For our Fil d'Ecosse socks (also called Cotton Lisle socks), Pantherella use the finest Italian sourced, extra-long staple Egyptian grown cotton.
The extra-long staple determines the highest quality of cotton, as it uses uniform lengths of fibres of over 33 mm. This yarn is composed of two strands that are twisted together with an extra twist per inch than lesser quality cottons, creating one single, strong thread. Once spun, the cotton goes through a process of Mercerisation (devised in 1844 by John Mercer of Great Harwood, Lancashire, England) whereby it is passed through a flame at high speed, to eliminate any stray surface fibres. The result is a shiny, shrink & pill resistant yarn that absorbs dye brilliantly while maintaining its silky lustre.
We use Giza 86 Long Staple Egyptian cotton, which is grown in the Nile delta in Egypt and spun and dyed in Italy.
The long staple determines a high quality of cotton, as it uses uniform lengths of fibres of around 33 mm and from 4.3 to 4.9 micronaire. Multi-ended twists are used to achieve a thread count suitable for our thicker leisure weight socks which also enhances the strength, durability and superbly soft handle.
Genuine West Indian Sea Island cotton is cultivated only in the perfect conditions of the British West Indies and rigorously certified by the WISICA (West Indian Sea Island Cotton Association).
This rare and expensive raw material has the longest and finest cotton staple available which gives is its characteristic durability and silky, shiny look. Strong as silk, as soft as cashmere and as durable as wool.
Our innovative cotton linen blend combines ‘zero’ spun cotton, with natural ecru linen. ‘Zero’ spun cotton is a rounded, clean yarn which uses technical advances in spinning to eliminate every trace of bobbling in the fibre resulting in longer wear and superior comfort.
Linen is laborious to manufacture, but the fibre is very absorbent and garments made of linen are valued for their exceptional coolness and freshness in hot weather. When combined, these yarns give a unique two-colour mouline effect which is knitted into the perfect mid-weight leisure socks for the warmer Spring/Summer months.
The coat of the Merino breed of sheep is synonymous with the production of fine, soft wool with excellent body temperature regulating properties.
Merino wool provides warmth, without overheating the wearer and also draws moisture away from the skin. All the Merino wool used by Pantherella is worsted spun which ensures strength and the long fibres help to give our socks their characteristic soft surface handle.
Standard Merino wool has a fibre diameter around 25 microns. Here at Pantherella we use a 19.5 micron yarn which is classed as ‘superfine’ and is exclusively spun with 10% nylon which gives it extra durability for everyday wear. Our 100% pure ‘Superfine 100s’ is the ultimate in superfine merino wool with a fibre diameter finer than 18.5 microns. This finer wool is capable of being spun into finer "yarn counts", which in turn can be knitted into thinner socks with a supremely soft handle, or feel.
Exclusively spun in Italy for Pantherella to a special count for knitting into socks, Pantherella's Merino Royale Ultrafine 120s wool is sourced from the fleece of Tasmanian merino sheep.
The Merino Royale fibre is naturally curly, like a coiled spring, which means that air is trapped between each strand providing greater bounce and insulation than ‘standard’ sheep’s wool. This natural flexible characteristic results in a warm, durable and extremely soft yarn with a natural elasticity which affords a superb comfort and fit.
Silk is a naturally strong and lustrous fibre harvested in China from the continuous filament cocoon of the Mulberry silkworm.
Pantherella use Swiss ‘Tram’ silk which is a yarn formed by twisting 2 to 3 strands together to produce a thread with luxurious shimmering appearance, excellent wearability and good moisture absorption. Even in warm conditions, silk socks remain cool & comfortable to wear, making them the ultimate evening dress sock.
The ultimate in luxury hosiery, Cashmere socks are exquisitely soft and approximately three times warmer than socks made from sheep’s wool. Due to its unrivalled softness, warmth and comfort, Cashmere is considered to be one of the most desirable fibres in the world.
Cashmere is one of the finest natural fibres in the world and is obtained from the hair of Cashmere goats whose coat is made up of two distinct layers – the outer layer (guard hair) and the undercoat (cashmere). The guard hair is coarse and waterproof, which serves to protect the goat (and the undercoat). The undercoat is ultrafine, soft and an excellent insulator, to protect the goat from the extreme cold.
Only the soft, ultrafine undercoat is used to produce cashmere. In spring, as the goats moult for summer, they are combed by hand to remove their ultrafine undercoat, while leaving the guard hair intact. These combings are then washed and sorted to remove any stray guard hairs. What is left is pure cashmere. This laborious process results in a fibre that is exceptionally exquisite and rare. It therefore commands a higher price than more easily obtained fibres.
Our leisure weight cashmere yarn is woollen spun using the finest grade of cashmere knitted with nylon to give extra durability and stretch. It takes approximately 6 goats to produce enough fibre to make one dozen pairs of Pantherella short cashmere socks. An affordable taste of luxury.