When silk is added to any sock, it is like a treat for your feet. The soft and luxurious feel of silk makes them a perfect choice for comfort and style.
We’ll share some of the properties of silk, popular brands, and the notable drawbacks of this fabric.
The silk that you’ll find in silk socks is nearly always sourced from the mulburry silkworm of the Bombyx mori species. The worms are bred and kept on protected farms in countries such as China, Thailand, Vietnam, and India. As the silkworm matures, it spins a cocoon of “fibroin,” which is harvested and processed to produce the silk thread.
This natural silk provides many benefits, which we’ll cover in just a minute.
The biggest problem, however, that exists with silk is authenticity. There are many fake or synthetic silks on the market, which are often not labeled as such and can be difficult to differentiate from genuine silk. The most common is satin, which is usually made from synthetic fibers, which are then dyed to look like silk. They may be nearly as soft to the touch but won’t have the same breathability or longevity.
Lastly, silk is biodegradable and can be composted once the sock has reached the end of its life.
Silk socks fall into the luxurious purchase category due to their benefits. They feel exceptionally soft on the skin, present with a light sheen, and are breathable. This means that your feet don’t overheat in them, making them ideal for almost any location. Pure silk by itself is highly absorbent and will dry quickly, making them a great choice for summer days.
However, even when worn during cool times of the year, silk will add some warmth to your feet.
As well, silk has natural antibacterial and antifungal qualities, which helps keep your feet and the socks themselves healthy.
Lastly, despite feeling delicate, silk is surprisingly durable. In fact, many folks claim that silk is one of the strongest natural fibers.
As you are keenly aware, silk socks aren’t as popular as other materials like cotton or wool. Here are some of the reasons why:
- Humane Treatment: With more people now than ever shopping based on ethics, the treatment of silkworms is a concern. It is estimated that 1,000 silkworms are killed to produce 1 silk shirt.
- Price: Due to the amount of labor and time required to produce silk, the costs are higher than other materials. For a single pair of silk socks, expect to pay at least $30.
- Wrinkles: Like other fabrics, silk is susceptible to wrinkling. However, this is typically reduced in socks as they are often a blend of materials and never 100% silk.
Very few companies make silk socks. However, the most popular brands currently include William Abraham, Falke, and Ben Silver.
Unfortunately, no companies truly make a 100% silk sock and instead rely on a blend of fabrics. You’ll often find cotton or wool along with Spandex to provide a better fit. The percentage of blends may vary from brand to brand.
Substitutes for Silk
If you want a similar feel of silk in your socks but are apprehensive about the price or the ethical treatment of silkworms, there are some viable alternatives. For natural sources, cashmere and alpaca are both extremely soft and luxurious. If you want a synthetic alternative, bamboo (rayon) or modal fabric is a great choice.