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No-nylon Sock Yarn Reviews

You can knit socks in pretty much any yarn you like, but the problem is that depending on which fibre it is, the socks can wear through very quickly.  The simple answer to this is to add nylon to the mix to make the socks strong and hard-wearing, but did you know that it's possible to blend different fibres and fleeces to get the same effect without the nylon?

I've been knitting, road-testing and reviewing no-nylon yarns to see how they compare with commercially-produced sock yarns containing nylon.  These yarns have been produced from British sheep, goats and alpacas and I love the fact that buying these yarns supports our farmers and the British yarn industry.  

I road-test the socks for six months before reviewing the yarn (with the exception of the first review which had a tough trial on a trek in Peru on my daughter's feet) so that I can give you proper feedback on how the socks have worn.  

I'm still learning about yarns as I go along, but here are a couple of things that I've picked up that are relevant to all the yarns I've tested so far:

  • I'm pretty tough on these socks as I feel they have to earn their keep, so I don't treat them in the same way that I'd treat a jumper or other garment knitted from these yarns.  They do go into the washing machine and have all emerged still able to be worn (although you'll see from the reviews that they don't always look the same as when they went in!) - my advice if you want to machine wash your no-nylon yarns is to use the 30 degrees (or cooler) handwash cycle.
  • So far, these yarns seem to be just as hardwearing as commercial yarns, although they are not always as soft for a variety of reasons - the fleeces used and treatments on commercial yarns for example - but there's more to a yarn than softness so I encourage you to explore!


  1. I'm currently making socks with drops flora mix which is 65% wool 35% alpaca. It's lovely and soft and the socks are very cozy and comfortable but I don't know how durable they'll be. I wondered if you have tried anything similar?

    Claire from Norfolk

    1. Hi Claire, those are going to be cozy socks! No, I haven't used a mix like that and I guess how durable they will be will be down to whatever the wool blend is as the soft alpaca won't appreciate hard wear. If you can, it might be worth reinforcing the toes and maybe even the soles with heel stitch to make them a bit stronger - or just don't wear them on too many long treks! xx

    2. Thanks for getting back to me Christine.
      I'm actually making this pair as bed socks so durability isn't so important but they are soooo soft and lovely I was thinking of making more for general wear.
      I think I still will and maybe I'll have a go at reinforcing them as you've suggested they really are very very lovely.
      I'll let you know how they come out ��

  2. Hi Christine
    I have bought some Alpaca, Cashmere and silk. I was wondering if you knew how well it would wear for socks. I thought the silk would replace the nylon for strength.

    1. Yes, in theory the silk should do that although alpaca and cashmere are very soft so I would worry that they might wear a bit more quickly than, say, Blue-Faced Leicester or Teeswater for everyday wear. If it were me, I'd try it. Knit up a swatch and see what you think, and you'll know very quickly if it seems too soft to be sturdy enough for socks - although there's no reason why they can't be house socks or bed socks. Hope that helps! xx

  3. Hi,
    I have someone allergic to animal fibres and am currently sourcing some sock yarn but I was wondering how pure pima cotton socks would hold up? ever tried this or something similar?

    1. Pure cotton isn't great for socks as it goes baggy quite quickly, but you can buy cotton blend sock yarns that would be OK - Regia make one and I know there are other brands too - hope that helps! xx


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