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Two of the cutest fiber animals are angora rabbits and alpacas. They’re both sweet-faced mop tops whose coats make for cozy cold weather wear. I find most wool super itchy, but both angora and alpaca are soft and sensitive enough that they’re welcome additions to my sock and warmer wardrobe and to our special collections of both Alpaca and Angora styles.
Angora rabbits are distinctly fuzzy, a result of the lightness of the fiber that makes up their coats. Soft and silky, the fiber has a fluffy halo that works with hollow fibers to create the ultimate thermal wool. Because it doesn’t have much elasticity it is most often mixed in small amounts with other wools, imparting its softness in a beautiful blend. I also like to think that their natural cuteness gets passed on to the wearer with the wool.
More like hair than wool, Alpaca fleece is strong and lightweight, making it perfect for technical applications. It’s also lanolin-free, making it hypoallergenic. Like angora, it has partially hollow fibers that add to its already impressive thermal abilities, even when wet. I think it’s an added bonus that such a serious, business-like fiber comes from one of the most goofy animals.
Here at Sock Dreams we’ve got some amazing options in both fibers, from sport-ready anklets to crazy cozy legwarmers. After the jump I list a few, and you may be surprised what styles are hiding one of these lovely luxury fibers!
Do you have a favourite in one of these fancy fibers? I love the Orkney Angora Wrist Warmers and the amazing arch support of the Dahlgrens, but I’m wondering how other wool-phobic folks feel about the un-irritating fluffiness of angora and the hypoallergenic aspects of alpaca.
5 soxy thoughts:
you used to have Orkney Angora knee and over knee socks in many many colours including loveliest pastel ones that i always drooled over but could not afford to get.. so sad they are gone away…
i might get the wrist warmers instead while it has some of those pretty colours left.
I absolutely love the Dahlgrens…. oh, and I should mention that we are super low on the Orkney Angora items but have a huge order in with them that should start arriving in about a month, possibly sooner.
also…. they stopped making their socks and OTKs… well, not stopped, but they switched them to a mill that did not make them at all the same. Thankfully I was able to encourage them to keep making us the wrist and leg warmers in the original style.
Thank you Niqkita! I could not remember exactly why we stopped carrying Orkney Angora’s socks (and I am so excited for the latest batch of warmers!!)
Calico, their new socks and OTKs were just not as bunny-fluff soft, nor did they have that characteristic halo to the fiber. Luckily we do know of a fantastic angora anklet option that is in the queue of new styles we’ll be carrying this season. It’s not due to go live for a while, but keep an eye on our new items page, Niqkita has been amazing at getting tonnes of new items shot and live every week.
My favorite are the Carlino Argyles with angora. So soft, and warm!
For people who think wool is too itchy, though, you should definitely try different kinds of wool! There are lots of breeds of sheep with different properties to their wool–some are prized for being super sturdy and nearly waterproof (think fisherman sweaters) but are too rough to be worn next to the skin, but others are softer and much much less itchy (like merino). I know socks don’t always specify what kind of wool they contain, though (I’m a knitter, and most of the wool yarn I use does tell me where it came from).