How to distinguish wool and wool blend from acrylic?
scholar - 9-11-2017 at 22:20
I like wool blend socks for work in the cold food plant, and my son-in-law (who also works there) does as well--but they are so expensive, new!
I see heavy-duty socks at the charity thrift stores, from time to time, at cheap prices. But, I don't know how to distinguish wool blend socks from
acrylic socks. It is obvious the acrylic socks are designed to mimic the wool socks in appearance--same colors, same thickness, etc. But, the
acrylic socks do not handle moisture for me as well as wool blend does.
A quick internet search suggests burning the fabric, to see if it melts or ashes. Or, bleach the fabric--the destroyed fabric will look different.
When I am in the store, examining the socks, destroying them to find out if they are wool or not makes the socks useless to me. And, of course, I
would have to pay for the socks I destroyed.
How do I distinguish between wool or wool-blend socks and acrylic polyester socks?
LSemmens - 10-11-2017 at 00:13
There may actually be a label on the socks.
scholar - 10-11-2017 at 02:14
No, Leigh, there isn't.
Some clothing in the US typically has fabric labels on them (e.g. shirts), but socks usually only have such labels on the packaging. Used clothing at
thrift stores does not have the packaging labels on socks.
scholar - 10-11-2017 at 02:22
I have considered. . .
Pure wool, at least, can have a distinctive smell when sufficiently damp. (I have heard it described as a "wet dog" smell.) I could moisten some
material without causing it harm--but, a possible customer does not normally make an article of clothing wet that he is not definitely purchasing.
Or, I could just buy a pair of socks that might be either, and consider it an exploratory loss if it turned out to be acrylic. At four of the thrift
stores, a pair of such socks is 50 cents. Wood wool blend socks at stores run $6-10 per pair. So, if I bought 3 or 4 disappointments on the way to a
treasured find, I would still be well ahead.
John_Little - 10-11-2017 at 07:41
$6-10 a pair!!! Id stick to the nylon. Or take a chance at the thrift store.
And I've never seen a label on my socks. Probably because they are cheap.
LSemmens - 12-11-2017 at 04:00
I do spend $6 or more on two or three pairs of sox from time to time. They also last way longer than the cheapies so it is a worthwhile investment.
Sometimes you have to spend a bit more to save a bit more.
scholar - 15-11-2017 at 23:10
But, after my feet sweat from the hard work I do at the food plant, in a refrigerated environment, the perspiration chills my feet.
Some acrylic socks say on the box that they wick away moisture to keep your feet dry (especially, I'm told, if you wear an inner liner sock and an
I have not had any success with this idea, in my environmental conditions. I suspect it is just written to fool people into buying the acrylic
I do intend to stay with the thrift stores, unless I can find an exceptional buy. There is a store (not a chain) in my city at which the fellows buy
discontinued items, excess-production items, items from stores that go out of business, etc. and then sell at exceptional discounts. They have had
new wool-blend socks (a limited supply) each winter for the past few years. I will stock up from them if there is an opportunity. But, that will be
$2-$3 per pair, I think, not 50 cents.
I have also decided that I will take more care to mend my socks, if it seems worth doing so. And, I have decided I am willing to wear mismatched
socks if I have warm singles of comparable warmth and thickness. The boots cover and hide the socks when I am working at the plant, anyway.
scholar - 15-11-2017 at 23:16
That is the lower-end price for a single pair of new, wool blend socks here.
I've noticed a peculiarity in the packaging of many of them. It says, "2 SOCKS" in large letters. I wonder how many people don't think about
what that means, and grab the package with the thought that it contains 2 pairs of socks. The socks are thick, and folded over, resulting in a bag
that has 8 thicknesses of fabric (left and right side bottom of first sock, left and right side bottom of second sock, left and right top of second
sock, and left and right top of first sock).
John_Little - 16-11-2017 at 09:48
I would assume two pairs. After all, who'd buy one sock? Ah, apart from the one legged man who went for the audition for the part as Tarzan.
JackInCT - 16-11-2017 at 23:41
Re liner socks: there is a whole category of "liner socks" that are designed specifically to wick away moisture, i. e., socks that are NOT designed
to be worn alone/by themselves. They are in common use among "athletics" who are engaged in some form of aerobic exercise since their primary
purpose is to wick away moisture from the feet to prevent blisters (they are so thin that they add little to extra cushioning of the feet). They are
NOT perfect of course especially in hot/wet weather running on a hard surface. AND YES, it sounds like a contradiction to wear an extra pair of socks
while running because they will trap heat. In many ways footwear is a "system" for aerobic athletics that, unfortunately, is a trial and error
process. I wear liner socks when I shovel snow (with industrial strength boots), and on very very cold days when I choose to wear sneakers outdoors.
And yes, even to bed on those nights when the temp drops below 10 degrees F as I don't feel like cranking up the furnace thermostat to compensate for
the lack of insulation in ye olde house.
A visit to an online bona fide running vendor will have liner socks that create sticker shock.
You could start out with a small number of liner socks from different brands/material ratios/etc., and by the process of elimination and on a cost
effective basis determine what works "best".
By the way, there are other sock lengths besides ankle socks; a visit to most websites by companies that specialize in the manufacturer of socks will
show 3-4 socks lengths such as calf-length.
Badgergirl - 18-11-2017 at 14:32
I highly recommend investing in some Bamboo socks.
I still own my first pair from TWELVE years ago. I buy some with a slightly thicker weave on the heel for extra comfort but I do own plenty of
They are soft, durable, breathable and wash really well.
scholar - 18-11-2017 at 16:23
I believe I'll stick with wool-blend socks, because I've found they work well for me in my work conditions, and they are common enough that I do
find them from time to time for fifty cents at thrift stores, and for perhaps $3 at discount stores (which may require an additional temporary sale
I believe you when you say that effective combinations with liners are available. Aside from the possibly high price, I also have the problem that
the claims on the packaging may overstate their effectiveness, and I'm not looking to buy several until I find the quality ones that the others try
I also like the idea of wearing a single pair of socks at one time, instead of two pairs. Depending on how long it has been since the last batch of
laundry, I sometimes have trouble finding a single suitable pair for work.
Some of you may recall a post, quite some time ago, in which I mentioned I was looking for a good way to keep my socks paired together when not being
worn. Large safety pins sometimes came open (especially in the dryer, I think), and sometimes tore holes in the socks. Plastic sock-couplers were
not easy to find. I eventually found that thick rubber bands were most satisfactory for me.
scholar - 18-11-2017 at 16:26
I have never heard of them before. If a good opportunity presents itself, I'll give it a try.
I've read great claims on a bamboo pillow.
LSemmens - 18-11-2017 at 22:00
There are things called "Bra bags" that are designed to put your bras in for washing. The premise being that the clips on Bras either get damaged or
hooked on something whilst washing without them. SWMBO uses one, but they should work with a pair or more of socks.
JackInCT - 19-11-2017 at 02:22
This could/should be Plan A, is environmentally friendly [does not use electricity], AND is definitely a form of exercise (kinetic I would imagine).
AND done with music (I think a waltz would do nicely), adds a touch of 'grace' to the home environs (syncopated work rhythm). And when finished can
be used with one's local nitty gritty dirt band (percussion section).
By the way for those inclined to revisit/expand their musical 'forays', uTube has quite a mix of buskering type vids using "washboard music"
and/or "jug band" as search words.
In that vein, the REAL nitty gritty dirt band has a classic (from the 70's I think) also worth a revisit--Will The Circle Be Unbroken (multiple
scholar - 20-11-2017 at 17:40
LS did not say anything about hand-washing the garments in the bag. You toss the items in, close the bag (which is made of some kind of mesh), and
throw it into the washing machine.
The rubber bands method works OK for me. The idea is to have each sock paired to its mate, with the benefit that they stay together and get washed
the same number of times under the same conditions, so that they stay matched. When I formerly let my socks go in as singles, newer blacks socks
would be washed with older, somewhat faded socks, and it was extra trouble to sort them so as to keep them matching.
LSemmens - 20-11-2017 at 20:39
Socks go on your feet, then shoes go on over the top, trousers then cover the top half of the sock, who cares if they are slightly mismatched?
scholar - 21-11-2017 at 02:41
My wife complains when I do not look as good as I might.
But, for the heavy socks at the food plant, which are hidden all day by boots--I don't really care. Blue on one side and gray on the other works for