Merino Wool Socks
# The story behind Merino Wool
Merino wool, as you might have guessed, comes from the Merino breed of sheep. It’s generally agreed that Merino herds were properly established in their native Spain from the 14th century onwards. However, go any earlier than this and discussions about the origins of the sheep become a little...woolly (sorry).
Some historians argue that the Merino breed came from crossbreeding indigenous Iberian sheep with north African breeds that had been brought over to Spain. Others claim that the world’s most famous sheep is a result of centuries of crossbreeding with other European breeds. In any case, Spain claimed a monopoly over merino wool until the 18th century, when Merino herds were exported all over Europe. Before this, anyone who attempted to illegally move Merinos abroad from Spain could expect to face the death penalty! Merino herds were then crossbred across Europe, with especially fine breeds coming from France and Germany. The French King at the time, Louis XVI, even set up a special royal enclosure just to farm the sheep. Merino sheep soon spread far and wide due to the high quality of their fine, soft wool and the sheer quantity they produce. A prize Australian Merino can produce up to 18Kg of wool per year!
Nowadays, Merino sheep can be found in all four corners of the earth, with unique breeds coming from Europe, America and Australia. Australia is the world’s biggest producer of Merino wool, and surprisingly, there are more Merino sheep in the country than there are people. While over half of Australian Merino wool is sent to China, a large proportion is sent to Italy. Italy is globally renowned for its high-quality textile production, and we are proud to say that our Merino wool socks are knitted in the finest Italian workshops.
# Why wear Merino Wool socks?
In the medieval period before the arrival of Merino wool, woollen socks were a status symbol of the lower orders of society; your average lord of the manor wouldn’t be caught dead in them. The quality of Merino wool can be ascertained from the fact that once Merino wool socks were available, they were worn by monarchs across the continent. Merino wool changed the game in Europe thanks to its luxurious qualities. These qualities are still highly sought after today.
Merino wool socks are incredibly versatile and come with a whole host of advantages. Merino wool socks are naturally very soft and very strong, a wonderful blend of comfort and durability. Merino socks are also hypoallergenic and anti-microbial. This combination means that these wool socks are kind to sensitive skin and allergies and prevent the build-up of any unwanted odours.
Fine Merino socks are excellent insulators and are perfect for those colder months of the year. This is due to the porous structure of Merino wool; within the wool are millions of tiny pockets which trap and heat air. However, although they are ideal in winter, you can also wear merino wool socks in summer due to the low heat conductivity of the fabric. In other words, these brilliant socks will keep your feet at a pleasant and comfortable temperature all year round. Last but not least, Merino wool socks are highly absorbent, which means that they will keep your feet dry as well as warm. What more could you ask for!
We proudly offer men’s Merino wool socks as well as Merino wool socks for women. Available in knee-high or mid-calf models and different thicknesses and blends, choose which of our fine Merino socks tick your boxes!
# How to look after wool?
The best Merino socks deserve the best care. That being said, looking after Merino wool isn’t too complicated. Simply select the ‘wool’ setting on your washing machine and you’re good to go. If you don’t have this setting, then choose a cool, delicate wash with a low spin cycle (less than 600rpm). Avoid machine drying. Look after your Merino wool socks and they’ll look after you!