Wednesday, 4 November 2015
Pantherella's Escorial Wool Socks
My chums at Pantherella of Leicester, England, tell me that they have exclusive rights to manufacture socks using wool from Escorial sheep. The Escorial sheep — a diminutive breed farmed in small flocks in Australia and New Zealand — can trace its illustrious heritage back to El Escorial, the monastery where Philip the 2nd, King of 16th century Spain, kept a flock of Mahgreb sheep acquired from the Moors.
The sheep became known as Escorial. The Royal household of Spain appreciated the fineness of the wool it produced —for capes and pantaloons and so on — as the wool has a fine crimp (its bendy) and produces a yarn close to cashmere in softness, but is more durable.
The Spanish royal household kept the wool within Spain until the mid-18th century, when Charles the 3rd gave some of the flock to his cousin in Saxony. The secret was out, but through conflict and upheaval (and cross-breeding) in 19th century Europe the sheep was in danger of disappearing altogether until a tenacious Scottish lady by the name of Eliza Furlong relocated some of the best of the Saxon flocks to Tasmania in 1829. The flocks in Tasmania remain the only pure Escorials from the original flock. Following her heroic effort, Eliza's name has gone down in wool folklore.
El Calcetín Real
Soft and strong, Escorial wool is perfect for producing top-quality socks then.
I can personally vouch for the regal Hemingway Escorial over-the calf 5x3 rib sock you see below in blue; an excellent item of hosiery. The socks almost demand placing on a silken cushion, a trumpet salute and a formal procession to add them to your sock drawer. Make sure you use the Zagreb Technique to pair them.
If it is possible to be bewitched by a sock, it would be the Strachey Escorial (below) that casts a spell with its patchwork jacquard and windowpane overlay design. I can see them working very nicely with your charcoal grey suit.
Your hooves do a lot of hard work. They deserve to be comfortable and kept happy don't they? Think of a good quality and well-fitting sock as a human right for your feet.