Corgi Hosiery Week - The Sock Draw
Rummaging Through Tweedy's Bottom DrawerWe continue our Corgi Hosiery Week at Tweed Towers by rummaging through my bottom drawer. Hark, I spy some fine living examples of their wares: the Handmade Cashmere Sock and the Walking Socks in Shetland Wool.
The Corgi Handmade Cashmere Sock
CORGI cashmere socks use the best Himalayan cashmere, which is "taken from the underbelly of goats living high in the mountains of Inner Mongolia and the Xinjiang region of China".
Corgi explains a little bit about this ripping yarn:
"The fibres we use are the finest available, averaging only 156 microns in diameter – the equivalent to one quarter the diameter of human hair. The yarn is then processed and dyed in the UK by the world’s leading cashmere yarn manufacturer before we knit it into our garments. Unless clearly stated on our labels, we never blend or mix cashmere fibres with other materials in our yarn. Likewise, we use only the very best quality pure wools and cottons, always looking for the softest and most luxurious handle."
You can see mine (above), back from a tour of duty in Amsterdam. What a sock, what a feeling, like a soft caress on the feet whilst walking. Superb travelling companions.
Tweedy's Thought: Digressing slightly, have you noticed how the central pubs of Amsterdam resemble rest homes for superannuated football hooligans?
It takes around three hours to produce a pair of the socks. They are made by Corgi's highly-skilled workers on a traditional hand-knitting machine.
Cashmere socks are not designed for everyday wear and need some care when washing. Corgi's advice: wash the socks by hand in a basin filled with cool water and a touch of soap, before gently reshaping them and letting them dry naturally.
Corgi Walking Socks in Shetland Wool
Warm, long and strong, the Corgi walking socks are exactly how you like your country hosiery as they slip inside a Hunter boot.
Designed and manufactured for comfort and durability, the socks have a reinforced heel and toe. The socks are made from Shetland wool sourced directly from Jamiesons of Shetland.
The Art of Corgi Sock Manufacture
Corgi's socks are designed at their factory in Ammanford, Wales, and knitted on a variety of specialised knitting machines. One such machine is the hand-operated Griswold machine, which is over one hundred years old and part of the machinery used in founder Glyn Jones' day. Much the wool Corgi use is Australian Merino that is bought from spinning and dyeing companies in Italy.
The toe of every sock Corgi make is closed using the traditional method of hand-linking. The socks are knitted as long tubes with the toe section left open. They are then passed on to the hand-linkers who line up the stitches on the front and back of each toe before stitching them together. Hand-linking results in a completely flat seam, ensuring maximum comfort for the sock wearer.
The socks are then washed and dried, before being hand-turned - checked, tightened and trimmed. The socks are pressed on wooden size boards in a traditional press, the same one that has been used at Corgi for the past 60 years. Finally each pair of socks is labelled by hand before being packed and shipped.