The most used types of fibers are: Acrylic, Cotton, Nylon (Elastane), Spandex (Polyamide), Polyester, Rayon from Bamboo (Viscose from Bamboo), and Wool. Each of these fibers have unique properties (moisture wicking, fine finish, thermoregulation, anti-microbial, antibacterial). Each one of them has variants providing certain specific functional or aesthetic characteristic. Have a look at our brief description of each fiber and the features they bring to socks.
The acrylic fiber is a synthetic fiber spun in yarn, used extensively in men’s and women’s casual, dress and sports socks. It has excellent shape keeping features and resilience, softness, easy care, low shrinkage, rich colorations, does not itch, and permits a myriad of aesthetics. Another advantage of acrylic in active sports socks is its ability to wick sweat away from the foot, transporting quickly through the sock and top or to the shoe surfaces where it can be evaporated. This feature is rather important in strenuous sports use because sweat-soaked socks tend to swell, becoming hard and matted, ultimately causing discomfort and contributing to the possibility of blistering and other feet discomfort.
Cashmere is a luxurious, soft and costly yarn made from the undercoat of the kashmir goat.
Cool-on is a new moisture-wicking microfiber yarn that is built to let air in and move moisture out, adding extra performance and comfort to the sock. Its features include fast moisture absorption, quick dryness and silky finish.
Coolmax fabric is a performance fabric that includes an efficient fiber-based moisture management system. This process can move perspiration away from the foot, and through the fabric, where it can evaporate quickly, to keep the wearer cooler and more comfortable.
Coolpass is a high-performance polyester fiber, mostly used for sports socks. The “x” shaped channels quickens the moisture absorption and diffusion. Moisture is quickly taken away from the skin and transferred to the outer layers for evaporation; it keeps your feet cool, dry and comfortable.
This luxury natural filament is produced by silkworms. Silk is characterized by high luster, soft hand, high tensile strength, and thermal properties.
Sorbtek is moisture-wicking polyester yarn that helps keep your feet dry. It has an incredibly efficient catch, move, release system that keeps your feet cool, dry and healthy.
Cotton is a soft and heat-resistant vegetable fiber used in garments since 3000 b.C. Cotton absorbs and retains moisture and is washable. Like other fabrics, cotton has many family members: sea island, egyptian, upland, pima, mercerized and combed cotton. Unlike synthetic fibers which offer consistent quality, cotton has many grades, quality standards and performance levels.
This type of cotton specially treated before it’s spun into fiber and results as an extremely soft version of cotton.
This particular cotton comes from, like its name suggests, egypt. Egyptian cotton falls under the classification of an els (extra-long staple) cotton. Their long length (around twice the size of other cotton fibers) allows them to be spun into very fine yarns. These yarns are soft and lustrous, yet very durable.
Mercerizing is a chemical process that results in the swelling of the cell wall of the cotton fiber. This process adds sheen to the surface and provides the fiber with a softer feel and is more color fast.
Grown is similar climates as egyptian cotton, pima also has (extra-long staple) cotton. The yarn is woven multiple times into a piece of fabric to build a dense and soft fabric.
Wool is the soft (sometimes coarse) curly hair of a sheep which is spun into yarn. The wool family includes shetland (scottish) and merino (spanish) wool that are both soft and of high-quality. However, most woolen yarn used in socks is made from standard grade produces in the united states, australia and elsewhere). Alpaca and cashmere are animal hairs but are not called wool. Wool is warm, sturdy, and durable. It has this crisp, resilient hand and has excellent insulating features. The wool’s quality is measured by the micron’ (thickness of the fiber).
Coming from the merino sheep (coming originally from portugal), merino wool is known to be one of the finest and naturally softest wools. It is great for sensitive skin, as one of its properties in non-allergenic.
this fiber helps moderate the interior temperature, as its fast, high volume absorption and release of moisture effectively takes the heat away from the body.
Microfibers refer to synthetic fibers that measures less than one denier (unit of measure for the linear mass of density of fibers). Fabrics made with microfibers are remarkably soft and keep their shape well.
miyabi is an extra-fine micro-acrylic fiber that is lightweight, recognized for its heat retaining feature and has a super soft hand.
nylon is a synthetic fiber that derives from coal, water, and air. It has exceptional strength and abrasion resistance. It dyes to a great color range, has exceptional washability, and is fast-drying. It is used primarily in men’s dress socks, novelties and as reinforcement with other fibers.
Polyester is a synthetic fiber that has abrasion-resistance, excellent washability and is fast-drying. It is mostly used in men’s and boys’ dress socks, in decorative applications like cross-dyeing and jacquards and as reinforcement.
Rayon is a synthetic fiber usually derived from regenerated cellulose. Rayon has a sot finish, high-moisture absorbency and retention, a good dye ability and wash ability.
Rayon from bamboo (viscose from bamboo)
most of the time, rayon from bamboo gives to socks this extra touch of softness.
spandex is a synthetic, strong, durable, and stretchable fiber. It can stretch to over 5 times its relaxed strength and fully recover. In socks, it is a fiber of great versatility. Widely used in sock tops for it stretch and recovery features and “stay up” holding power. Increasingly used in corespun yarn and as plaiting yarn to replace textured nylon for better size range, improved fit, and comfort. The best known spandex in the u.S is lycra spandex.
This particular chemical is added to the finish to control the odor, and reducing bacteria. This finish helps to keep the feet free and odor free.
the “flame on” treatment contains nano-ceramics which absorbs far infrared rays. When these penetrate through the skin, light energy transforms into heat energy. This same heat energy increases blood circulation which enhances the body temperature.
The ultra-fresh anti-microbial treatments limit the growths of bacteria and fungi responsible for the bad feet smell. By control these unwanted microbes, ultra-fresh antimicrobials help to keep products, fresh, hygienic, and odor free.
This is the combination of two or more types of fiber in one yarn. Blends are often made to improve performance or for styling effects such as heathers.
It is a mechanical process which makes yarns fluff to increase volume.
This is the ability of yarn to transport moisture between or along the fiber for evaporation.
This is a step in the yarn making process in which the fibers are cleaned, separated, and made parallel in a carding machine. A shorter staple fiver can be used in making a carded yarn.
This term refers to a fabric with sufficient dye retention, so that no significant change in shade appears during the sock’s normal sock.
This is a process that removes the shorter fibers from cotton after the carding process. The combing produces a yarn superior in quality to cotton yarns that have already been carded.
It is a yarn in which only one type of fiber is wrapped or twisted around another. The best example is lycra wrapped with nylon.
This process is in which large bundles of continuous filament fibers, called tow, are stretched ramdomly, broken, and drafter into sliver form. With high shrinkage potential, this sliver is blended (or combined) with sliver that has low shrinkage feature. After spinning this blend in yarn, this yarn is steamed, and the resultant strains force the low shrinkage fibers to yarn surface as loops. This produces a yarn (and sock) with high bulk, softness, and loft.
The twist is the number of turns about its axis per unit of length of a yarn. Normally, no more twist is placed in a yarn than is needed for strength and abrasion resistance.
This is the capacity of a fiber to transport moisture away from itself.
Wrapped yarn is composed of one fiber as a core, wrapped with a filament or spun yarn of another. For example, lycra spandex is frequently wrapped with nylon to improve strength and durability.
This is the numeral designation that expresses the relationship of length to weight. The higher the yarn count, the thinner the yarn.
It is a yarn which has been dyed after spinning, but prior to knitting.