Merino Socks vs. Cashmere Socks

Caveat Emptor Comparison Series: COLD WEATHER SOCK FIBERS

Merino Socks vs Cashmere Socks

By Alexander S. Kabbaz, Custom Clothier & Haberdasher
Deciding which fiber is best for you requires introspection on your part. Although those living in more extreme cold environs may settle on just cashmere, most will need at least some of each.

While merino is generally the overarching Fall/Winter/Spring preference, it will not suit all nor will it be the best solution for extreme cold weather conditions.

The primary considerations are exterior temperature, how much your feet perspire, your daily routine, and your personal inclination.

Cashmere/Silk Top; Merino Bottom

Top - Bresciani Cashmere/Silk Thigh-highs; Bottom - Swarovsky-Jeweled Merino

Merino vs. Cashmere Socks

L. to R.: Kabbaz-Kelly Curry Yellow 100% Merino, Bresciani Black Merino Thigh-highs, Bresciani 100% Cashmere Dress Socks in Red and Denim Blue, Bresciani 100% Cashmere Harlequin in Green/Rust

Here are the main factors to contemplate:
  • Merino and cashmere both offer warmth. Cashmere tops merino in this most important Winter consideration.
  • Merino and cashmere are both available in different weights - dress weight and Winter weight. The Winter weight is thicker and correspondingly warmer.
  • Merino and cashmere both offer excellent foot cushion throughout the life of the sock. For those whose lifestyle includes more than a modicum of standing or walking this should be an important consideration.
  • Merino and cashmere both wick perspiration away from the feet and both can hold up to 30% of their weight in moisture without "feeling" wet. This should be a paramount factor for those who perspire heavily.

Bresciani Pure Cashmere Dress Socks

Bresciani's Pure Cashmere Dress Socks

Each fiber has its drawbacks. Merino is a somewhat stronger fiber and will outlast many cashmere socks. However, cashmere comes in a number of blends from 100% pure to 80% cashmere/20% nylon and verious blends of cashmere & silk. The strongest here are the cashmere silk blends due to the strength imparted by the silk component. In addition, there are various weights usually described as "Dress Weight" (thinner) and "Winter or Standard Weight" (thicker). Naturally, the thicker socks will last longer.

Perhaps some may find our personal preferences to offer at least a general guide. We live in New York where the climate is cold from November to March. Although for most of the year we wear merino, the colder Winter days call for cashmere or cashmere/silk. My preferred Dress Weight cashmere is the Bresciani pure cashmere. For more casual occasions, weekends, and evenings by the fireplace I'll opt for Marcoliani's 80/20 blend or Bresciani's beautiful Harlequin. For her dress wear, Joelle prefers the Bresciani Cashmere/Silk thigh-highs. Like me, for less formal wear, she will select Marcoliani's 80/20 blend for women or the Bresciani Harlequin. Except for those really cold days with a skirt or dress when she makes me jealous with our exclusive Super Thigh-High Thick Merinos. Sorry ... no such thing for guys.

Suffice it to say that, once you've experienced the softness and warmth of cashmere nothing else will do when the weather is cold.

Here is more in-depth information about the fibers and overall information about the attributes and detriments of various socks in general.

Bresciani Pure Cashmere Harlequin Socks

Bresciani's Beautiful Cashmere Harlequin

Marcoliani's Cashmere Silk Argyle

Marcoliani Cashmere-Silk Argyles for Men and Women

Thank you for reading. Please don't hesitate to contact the author with questions or comments.

Copyright © 2018 Alexander Kabbaz. All rights reserved.

Winter weight Merino Nordics

Bresciani's Winter-Weight Merino Nordics for Men and Women