Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Cotton Kills

While growing up, I hated wool. It itched.

Most colleges have PE requirements. One of the classes Philip considered taking was Winter Camping. Friends told him that the class requirements were one weekend away with the whole class, camping, and to know that COTTON KILLS.

Yeah, right. Those little balls of fluff grab the daggers from the Killer [Dust-]Bunnies and plunge then into people who are using the cotton-balls for first-aid purposes??

Okay, here's the scoop from the kids who took the class. When cotton gets wet, it cannot hold warmth. Wool is different. If your wool socks or your wool sweater is damp, the clothing can still keep you warm. But not cotton clothing. On my paper route once, I bumbled into discovering the truth of this. It was below freezing, but I managed to step into a puddle of slushy water that had melted partially because of the salt on the roads. Wet socks. Wet cotton socks. After a few minutes of really really cold feet, I peeled off the socks and went bare-footed in my sandals for the rest of the paper route. It was warmer to have naked skin than to be clothed in wet cotton. But when I've shoveled the driveway in wool socks and gotten wet feet, I'm okay.

That warmth thing kinda makes up for the itchiness, eh?
Makes me covet more wool.


  1. I have 2 pairs of SmartWool socks purchased from Sierra Trading.

    They are awesome. My feet don't get sweaty and cold in my birki clogs.

  2. Susan, you shovel snow in sandals?! You need some boots! Brrrr...I'm cold just thinking about it.

  3. I used to borrow the guys' boots. This year I bought a cheap pair for myself (which Gary wears as often as I do). But normally I wear Birkenstock sandals ALL the time. The pain of wearing regular shoes is bigger than the problem of cold feet. But the sandals are why I luv luv luv my FAT wool socks!