2 years of our Super-durable socks: assessment

;In October 2016, we launched a new range of socks; the super-durables. Two years on, we think it is time we assessed the product.
At the time, numerous customers had asked us to develop a range of long-lasting, resistant socks that would complete our already existing collection. We decided to research how to develop reinforced and durable socks that would not compromise their elegance and style.

Aubergine-Lilac coloured super-durable socks

Aubergine-Lilac coloured super-durable socks

To do so we made endless trips from our offices to various Italian workshops, developed numerous prototypes and sent pairs to around 100 of our customers to gather as many objective opinions about the product as possible. In the end it took us 2 years to create the super-durable knee-highs we know and wear today.

Ever since then customer feedback has been very positive.

The socks’ composition mean that they can be worn daily. The use of Cotton Lisle and elastane give the socks a certain softness and make them a perfect fit for the shape of the calf. The range can be worn in a professional setting as well as out and about in town. The ribbing gives them a chic edge. Nonetheless it is important to bear in mind that they are not best suited to cold weather and wool socks are always a better choice during the winter months. Equally, when it is very hot (30° and above), these socks are not recommended due to their thickness.

On the inside of the ‘super-durable’ card, you will find plenty of information about our socks!

On the inside of the ‘super-durable’ card, you will find plenty of information about our socks!

Over the past two years, the range has been extended. Thanks to our customers’ helpful feedback, we have been able to develop knee-high and mid-calf length socks in various different colours and patterns. As we want to ensure that all of customers have a comprehensive understanding our products, you will have noticed that we also provide a useful information card with our socks.

So that we can continue to work on our products, we have recently invested in a Martindale Abrasion Tester. This machine helps us test fabric wear resistance.

The Martindale Abrasion Testing Machine was delivered last June and we use it to test our socks.

The Martindale Abrasion Testing Machine was delivered last June and we use it to test our socks.

Our Martindale Abrasion Testing Machine

Our Martindale Abrasion Testing Machine

The test recreates the natural process of wear and tear by rubbing a fabric sample against wool. The machine controls the rubbing and calculates the fabric rub count, until the thread is so worn down that it breaks. The unit used to measure the number of times the fabric has been rubbed is called a Martindale. The results generated allow us to evaluate decorative fabrics as well as fabrics which will be more intensively used.

The rubbing movement which is applied to the fabric

The rubbing movement which is applied to the fabric

Following a series of tests carried out in a laboratory, our knee-high socks from the super-durable range obtained the best results from a sample of 15 pairs of top quality socks, with a resistance level of almost 49000 rubs. This result cannot be converted into an equivalent number of steps but it corresponds to a very intense fabric use.

Having a Martindale machine in our offices means that we can frequently test our products and ensure their durability.

Our super-durable socks can be worn with a wide range of outfits

Our super-durable socks can be worn with a wide range of outfits

What’s next?
To satisfy all styles and tastes, we are planning on adding even more colours to our knee-high and mid-calf super-durable range. We are currently developing a slightly different shade of green, a deep purple and even striped pairs (black and red, green and aubergine etc.) We will also be introducing a women’s super-durable range.

Super-durables will also soon be available in wool! We have replaced the Cotton Lisle with wool to bring you warmer knee-highs! They will be online before the cold weather arrives!

Next spring, you will also be able to discover our super-durable ankle socks (which come just below the ankle); ideal for tennis shoes!

Orange super-durable socks

Orange super-durable socks

Find your ideal pair of socks

There is no such thing as a pair of socks that everyone loves. Ever since we became sock specialists, we have been able to come to this conclusion. Some people have had a bad experience and would like to try something different, whilst others are looking for unusual fabrics. It is impossible to satisfy all of our customers with just one product. There are those who wear colourful socks and those are only happy wearing black. Everyone wants different things from their socks. Some want bright colours, whilst others prefer a more understated and subtle look. Some favour long-lasting, durable socks whilst others prefer a lighter, more breathable pair.

Sobriety is put forward

In this case, the person dares elements that decide!

The ideal pair of socks is a pair of socks that corresponds to the requirements of the person wearing them. Sometimes, these can be very precise requirements indeed. To avoid you being disappointed with your purchase, let’s take a look at some of the criteria that can help a pair of socks meet your expectations.

  1. The length: The first piece of criteria, and perhaps the most important is the length. You can choose between long socks, known as knee-highs which come just under the knee, or shorter socks, known as mid-calf, which come up to the mid-calf. Knee-high or mid-calf? It’s a tough one to call as each length has some key advantages. With knee-highs, you can be sure that your socks will stay in place and won’t get twisted around your ankles by the end of the day. As they grip nicely to the curve of your calf, knee-highs will remain perfectly in place. What’s more, they also have several aesthetic advantages. Knee-highs cover the entire calf meaning that you won’t risk showing your legs when your trousers rise up. Nonetheless, unlike knee-highs which would be too tight, mid-calf socks are an excellent choice for tighter fitting trousers, which have become increasingly more fashionable in recent times.
  2. The grip: What is more important to you in a pair of socks: feeling supported or not being able to feel the socks at all? For reasons linked to the fabric type and the technique used, it is not possible to have both effects simultaneously. Socks made entirely of natural fabrics will create a sense of lightness and you will almost forget that you are wearing socks at all! The use of polyamide on the other hand reinforces the sock and makes it thicker, but not necessarily a lot warmer.

Here, a pair of Cotton lisle and a pair of linen socks3. Warmth: Are you looking for socks that can be worn during the hot summer months or to face the wind and rain? This question is essential as different fabrics can provide different answers. Someone who is often out in the fresh air, on their motorbike or who naturally feels the cold will want a pair of wool socks. Someone who spends their time going from a warm home to a heated office will want quite the opposite.

With these three criteria, the search for your ideal socks is well on its way. The rest depends on each person’s individual taste; colours, patterns etc. You may just fall in love with a pair in particular or you might match each pair of socks with an outfit in particular.

Patterns more or less visible

If you prefer a more understated look, when choosing your socks go for colours which match those already present in your outfit. Nonetheless, knee-highs can also be a way of having fun. If you want to be a little more creative, there are no rules to hold you back. On the whole, wearing the same coloured socks as your trousers will make you look taller. If you would like to highlight your shoes, wear socks of the same colour. With all of these criteria, the hunt for the ideal pair of socks should be a bit easier. Do not hesitate to call on our advice to help you choose the pairs which suit you best.

Take part in Mes Chaussettes Rouges’ development projects!

We are very excited to give you an insight into the very heart of Mes Chaussettes Rouges’ entrepreneurial adventure by sharing two of our current projects with you:

1. Investing in a Martindale Abrasion Tester; constantly caring about the quality of our socks

Since the very start, we have cared about the quality of our products. And we continue to care more and more!

Up until now, we had been conducting our abrasion tests externally with an independent laboratory. But now we have decided to do this testing internally to systemize the process with all of our products.

For this reason, we have acquired a Martindale Abrasion Tester (a machine to test wear resistance) in our shop. Our objective is not to sell solely resistant socks, because we know that we cannot limit quality to wear resistance. We continue to launch plenty of new products made of high-quality fabrics and completely knitted using natural and fine fibers. But we would like to have a perfect understanding of all of our products.

Martindale

The Martindale Abrasion Tester, testing socks’ resistance

2. Tennis socks: the project’s genesis

Developing tennis socks is a project which has been dear to our hearts for several years. We want to create tennis socks which are comfortable, chic and long-lasting. More importantly, we want socks which will be just as soft after each wash. Our goal has been to avoid the coarse ‘cardboard’ effect when socks stiffen.

They might not make you win a tournament but they will certainly be comfortable when you put them on 😉

We will soon receive prototypes of these socks and we would be very happy for you to test them and give us your feedback so that we can continue to improve them.

Proto tennis

A prototype of the Mazarin tennis socks currently being developed

Do you want to try them?

1: type ‘PROTOTYPE’ in the dedicated promotional code box for your next order of at least one pair of socks

2: receive the pair of tennis socks with the rest of your order

3: answer a quick questionnaire with your feedback a few weeks later

These prototypes will be for the first 200 orders, available online or in store. These tennis socks are made in an Italian workshop, with whom we have been working with for the past decade. We have also entrusted them with other projects which will be released in September, which include ski socks as well as a new women’s range.

We will be very happy to talk to you about these various projects very soon.

Take part in Mes Chaussettes Rouges’ development projects!

We are very excited to give you an insight into the very heart of Mes Chaussettes Rouges’ entrepreneurial adventure by sharing two of our current projects with you:

1. Investing in a Martindale Abrasion Tester; constantly caring about the quality of our socks

Since the very start, we have cared about the quality of our products. And we continue to care more and more!

Up until now, we had been conducting our abrasion tests externally with an independent laboratory. But now we have decided to do this testing internally to systemize the process with all of our products.

For this reason, we have acquired a Martindale Abrasion Tester (a machine to test wear resistance) in our shop. Our objective is not to sell solely resistant socks, because we know that we cannot limit quality to wear resistance. We continue to launch plenty of new products made of high-quality fabrics and completely knitted using natural and fine fibers. But we would like to have a perfect understanding of all of our products.

Martindale

The Martindale Abrasion Tester, testing socks’ resistance

2. Tennis socks: the project’s genesis

Developing tennis socks is a project which has been dear to our hearts for several years. We want to create tennis socks which are comfortable, chic and long-lasting. More importantly, we want socks which will be just as soft after each wash. Our goal has been to avoid the coarse ‘cardboard’ effect when socks stiffen.

They might not make you win a tournament but they will certainly be comfortable when you put them on 😉

We will soon receive prototypes of these socks and we would be very happy for you to test them and give us your feedback so that we can continue to improve them.

Proto tennis

A prototype of the Mazarin tennis socks currently being developed

Do you want to try them?

1: type ‘PROTOTYPE’ in the dedicated promotional code box for your next order of at least one pair of socks

2: receive the pair of tennis socks with the rest of your order

3: answer a quick questionnaire with your feedback a few weeks later

These prototypes will be for the first 200 orders, available online or in store. These tennis socks are made in an Italian workshop, with whom we have been working with for the past decade. We have also entrusted them with other projects which will be released in September, which include ski socks as well as a new women’s range.

We will be very happy to talk to you about these various projects very soon.

 

Why you have a 99% chance of never wearing Sea Island. And why this is a shame…

In the cotton family, there is one which stands out for its rarity, the length of its fibres and the quality of the resulting products. We are talking about Sea Island, or “West Indies Sea Island”, cotton. The cotton is grown all over the world, but certain varieties produce longer fibres than others and, the longer the fibre, the better the quality!

Chaussettes 10% sea island coton

  1. Limited global production

Out of all the cottons in existence, 0.004% produced is Sea Island cotton: this shows how rare the product is. Rarer than Egyptian cotton, the tiny proportion of Sea Island cotton makes this a product in high demand. A high-quality product, Sea Island originates from a combination of highly specific geographic and climatic conditions.

Fleurs de coton

Cotton flower

  1. A framework in which to flourish

Particularly sensitive climatic conditions are needed for cotton flowers to produce what we know as “Sea Island” cotton. This designation comes from the geographic area in which we find these cotton plants. Sea Island cotton, from its scientific name Gossypium barbadense, is an elite kind of American cotton. It grows in the unique climate of the islands situated off the south-eastern coast of the United States and on islands in the West Indies, such as Barbados.

  1. Extra long fibres

The cocktail of sun and humidity makes the Sea Island cotton plant produce cotton fibres. These threads are a cluster of extra-long fibres, 40 millimetres in comparison with 26 millimetres for more ordinary cotton. The best cotton thread is made from extra-long fibres. The longer and finer the fibre, the rarer it is. So these are the finest, silkiest and shiniest qualities.

Harvested by hand, this cotton’s fibres are among the longest cotton fibres. The exceptional length means they make fine and soft threads. This fineness gives the fabrics their softness and that incomparable silky look.

  1. Quality control

To guarantee Sea Island cotton’s impeccable quality, quality control is put in place. It starts when the cotton ball harvest takes place by hand. This is the WISICA (“West London Sea Island Cotton Association”) label of authenticity. This group of textiles experts vouches for the origin and quality of the raw material, but also checks that the production stages are consistent with the different processes, from cotton planting to harvest.

Sea Island cotton: an exceptional material for high-end products.

Bresciani Sea Island

  1. A well-known product, or how Sea Island appeals to connoisseurs

A well-known product, or how Sea Island appeals to connoisseurs
Queen Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom, demanded Sea Island handkerchiefs. With support from such a well-known figure, Sea Island surely won’t disappoint even the most demanding among us.

More recently, it was the famous secret agent James Bond, the ultimate gentleman, who appeared with clothes and underwear made in the Caribbean cotton. In his novels, Ian Fleming had already made it clear that the materials used by 007 were made from Sea Island. For flawless dressers, Sea Island has become a basic wardrobe item

Already prized by tailors, particularly in shirt making, Sea Island cotton is now being used to make knee-length socks.

Bresciani Sea Island marine pantalon

  1. The cashmere of cotton

Cashmere is to wool as Sea Island is to cotton. Slipping on Sea Island knee-high socks secures you peerless comfort, extreme softness and unparalleled fineness. This rare kind of cotton combines the softness of cashmere with the strength of wool.

  1. An easy product to look after

Sea Island knee-high socks can easily withstand machine washing at 30°C. A high-end product which lasts like a pair of lisle socks.

  1. The art of choosing noble materials, or how to wear Sea Island cotton

Remaining faithful to quality and to the items you can now create from Sea Island cotton, Bresciani is making knee-high socks in 100% Sea Island cotton. As they are comparatively slim, these socks will go perfectly with formal shoes. Silky and soft, they will bring an extra touch of refinement to your outfit.

Bresciani Sea Island duo
Take care: when you have worn Sea Island cotton, you will have real trouble going back to more usual kinds of cotton!

Cashmere socks vs wool socks

Full range of cashmere socks

Cashmere socks are a way of life.

After the first attacks of cold weather, it is logical to look for a system of defence that starts with a warm pair of socks. The question of the choice of materials arises and many clients ask us to enlighten them on the choice of merino wool or cashmere. What are the differences between merino wool and cashmere ? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? Should we prefer woollen socks or cashmere socks ?
Cashmere socks

Softness

If softness was measurable, it would depend on the fineness of the fibres. The finer the fibres, the softer the yarn. A softer yarn will make for a softer sock. At this little game, cashmere wins the round for softness because cashmere fibres are on average finer than merino wool fibres. Merino sheep generally have fibres with diameters between 19 and 23 microns, whereas cashmere goats have fibres of 14 to 18 microns in diameter. Note that these are averages. In fact, the finest wool in the world has been obtained from … merinos. In 2010, Zegna beat its own record of 2003 with a wool of 10 microns. Zegna succeeded in weaving a piece of fabric 60 metres with fibres of an average of 11.1 microns!
The fabric had to sell at a price higher than that of vicuna.

Durability

It is the turn of merino wool to win its first round. Merino wool is rather more durable than cashmere. This is explained by the length and diameter of the fibres. The shortest fibres have a slightly greater tendency to pill. The length of cashmere fibres is between 30 and 90 mm and for merino wool it is between 30 and 120 mm. Pilling will cause garments to wear a little faster. Merino wool is therefore more durable than cashmere. The most durable wools are the old tweeds made of coarse wool, with thicker (so less soft) and more resistant fibres.

Warmth

Cashmere regains the advantage. The fineness of the fibres allows cashmere to trap more air than wool with an equivalent gauge of yarn. To put it otherwise, imagine two cylinders, one filled with fine fibres and the other with thicker fibres. Mechanically, the cylinder filled with fine fibres will trap more small air bubbles. Air is an excellent insulator (on condition that it can be trapped). It is for this reason that cashmere is a little warmer than merino wool, all other things being equal.

It is also for this reason that cashmere is warm when it is cold, while being lightweight when it is warmer.

The price

The advantage goes to merino wool, which, except in cases of extreme fineness, is less expensive than cashmere. This is explained by the abundance of merino wool production compared to that of cashmere.

Conclusion

A draw! There is no winner strictly speaking! You must ask yourself on what criteria will you base your choice. Do you look at the price of socks? Are you sensitive to softness? And warmth? Do your socks wear quickly? Now you are ready for a well-informed choice!

How to wash cashmere socks ?

 

Cashmere is unfortunately a quite fragile material due to the fact that it is precisely this fragility which is the source of its softness.

Cashmere socks

Cashmere socks

Cashmere socks are valuable, take care of them!

The fact remains that there exist methods for efficiently washing cashmere without destroying it.
Hot water and rubbing are the most ruthless enemies of cashmere socks (likewise for sweaters). Felting is the primary danger for cashmere socks.

How can felting be explained? The wool is made of scale-like fibers Under normal conditions the scales travel in the direction if the fiber. Under the effects of heat and humidity the scales open. Once the scales are open, the fibers no longer slide between one another. The rubbing, therefore, causes the fibers to intertwine instead of remaining combed. The thread, the fibers of which are intertwined, are shortened and elasticized. This is exactly the state of felted wool: shrunken and

with no elasticity. Wool fiber as seen under a microscope.

Wool fibre with a microscope

Woolen fiber beneath a microscope

If there is no stain on your socks, there is no need to complicate matters. Putting a little cold water and soap on them, washing a bit, and rinsing abundantly is sufficient Afterwards, dry them by laying them flat.

If there are stains, appropriate products for each type of stain must be applied (mild household soap for the greasy stains, vinegar for wine…).

How to match your socks with your outfit? With your trousers or shoes?

 

Matching your socks with your outfit is a much less dangerous task than you might think and is even quite easy once you have learnt the basic rules.

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  1. The classic and understated approach: matching your socks with your shoes or trousers

It’s easy and possible! The easiest option is to match your socks with your shoes. When your shoes are black, wear black socks. Brown shoes? Brown socks.

Les chaussettes noires sont assorties aux chaussures et vont bien avec le pantalon gris.

Ici, à quelques nuances près, c'est un total look gris qui fonctionne

Generally speaking, matching your socks with your trousers elongates the leg. Matching your socks with your trousers is almost just as easy and acceptable. Grey flannel trousers will go well with grey socks just as a pair of jeans will match light blue socks. Matching your socks with your shoes highlights and showcases your shoes. Both options are possible!

Outre l'effet de style de la photo, les mi-bas en lin sont ici de la même couleur que le pantalon

Here these knee-highs highlight the shoes, which are the same colour.

Des mi-bas aux mêmes couleurs que les souliers

You won’t be taking many risks with this approach. As they say in the world of finance “low risk, low return.” You won’t be making waves with this look, but you will look well put together and chic without being flashy.

No one will comment on your socks, except for those who see you every day and who might start to find them a bit drab over the years…

  1. The bold, colourful approach

You prefer to combine colours which go well together rather than submit to the diktat of black and brown socks. If everyone took the first approach, black and brown socks would make up 90% of the world’s socks.

The idea is to match different colours which go well together. With a pair of mahogany brown socks, green shoes and blue trousers make a wonderful ensemble.

Bresciani chevrons vert prairie

Mazarin terre battue mouillée4

Some people like very bold colour contrasts. With a black tuxedo, why not try a pair of red socks. The aim is draw attention to a specific part of the outfit, for example the socks. Everyone can remember François Fillon welcoming Medvedev wearing a black tuxedo and red socks.

Gammarelli rouge 2

  1. The somewhere-in-the-middle approach

There is a third approach which is somewhat a compromise between the previous two options. Two-toned socks allow you to match your shoes and trousers. Imagine that you are wearing a pair of blue trousers with brown shoes, which is in itself nothing out of the ordinary. You could try matching them with a superb pair of brown and blue Bresciani ribbed socks.

Chaussettes à rayures gris et rouge. Le gris est dans le prolongement du pantalon et se marie bien à la chaussure. Le rouge vient lui donner un éclat

Le marron des chaussures se retrouvent dans la chaussette vanisée aux deux marrons

Another recommendation would be to choose a colour which is somewhere in between the other two colours. For example, with a pair of blue trousers (a primary colour) and brown shoes (a colour made mainly with red), you could try a colour which combines blue and red, such as purple, which can vary between being more or less bluish or reddish.

Ici, les chaussettes se marient bien avec les chaussures car le marron des chaussures est composé de rouge

To help you, here is the chromatic circle which will help you see which colours work well together. To learn more about the composition of a specific colour, take a look at the RGB percentages in the Wikipedia colour list.

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Cotton lisle high knee socks

Cotton lisle high knee socks have their lovers. The advantages of those socks are linked to the fact that they are high knee socks and made of cotton lisle at the same time.

Actually, high knee socks don’t fall on you ankle because thay adapt your calf’s shape.

 

Mi-bas fil d'Ecosse

Cotton lisle high knee socks
As for cotton lisle, it leads to a smooth and  shiny lisle.
For your cotton lisle high knee socks, we have selected the best brands. We offer a selection of black high knee socks for men, others in many colors, with herringbones, or houndstoothes.

 

Red socks

Gammarelli red socks are the most well known socks in the world.

Chaussettes Rouges

Red socks

The red colour of Gammarelli, used by cardinals for a long time,has long been used by insiders, who had fun of their history or were seduced by the quality of those cotton lisle socks.
Those red socks then became famous thanks to Edouard Balladur and to François Fillon, who both wear Gammarelli socks.

Gammarelli red socks are very bright. This is what makes they charm and quality