We use natural fibres in the yarns from which our socks are knitted. We source as much of the fibre locally to Exmoor or Cumbria, or if that’s not possible, from the rest of the UK or the Falkland Islands if we can.
We use natural fibres because they are more sustainable. The processes that turn the raw fleeces, firstly into yarn and then into socks, do not use lots of chemicals. Natural fibres are bio-degradable.
We also use natural fibres because they are so much more comfortable to wear on your feet. Alpaca and wool are excellent insulators and have the ability to absorb excess moisture so your feet remain warm and dry.
Most farmers raise sheep nowadays for meat and receive very little for the wool. Our countryside would look very different without sheep, so I think it’s important to support local farmers.
Most of our socks do have a percentage of nylon included. The stretch in the nylon makes it easier to put the sock on your foot and it also improves the durability of the socks.
The main fibres we use in our socks are:
We use British alpaca where we can. It’s difficult to obtain large enough quantities of the right quality and I spend a lot of time sorting and grading it. The alpaca yarn we use for knitting our socks is from Peru unless we explicitly state otherwise.
Alpaca is soft, warm and lightweight. It has good wicking properties making it ideal for knitting into socks. Socks with alpaca will keep your keep your feet warm and dry.
Exmoor Bluefaced Wool
This mule is a cross between the Exmoor Horn and the Blue Faced Leicester ram. The wool is used in the Stanbury Walker sock and the Exmoor sock.
Blue faced Leicester Wool
We buy Blue faced Leicester fleeces from farms around the Yorkshire Dales, Cumbria and the North East. It is commonly used (as in Exmoor) as a crossing sire on more hardy fell sheep to produce a larger lamb. The fleeces are soft and fine and blend really well with alpaca.
Falklands Merino Wool
Some people have expressed concerns about Merino sheep welfare, particularly a practice called mulesing. We only use organic Merino wool from the Falklands Islands where this is not done.
Merino wool is exceptionally soft and fine making it ideal for bedsocks.
Falklands Corriedale Wool
We use a lot of Falklands wool in both our socks and kniting wools because sheep farming focused on the production of high-quality wool has been the main form of agriculture in the Falkland Islands for over the last 170 years. The clean (and very windy) environment provides for snow-white, fine Falkland Islands fleeces with very little vegetable matter. No sheep dipping is undertaken by Falkland Island farmers, so they are completely free of Organo-Phosphate and Synthetic Pyrethroid sheep dip residues. All the sheep are non-mulesed (certificates available) and the wool is fully traceable to the farm and flock of origin.