Own - Ever!
Merino wool is a natural fibre from Merino sheep. In New Zealand we have a fair few Merino sheep and their fibre gets turned into everything from carpet, jerseys, base layers and you guessed it, socks. However, if you have ever said that wool, even Merino wool is itchy or prickly - then you may be weary of wearing it. This is more commonly found with thicker, lesser quality Merino wool. It is less widely known that all Merino wool isn't the same. Its quality and price is determined by the diameter measured in microns. Fine Merino wool can fetch anything up to $40 a kilo while low quality wool can be as low as $3 a kilo. This certainly shows your woollen garments and accessories aren't all the same and why some Merino wool garments will be superior than others!
Merino wool in New Zealand can range anywhere from 28 to 17 microns and as Stuff reported "the biggest demand was for 18 to 21 micron wool". From our experience, anything over 19.5 micron will prickle the skin - Kapeka doesn't use Merino wool over this micron - in fact our Merinosilk uses Super-fine Merino wool which is only 17 micron! The finest Merino wool you can get as only 2% of New Zealand Merino sheep produce this wool.
Still find Merino wool itches? You may have a slight sensitivity to lanolin - check out our Alpaca range (including alpaca bed socks !) which is void of lanolin and hypoallergenic - so great for those with sensitive skin.
Now back to Merino wool socks and why you will never look back! Whether you are hiking, running, travelling or just wearing day to day -
1. Naturally Antibacterial And Anti-Odour
Because of Merino wool's natural ability to wick moisture away and dry quickly, bacterial growth is inhibited (bacteria relies on moisture to grow). As the by-products of bacteria create odour when bacterial growth is inhibited, production of odour is decreased. You'll be amazed to find after wearing Merino socks after a 17 hour flight or after an 8 hour hike or even marathon - that your socks will still smell of daisies (okay maybe not daisies! But close!).
This also means - you don't need to wash as often or urgently!
2. Warm but Breathable
Merino wool allows your skin to breathe and is thermoregulating this means when it is cold, warmth is trapped in and when it is warm, the fibres open up and keep you cool. Also, as you warm up (like during a long hike) moisture created by sweating is evaporated quickly, keeping you dry and comfortable. Say good-bye to clammy, sticky feet which can even cause infections!
We can increase the warmth of Merino by blending it with Possum fur. Possum fur has a hollow core, so it can trap warmth without the weight - it is virtually weightless in the hand so makes it ideal in blends when crafting garments and accessories! Our blend of Merinosilk incorporate Merino wool, Possum and Silk to create a warm yet durable fabric.
3. Comfortable and Durable
Importantly, Merino wool socks are comfortable - Merino wool has a natural elastic ability to stretch and bounce back - ensuring a firm, comfortable fit that will importantly, prevent blisters. Our socks have all been wear-tested by The New Zealand Ski Team and International Ski Racing Academy - put to the ultimate test for comfortability, performance and durability. Not only is Merino wool naturally strong and durable, but the manufacturing skill and expertise that goes into crafting Kapeka Merino garments and accessories also makes them superior and extra hard-wearing - hence why you can machine wash it without piling.
4. Environmentally Friendly
Merino wool is a natural, sustainable fibre. As Merino sheep can replace their fleece each year, it is completely renewable. In contrast, synthetic fibres, made through processing of materials like petroleum based chemicals. Merino wool is completely biodegradable, leaving no trace once buried in soil. The study found that in only 9 months a woollen jersey had degraded 99%! Our Merino wool is traceable - ensuring that the wool from each station is looking after their animals and offering them quality living conditions. These Merino sheep are used for their fleece, they live long and happy lives. The photo at the top of this page is one of the stations where we source our Super-fine, 17 micron Merino wool.
Our Merino Dress Sock are thin but keep the feet warm and dry. This style is unisex, simple, classic and great for wearing day to day and travelling.
If you prefer a sock with a little more attitude see our patterned Merino socks - choose from stripes or snowlflakes!
Merino socks don't always have to be long socks too - we have a range of ankle socks and no show socks (also known as ballet socks or invisible socks!) - these are great for wearing casually with sneakers or trail shoes. Personally, we love the ankle socks for trail running as it keeps the foot cool and dry while also protecting the heel from rubbing and blistering.
Our Merinosilk Socks are an ideal unisex sock for all activities including a casual dress sock, hiking sock which comes over your boots and even skiing sock. Harnessing the comfortability of Super-fine Merino, warmth and lightness of Possum fur and the strength of silk - it creates a hard-wearing, ultra soft sock that performs.
Thanks for reading, we hope you enjoyed our article on why Merino socks are the best socks to own!
Bless your little cotton Merino socks!