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Socks - sea island cotton vs. cashmere and other blends

swiego

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I see many sales posts in the FS column for "sea island cotton" socks. I am aware of the low-grade controversy over the validity of "sea island cotton" as a distinctive material. However I still do know know how it stands up to other fabrics. Sea island cotton socks are very expensive, and for the same price one often can get a very good pair of cashmere socks. So, if you could choose or the other, which pair of socks would it be?
 

fuji

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Sea island because im not going through the trouble of having all my socks dry cleaned.
 

JayJay

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Sea Island. Cashmere socks are great, but have a short life span.
 

bleachboy

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Originally Posted by fuji
Sea island because im not going through the trouble of having all my socks dry cleaned.

Ignore what the label says. You can TOTALLY run cashmere and wool socks through the washer and dryer.

Originally Posted by JayJay
Sea Island. Cashmere socks are great, but have a short life span.

Yeah. After a year or two the non-nylon parts (i.e. the sole) wears down.

...

My favorite sock is the Falke Airport -- it's cotton on the inside (for durability and comfort) and merino wool on the outside (for excellent thermal properties) with just enough nylon or whatever to make it a sock. Plus it has a really nice toe. Also, it's properly sized, so you can buy a sock that fits you perfectly.
 

fuji

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You can wash Cashmere socks? I must go buy them now! I always thought they feeled excellent and were very comftorable, but the fact I couldn't wash them put me off.
 

Bird's One View

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Wool socks work best for me. Cotton is not as comfortable wet. (I have a couple of pairs that are cotton / wool or cotton / cashmere blends that do well though.) Cashmere is very comfortable but rather delicate and expensive.

So I look for wool socks with as little synthetic material as possible. I like Falke's wool and silk blend, among others.

Everything goes in the washer. I air dry all but the cotton blends. I did machine-dry my first batch of Falkes, and they lasted over a year.
 

HHD

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Falke's sea island socks (in a rainbow variety of colours) are my favourites.

I've only ever had one pair of cashmere socks. Shrunk in the (cold) wash.
 

Siggy

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I like thin wool socks the best, like Falke, Paul Smith, and Pantharella. You can wash them in the washer...I've been doing it for years. I don't care for cashmere socks, too warm and delicate.
 

Tomasso

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Originally Posted by bleachboy
Ignore what the label says. You can TOTALLY run cashmere and wool socks through the washer and dryer.

A hot dryer will shrink wool/cashmere to some degree, permanently altering both size and texture. Using the air dry setting would be prudent.
 

Manton

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I would hang dry any delicate socks. Even then, by limited experience with cashmere socks is that you don't get many wearings out of them.
 

adambparker

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I definitely would go for sea island over cashmere for durability.

I prefer merino socks for winter wear. Cashmere just seems too delicate for me.
 

JayJay

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Originally Posted by Manton
I would hang dry any delicate socks. Even then, by limited experience with cashmere socks is that you don't get many wearings out of them.
I typically get only one season out of my cashmere socks.
 

Chips

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Can someone explain to a newbie what specifically is so good or unique about sea island cotton?
 

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