Before the first stitch on a Darn Tough Sock happens, they have to buy a boatload of merino wool. The wool comes primarily from North America, Europe, and Oceana, and we should note that more came from the USA than any other country last year. It is sourced from farms that do not harm the sheep in any way, and none of them practice mulesing.
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Darn Tough uses only fine gauge merino, which is what allows them to achieve 1,441 stitches per square inch on a 168 needle machine. We watched them stitching our favorite socks, the light hiker, and it looks like wizardry. There is a blur of beautiful color, and before you know it, a perfect sock falls into a pile.
All along the way, there are numerous tests for quality control. They stretch the socks, for example, to make sure that they will have a precise fit every time you wash them. Speaking of the washing machine, that’s the next step after knitting. They wash the socks and then dry them, but not completely. They’re left just a bit damp. This is because the socks have to undergo what is known as “boarding.” They slide them over a flat foot shaped form and run them through a heater. This is the equivalent of using an iron to press them, so they retain their shape.
The last step is of course packaging, but before that happens, every single pair of Darn Tough socks are inspected by hand. This is a step that was hard to believe until we saw it with our own eyes. There is a team of people armed with tiny scissors that complete any final trimming to make sure the socks are perfect. It was our feeling that this attention to detail is why they confidently guarantee their socks for life. If you they wear out for any reason, they have you covered. That’s why we tell everyone we meet that they can’t afford not to buy Darn Tough Socks because it pays off in the long run. Make your feet happy and give them a try.