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Ideally, a wicking
gradient occurs when the shoe upper is breathable (i.e., nylon
mesh) so that ambient air encourages evaporation of water vapor.
More commonly, a shoe liner or upper will contain hydrophilic
fibers that draw moisture from the hydrophobic sock material.
Socks that are extremely hydrophobic (i.e., polypropylene) are
thought to repel water so effectively that wicking cannot occur.
Socks of intermediate hydrophobic range, i.e., wool and acrylic,
allow movement of water but will not absorb and retain water like
cotton fibers will. Degrees of hydrophobic qualities alone,
however, don’t determine overall wicking capacity.
The mechanical structure of the fiber and compressibility of the
fiber will determine overall wicking potential. CoolMax® fibers
have four channels built into their cross-sectional geometry
giving a 20% higher perimeter area than traditional round fibers.
The result is higher water/vapor transport through enhanced
surface exposure for capillary action.
The secret of wool
Aren't you thinking that wool socks are winter clothes?
Wool is an all-purpose material that can be used all year long.
What functions does wool have?
Since the wool fiber itself is breathing, it has the function to
well regulate such things as moisture. The excellent hygroscopic
property wool possesses is a vital element in explaining this.
Here we have cross section drawings of wool, cotton, and polyester
How does each fiber's hygroscopic property differ?
absorb moisture inside fiber cotton
absorb moisture in whole fiber polyester
not absorb moisture
Since wool absorbs moisture in the inside of the fiber, the
surface does not get wet and remains comfortably dry. Moisture
absorbing power is 1.8 times cotton, and 40 times more than
polyester. Cotton is different from wool since the whole fiber
absorbs moisture, so it becomes sticky after absorbing a certain
amount of moisture. Polyester repels moisture with its surface,
and since it does not have a function that stores moisture inside,
its moisture absorbing capabilities are equal to zero.
Wool is natural air conditioning
Wool has lots of excellent functions besides its hygroscopic
For example, if you wear wool fiber clothing it will feel warm in
the winter and cool in the summer.
The secret is in the sheep's curly fur. Because of wool's
characteristically curly fibers, it can hold a good amount of air.
This air gathers and becomes a layer. Since it allows it to
function as heat insulating material, it feels warm in the winter
and cool in the summer. This is the reason why wool is considered
"natural air conditioning."
Again, wool fiber's surface has the characteristic of repelling
moisture. Meaning, water soluble dirt does not soak in and is also
easy to wash off. It is definitely hard for dust to stick to this
These are only a few examples. Flame resistance, excellent
hygroscopicity and heat-retaining capacity... wool is a
multifunctional natural fiber.
Silk - The mystery of the East
Long ago, it was silk that fascinated the Europeans and was
considered to be "worth the equivalent of gold." It is said that
even the Pope had difficulty dressing his whole body in silk. The
silk born in China went across the Silk Road and spread to various
parts of Europe.
Even in Japan, silk was favored as a luxury item among the nobles.
The socks made from silk was a fashion item for upper class
While pursuing the lure of silk, there have been attempts to
produce it artificially. However, even now there is nothing that
can replace silk. This pursuit has become the driving force in
bringing forth the introduction of synthetics such as nylon.
The popularity of silk is not just in its beauty. It is loved and
used in clothing for more than 5 thousand years for its natural
and superior functions.
What functions does silk have?
Excellent hygroscopicity and heat-retaining capacity, and gentle
on the skin
Silk is a natural protein fiber same as wool.
As a result of this protein, it regulates the body's moisture,
making it a comfortable material that is cool in the summer and
warm in the winter. Although not to the extent of wool, it has a
refreshing feel to it because of the excellent hygroscopicity (1.3
to 1.5 times than cotton). Also, since the protein is the same as
in the human skin, it is less likely for allergic reactions to
Beautiful because of the luster
The reason silk is well liked is in the luster. This is caused by
the fiber's triangular cross section causing a similar effect as a
prism, and the diffuse reflection from the small bumps on the
fiber surface. Additionally since silk is easily dyeable and can
produce vivid colors, the beauty that is expressed cannot be
imitated by synthetics.
Gentle distinguished touch
Since silk is the finest and longest fiber out of all natural
fibers (it is not necessary to make thread by spinning short
fibers such as with wool), it can produce soft and thin fabric
with a distinguished touch. Also since it is elastic, it gives it
body and strength. It is also because of this characteristic that
it is often used in ties, scarves, and kimonos.
Promoting health with silk socks
Silk that is made in the same protein as in human skin has the
power to adapt to our various living conditions. When it is cold
it becomes warm, when it is hot it becomes cool, and when it is
humid it becomes dry.
We also recommend silk socks for those who are cold natured.
They will wrap your feet with tenderness. Furthermore, it is said
that it can also activate skin cells, preserve youth in skin,
lower blood pressure, and suppress the rise of blood sugar levels