We get questions every so often from you fine folks about caring for your bison fiber gear. Most of the time, people ask if our socks, beanies, gloves, and knitwear need any kind of special care. Caring for bison fiber goods is actually incredibly simple.
Bison Fiber: Perfect For Everyday Use
Compared to other fibers out there, bison fiber has several characteristics that make superior socks, gloves, hats, and knitwear. The fiber is naturally soft and smooth, incredibly insulating (both warming and cooling), and tough enough to work and play as hard as you do.
Bison fiber is also naturally moisture wicking and will keep your feet or hands warm and dry, even in wet conditions. Due to this natural feature, our bison fiber gear can be worn multiple times before it needs care. I personally have worn a pair of B.O.S.S. socks for 10 days hiking in the jungle!
Washing Bison Fiber Socks, Gloves, and Hats
Once you are ready to clean your gear, follow these simple steps to care for your favorite socks, beanie, and gloves. Remember, these steps apply to the majority of our products except the Qiviuk collection. Machine washing pieces of Qiviuk will shrink them due to the merino wool composition.
- Wash with lukewarm water in your washing machine
- Tumble dry on low or lay flat to dry
I told you it was simple!
Every so often (or when you think of it), turn your socks inside out before you wash them. This can help them last longer - just don’t wear them inside out!
When it comes to soap, it’s ok to use your preferred detergent, but never use Woolite. It might seem like a good idea, but trust me, it’s not. Also, no bleach or fabric softener. They aren’t necessary and can harm the fiber.
Don’t worry - your gear won’t shrink because bison down is a solid protein. I personally can't be troubled to hand wash my gear, and when we are developing a yarn or blend, we make sure that whatever we are adding to the bison fiber is either shrink proof (silk, nylon) or preshrunk (merino wool), so that you don't ever have to worry about someone turning your prized socks, gloves, and hats into doll clothes. Having said that, try not to bake your gear and over dry it. This can cause the fiber to break down and become brittle and it won’t last as long.
When To Wash
So, how often should you wash your bison fiber socks, gloves, and hats?
If you try and wait until your favorite socks are stiff and stinky, you’ll be waiting too long because they simply won’t get stinky and stiff. Wear your socks 2, 3, or even 5 days, then throw them in the wash. Even though they won’t get stinky, they can still get dirty and this can abrade the fiber. So, make sure you wash them occasionally.
You can wash your gloves less frequently than your socks. If they’re dirty, throw them in the wash. I like to use a little Dawn (or your preferred dish soap) to get oil and fishy stuff out of mine when needed. If you live in a colder climate that experiences heavy amounts of snow and ice, it’s likely your gloves will come into contact with deicer. Deicer can be really harsh on fabrics, so you might want to wash your gloves more frequently. Our advice: wash your gloves when you wash your car. If it’s covered in salt and deicer, your gloves probably are too!
Your bison fiber beanies need washing even less than your gloves. Depending on how much product you use, you can wash your hats once in a blue moon. But, do wash them. It will make them last longer.
A Few Care Exceptions
Now, just because I can’t be bothered to hand wash my daily gear, I do recommend that a few of our products be hand washed. Generally speaking, items from our luxurious Qiviuk Collection should be hand washed with minimal agitation, rolled in a towel to remove water, and laid flat to dry.
These amazing knitwear pieces are created from amazing combinations of bison fiber and other premiere fibers from around the world (like fine merino wool and silk). While the bison fiber can certainly be machine washed, the other included fibers will fare better with a tiny bit of extra care.
There are some amazing luxury fiber soaps out there for handwashing like Unicorn Fiber Wash, Allure, and SOAK. These aren’t a necessity though; you can use your preferred detergent for hand washing. T prefers to use J & J Baby Shampoo. After all, bison fiber is just hair, plus, baby shampoo conditions nicely.
About That Fluff
Over time, washing your bison fiber gear will give it a soft fiber halo. This is totally normal and natural. But, if you prefer your gear with a little less halo, simply hand wash and lay flat to dry.
Not too long ago, one of our amazing customers reached out to me and asked if he should hand wash his bison down socks. Like I told him, you certainly can, but we’d rather you spend that time getting some work done, or spend it fishing, hunting, or enjoying the outdoors. Throw those socks in the washing machine and dryer, and get back to it!
If you still aren’t quite sure how to care for your gear, please email us at email@example.com with your questions!