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:

2019 update
  • Previously, I've been really tough on my no-nylon socks because I felt that they should be able to stand up to the rigours of being worn as well as socks containing nylon.  My view on this has changed now - my belief now is that no-nylon yarns have their own qualities which make them different from commercially-produced yarns and to try to compare them as the same thing doesn't work.  I have learnt that no-nylon socks just don't last as long as ones with nylon in (on my feet anyway - I have pokey toes, see below) but the pleasure of knitting and wearing them is different to other yarns and they should be appreciated for that.  
  • I still expect no-nylon sock yarns to be good value for money - after all, it's no good saying a yarn is suitable for socks if it wears through after one outing! 
  • Being tough with my socks means that they'll get worn for a few days at a time; there's less need to wash natural fibre socks anyway even though we're in the habit of wearing our socks once and then washing them - you don't see sheep showering all the time, do you? πŸ˜€It also means they'll be worn in boots on long dog walks whatever the weather and will probably go into the washing machine because that's how most people choose to wash their socks - although painful experience has taught me that the dial goes no higher than a 30 degree hand wash!  (No point in experimenting unless you learn something, eh? πŸ˜€ )
  • I've got pokey toes so unless I reinforce the toes of my socks, there's a good chance that I'm going to go through them faster than many other people - this isn't always helpful in a yarn trial but on the plus side, I can test that aspect out more quickly! πŸ˜€ 


  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

  4. I am also looking for sock yarn without nyron.
    What do you think of cotton and wool blend? will it make it more durable than just wools?

    1. I've never tried a cotton/wool blend but I'm not sure that it would be any more durable. Also, there isn't a great deal of give in cotton so blends that are suitable for socks usually do have nylon with them to give a bit of stretch ... all I can suggest is that you try it out if you like the look of the yarn and see how it goes - and let me know how you get on! :) xx


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