With summer most definitely over and colder weather starting to draw in, have you thought about how you’re going to keep those feet of yours toasty over winter?
There is no mistaking that warm socks are a staple item in your wardrobe during the chillier months, but have you ever given much thought to the type of socks you’re wearing?
No? Well let us tell you, some socks are far superior to others! So, before you reach for your usual wool, cotton, or nylon numbers, we want to share our favourite way to keep those tootsies cosy and warm. Alpaca socks!
What are alpaca socks made from?
Although alpaca wool socks might seem like a new concept, they’ve actually been around for centuries. This special wool is spun from the fur of alpacas, a practice that originated in South American countries such as Peru, Bolivia and Chile in around 2500 B.C.
Alpaca fur is known for its softness, warmth, and durability, which is why farmers and villagers realised the benefits of constructing their clothing from it. Weaving used to be one of the main crafts in South America, and locals would spend time preparing and dying alpaca wool and weaving it in to jumpers, socks, gloves, hats, and even bedding.
To get the fur needed make wool, alpacas are shorn every 12 to 18 months using a hand razor. Afterwards, the fleece is carded, spun, washed, and air-dried. The shearing process is cruelty-free, ethical, and often carried out using indigenous methods.
Why does alpaca wool make for such great socks?
Because of its soft texture, alpaca wool is often likened to cashmere (another material that we use at Teddy Edward!) As well as this, it’s as warm as sheep’s wool yet a third of the weight, making it the perfect sock material.
So, what are the benefits of using alpaca wool over more traditional materials to make our signature socks?
Strong and light
Although alpaca wool is a third lighter than sheep wool, did you know it’s actually seven times stronger? Not only does this make it more comfortable to wear but means it’s far more durable in the field and likely to last much longer.
A great benefit of using alpaca wool for our socks is it’s hypoallergenic properties. Alpaca fur does not contain lanolin (a waxy substance on sheep’s skin which is produced to condition their wool) meaning people with a wool allergy can wear alpaca socks without issue.
Soft and comfortable
Thanks to its smooth fibres, alpaca wool is extremely soft, not to mention comfortable. As a result, alpaca socks are not itchy or rough and actually help reduce rubbing and prevent blisters – a big plus for hikers and outdoorsy types!
Alpaca fibre has brilliant thermal properties thanks to microscopic pockets of air, which retain your body warmth when it’s cold. As such, alpaca socks are the perfect companion for cold winters walks, hikes, and other outdoor pursuits.
Just like the thermal properties keeping your feet warm when it’s cold, alpaca socks also keep your feel cool when it’s hot! Alpaca wool is incredibly breathable thanks to its hollow fibre and ability to trap air inside micro-pockets, meaning your feet won’t get sweaty or too hot.
When it comes to durability, alpaca socks reign supreme! As mentioned, alpaca wool is up to seven times stronger than sheep wool, meaning it is less likely to weaken over time. So, grab yourself a pair of socks that will last, even if you wear them day in, day out!
Wicks away moisture
Alpaca is a wicking fibre, meaning that it draws moisture away from the skin, and out of the sock to evaporate. This is why alpaca socks give you greater results when it comes to comfort, dryness, and warmth. Wool and cotton socks don’t have good wicking properties hence people often complain of sweaty feet!
Another huge plus when it comes to using alpaca wool in our socks is its natural ability to repel germs. These antibacterial properties reduce the chance of odours occurring, resulting in much better foot hygiene when compared to cotton or wool socks. This also means you don’t have to wash alpaca socks as much!
Warm when wet
Have your socks ever got so wet that you had to walk the whole way home with freezing toes? If you wear alpaca wool socks, you won’t have that problem! Thanks to both the thermal and breathable properties, alpaca socks retain the ability to be both warm and cool, even when wet.
Ready to find your perfect pair?
Each pair of British-made Teddy Edward alpaca socks is woven in Leicestershire at a 150-year-old sock factory and crafted from super soft alpaca wool. Using an age-old technique, each toe seam is then hand-linked, delivering unrivalled comfort (and no more annoying sock seams!)
Also, each pair of our socks uses a different wool to nylon ratio. This means we can produce, warm, durable, and comfortable socks with varying levels rigidity or slouch.
So, exactly what alpaca socks do we have to delight you?
First up we bring you the Brocklesby long boot sock. Widely hailed here at Teddy Edward as the ultimate under-boot companion, these socks are hand-crafted from 55% alpaca wool, 45% nylon mix. This means you get all the benefits of wearing an alpaca wool sock, but won’t be slipping down any time soon thanks to the nylon! This makes them a great choice for wearing under wellies on a country jaunt, or even for hitting the slopes as the ideal ski sock.
If you’re after the style and comfort of Brocklesby but in a shorter length, we think you’ll love Dartmoor! This short boot sock is hand-made from the same alpaca wool blend as Brocklesby, meaning it’s not only super comfortable, but stands to attention all day. Practical yet stylish, Dartmoor is the ideal choice for all of your country pursuits.
For fans of the great outdoors, look no further than the Lauderdale boot sock. This hard-wearing, durable alpaca sock is not only soft and warm, but offers unparalleled comfort thanks to the unique cushioned sole. Ideal for wearing under walking boots for long hikes or mountain climbs, Lauderdale promises to take you effortlessly on any adventure. And to prove that this sock is worth it’s salt, it has even been successfully tested on mountains all across the word – including the Himalayas!
Finally, are you looking for the perfect lounge sock? Daisy has your back! Sponsoring lazy weekends on the sofa, this sock is guaranteed to keep you warm and cosy thanks to being made from 90% alpaca wool. And, because we make Daisy with a higher content of alpaca than our other socks, they are super slouchy. Ultimate loungewear vibes! So, why not grab a pair and keep your toes warm on those long winter eves?
Which Teddy Edward alpaca socks will you choose? Let us know in the comments and don’t forget to tag us in any photos of you wearing your new toe warmers on social media @teddyedwardclothing!