May 08 , 2020
The Short Version of the Long History of Wool in Cycling
When DeFeet got off the start line in 1992, the use of wool as a performance fiber had faded from existence. For nearly 100 years, all the way through the 1970’s, wool, no matter how scratchy it was, had been the performance fiber of choice for cycling jerseys and shorts. The 80’s saw the introduction of new materials and printing technologies. Recalling the amazing properties that wool had given cyclists from that bygone era, DeFeet set off to re-invigorate the forgotten fiber and introduce it to the cycling world. By the mid 1990’s, wool was making a comeback into the kit bags of professional riders worldwide, starting with DeFeet socks.
MEET A WHOLE NEW BREED OF WOOL
When it comes to Wool, the gap between DeFeet and others is anything but close.
DeFeet has never been a follower. Everything about the company has been done differently. From the way it was started to the way it manufactures products, DeFeet doesn’t do it like any others. It’s wool products are a perfect example of this. Whether it’s a philosophy or the company culture, “Baahhhh DeFeet” on the sole of a sock has always meant you were getting something special.
“Where do make your product, and where does your wool come from?” It’s a question everyone who wears wool should be asking. When DeFeet looked at supply chains of modern wool socks, we knew we could do better. Some of the best selling wool brands have the most absurd supply chains. For example, socks knit in Asia from wool grown on another continent that was washed on a third continent, and dyed on a fourth continent. You don’t have to be a professor of economics to realize that amount of travel for a product before it goes on the shelf can’t be good for the environment.
DeFeet Wool is grown, washed, dyed and knit into socks entirely in the United States. From humane growing conditions at ranches in a few of the Western States, our wool is cleaned, dyed and turned into yarn in the Northeast before arriving at our factory in North Carolina. For a USA manufacturer, the supply chain does not get any shorter than ours. The raw materials and the yarns we are creating are of exceptional quality. Combined with DeFeet manufacturing, the resulting products are revered as the quintessential wool socks and accessories for the two-wheeled lifestyle.
Look for these ‘Certified Woolie’ products and give them a try. We think you will feel the difference immediately when you put them on. You will really understand the quality and performance over the long road, though. When we think of the long road, durability and sustainable supply chains are a huge factor in what we do and how we do it.