Nylon is a synthetic protein fiber that adds durability to any yarn. Many sock yarns contain some nylon, up to 50% of the fiber content. For socks that will see a lot of wear, choose a yarn containing nylon to extend the life of the socks.
Many synthetics are on the market, mainly acrylic and polyester. These yarns are strong, inexpensive, and machine washable; however, they do not breathe as natural fibers do and can produce uncomfortable feet! If you are avoiding animal fibers, cotton-synthetic blends work well provided they have some elastic content, usually 1-5%.
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