I have been doing some work for an extremely small company in Pennsylvania. Basically 2 people, both farmers, who have been raising Angora goats for the last several years. There's an interesting back story that I can relate later if there's interest. They have branched out from selling the yarn (mohair) to making socks and a couple other small items. At present these are mostly fashion items, but as I learned more, it became apparent that mohair has the potential to solve some problems or fulfill some needs.
I wore a pair from the existing line to run in for 500+ miles, and had a couple local high-mileage runners do the same. I'm relatively insensitive to socks, but both of them immediately noticed a lack of compression which overrode the benefits. But they liked some other aspects, so we had the knitting mill do 2 runs of socks with a running-specific design. Those design elements are compression in line with the average running sock; external nylon reinforcing at toe and heel (I noticed that the socks wore relatively quickly against the typical waffled fabric lining my Newtons); more open weave on the top of the foot for ventilation; and two different thicknesses of yarn underfoot in the two runs (part of what we want to test).[/img]
These socks will have an MSRP of $35. Yeah, I get it. But raw mohair sells at auction for $10/lb, merino wool can be as little as $0.50/lb.
So what is special about mohair? It is much finer than wool, has no scales and no lanolin; so if you have skin sensitivity to wool or synthetics, it might be the answer. The fineness also lets it slide easily over the skin, so reduces the chance of blisters. It is hydrophobic, so sweat or water moves quickly to the outside of the sock; and I and one of the initial testers can attest that after running through a puddle or slush, they drain quickly and don't feel wet against your foot.
There are 'mohair' socks on Amazon and other places, but have a look - the mohair content might not be much over 20 - 25%, the balance is wool and synthetics and they are woven into the yarn. The yarn used in these socks is 70% mohair/30% merino wool. There is a minimal amount of synthetic added as part of weaving to help give some structure, and a synthetic external grid as mentioned above for durability.
We can support about 50 testers, and I will split between here and LetsRun. The ideal tester will have some sensitivity to, and fussiness about, running socks. Especially, have experienced irritation or blistering with some brands, really dislike socks feeling wet, or get cold feet easily. If you're sensitive to amount of cushioning, let us know in advance. Looking for pretty high mileage types, lets us gather data as quickly as possible. Your social media footprint could be considered as well. We intend to split as reasonably as possible between men/women and road/trail runners. Most will go to North America, but would definitely like to have a few in the Antipodes or wherever that are still in the heat of summer. There are 2 sizes, so we can fit women 6 - 10 and men to 9 with S/M, and women 10+ and men to 13 with M/L. Depending on feedback, we could add a size. This run is ankle length, but we anticipate having a lower version as well.
The deal is, the socks are free to you, and I can start to ship early next week; you will give us comments on a weekly basis (in a simple spreadsheet I will provide); and you'll wear them everyday and wash once a week (this is another benefit - with no scale, there is no place for bacteria to attach, so no metabolizing of organic compounds in sweat). You can post as you see fit on this thread, and we retain the right to publish your comments without using your full name.
PM me if interested, and we can converse further offline. I will also check here frequently to answer general questions.
Pure American Naturals
Pure American Naturals