Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Big Reason Millions Of Americans Are Ditching Traditional Socks For Compression Socks

The Big Reason Millions Of Americans Are Ditching Traditional Socks For Compression Socks
Monday, February 11, 2019 | By Steven DeCampo
Foot pain, no matter how much or how little it hurts, it sets a precedent for underlying health issues to come...
You would think that compression gear was for the elderly or just for athletes. This is no longer the case. In fact, millions of Americans have experienced foot pain related to the arch, heel, ankle, or plantar fascia. These episodes, no matter how short or how long, determine chronic issues later with varicose veins making an appearance. These visually show how hard your heart is working to pump oxygen to the furthest points of your body, one point being, your feet. With about two thirds of our lifetime being on our feet, you can imagine how important it is to actually take care of and spend on the importance of our feet.

Compression socks aren't necessarily sexy, but they downright WILL change your life to the point where you can't live without them. Flat out, if you have tired, achy feet... you will instantly see a difference in the anti fatigue properties and soothing qualities of compression. Work in a office and stuck in a chair? Or on your feet all day ready to take off your shoes? Well you don't have to be tired and in pain any longer. Luckily we found the solution.
Renowned Podiatrist says compression socks are more beneficial than traditional socks...
The new socks dramatically reduce swelling and pain in the heels. It soothes achy tired feet and helps with the circulation of blood flow so that your feet are getting enough oxygen.

See Frequently Asked Questions on Compression Socks

The difference is astonishing! It's amazing how easy and simple it is to put them on and feel the pain disappear. Perfect for hiking, sports, gym sessions, or even wearing to work. You WILL feel a world of difference in energy flow and pain relief.
We tested it out for ourselves…
As a guy who has put on some weight since my days in college, I have had foot pain for as long as I can remember. After work, I usually can't wait to take off my socks and shoes and just prop up my feet to just rest.

The usage was easier than I could have imagined. Simply put it on and feel the compression relief start to work! I went for a 3 hour hike on a trail near my house and thought I would feel my foot pain as usual, but this time was way different. There was no pain! The compression helps the blood flow so my feet feel refreshed and it supported the soles of my feet. My heels usually have a huge amount of weight and pain, but due to the support, I felt lighter on my feet. Normally after a hike, I would have to soak my feet, but wow, I could go for a run now! It literally made my feet feel like new!
Shop Now for Compression Socks

Thursday, January 31, 2019

A nice little Sunset-In-Montana-With-Alpacas Video

The sunset was amazing this particular January evening.  The lady alpacas (and one llama) were very enthusiastic about being fed treats.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Alpacas of Montana - Dry Fusion Technology Alpaca Products

We are a Montana based alpaca textile company creating high performance socks, hats, gloves, blankets and other clothing.


Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Sock History - How did socks come into existence?

The History Of Socks

You might find it hard to believe, but socks are probably the oldest type of clothing that is still in use today. Socks have been around since the Stone Ages, long before the concept of trousers or t-shirts existed. Nowadays, it seems to be the most overlooked part of an outfit, sometimes because people don’t know how to wear colourful socks. This may be the case today, but socks have had a pretty wild ride throughout history. They weren’t always so easy to come by and, for a long time, they were worn only by nobility. At one point in time London even had its own ‘sock police’. Makes you appreciate those battered old socks you have laying around a bit more, doesn’t it? Without further ado, I present to you the exciting sock history.

Sock History – The Beginnings

Going back to the Stone Ages, cca. 5000 BC, the first ‘socks’ that our cavemen ancestors wore probably looked nothing like what we have today. There aren’t any socks left over from that time but we have some clues as to what they might have looked like from cave paintings and archeological finds. It seems like these rudimentary socks were made from animal skins and pelts tied around the ankle.
Fast forward a few thousand years to the 8th century BC when socks are first mentioned in writing by the Greek poet Hesiod. In his poem, “Works and Days”, Hesiod mentions ‘piloi’, a type of sock made from matted animal hair worn under sandals.
Later on, the Romans would wrap their feet in strips of leather or woven fabric. Around the 2nd century AD they started sewing the pieces of fabric together and making fitted socks. They called these ‘udones’ and they are the first socks to resemble what we are wearing today.
The first woollen socks to be discovered were unearthed at Vindolanda in Northumbria and they date back to the 2nd century AD. They are a child-sized pair made from woven wool cloth meant to protect against the rough British weather. Roman tablets found at the site even include the instruction to “send more socks”.
Also around that time, the first knit socks were being made in Ancient Egypt. The earliest known surviving pair of knitted socks, made with a technique called naalbinding, dates from 300 – 500 AD and was found at Oxyrhynchus on the Nile in Egypt. The socks feature split toes and are designed to be worn with sandals.
By the 5th century AD, holy people of Europe would wear socks called ‘puttees’ which symbolized purity.
sock history - first woollen sock - vindolanda

Left: A child’s woollen sock dating back to the 2nd century AD found at Vindolanda
Right: Knit socks from cca. 500 AD found in an Ancient Egyptian tomb

Sock History – The Luxury

During the Middle Ages, the length of trousers was extended and the sock became a tight brightly-coloured cloth covering the lower part of the leg. Since socks didn’t have an elastic band, garters were placed over the top of the stockings to prevent them from falling down. When breeches became shorter, socks began to get longer (and more expensive). By the year 1000, knit and woven socks had become a status symbol of the nobility throughout much of Europe. They were initially bearing more of a resemblance to leggings and it wasn’t until the 12th century that feet were added to them.
Though Europe’s working people were certainly knitting their own homespun socks and stockings by the end of the 12th century, the hosiery of noblemen was vastly superior. Their socks were generally made of woven cloth of higher quality with a back seam and bias cut. By the 15th century, the French and Italian aristocracies led the way with their fine hand-knit silk stockings. Men found that the stretchy silk fabric had two benefits: ease of movement and an ability to show off a shapely leg. Aristocratic Britons were soon following their European neighbours, and knitted silk stockings became the rage among the British fashionable elite. Around 1490, breeches and hand knitted hosiery were joined together to become one garment, which would later be known as tights. These were made of colourful silk, wool and velvet, with each leg a different colour.
By the 16th century, hosiery, like other pieces of clothing, was strictly regulated through stringent laws. In 1566, the City of London employed surveillance techniques to ensure that nobody was wearing the wrong kind of socks anywhere in the capital. The laws were enforced by the sock police – four persons who were positioned twice a day at the gates of London, checking the legs of those entering or leaving for improper hosiery.
In 1589, the first knitting machine was invented by William Lee, an English clergyman. After receiving a pair of black stockings from William, Queen Elizabeth I ultimately declined to grant him a patent for his invention. She complained that his machine made wool stockings that were far too coarse for royal ankles. She didn’t like the feel of the stockings or their crude form and she was afraid that the machine would take away jobs from her people.
However, France’s King Henri IV saw the opportunity William’s invention provided and offered him financial support. The inventor moved to Rouen where he built a stocking factory. Before long, the French spread the knitting loom throughout Europe. Socks made for the lower classes used wool, while those made for noblemen were made of coloured silk. After the Industrial Revolution socks became easier and cheaper to produce, spreading their appeal across European society. Many of the principles William Lee developed can still be found in modern textile machinery today.
sock history - nobleman's socks in 1500sock history - silk thighs 16th century

Left: European nobleman’s stockings in the mid 1500’s (the top is tied up when worn)
Right: Silk tights worn by a nobleman in the early 17th century

Sock History – Modern Times

Over the next couple of years, sock fashion continued to change dictating different lengths (from mid-calf to knee to mid-thigh). Rather than just sticking to embroidery at the top, sock fashion expanded to include even more colours, decorations or stripes. In the late 17th century cotton became a popular choice for many garments including socks. As trousers became longer and socks became shorter, the term ‘socks’ actually started being used to refer to what was previously known as stockings.
sock history - 20th century
In pictures: Sock fashion at the beginning of the 20th century
The next revolution in sock-making came with the invention of nylon in 1938. The strength and elasticity of socks made from cotton-nylon blends led to a natural step forward in manufacturing. This blend is even used today, even in our Shosett socks, which use a type of nylon called polyamide. Later on, elastane was added to the blend to give socks extra flexibility and make them fit a wider range of wearers.
In terms of sock styles, fashion has seen a few models come and go, often to come back again after a few years. Argyle patterns, which have been hugely popular in the 1920s are making a comeback in men’s fashion. With manufacturing advances, cotton can be more accurately dyed which makes for bolder and more colourful socks. While striped socks are and will always be a popular choice for men and women, patterned socks with all kinds of crazy designs (like avocado socks) are becoming the latest fashion trend.

Friday, January 11, 2019

How to Eliminate and Prevent Smelly, Stinky Feet Video

Pretty much all feet smell at some point. If you go for a run, have been sweating in tennis shoes or have been wearing cotton socks a few hours too many, a quick shower might do the trick...

But, some of us have worse smelling feet than the rest. This chronic issue can be simply eliminated by a few easy steps.  No prescriptions needed or toxic chemicals needed.  Just utilize a few items from your local general store and a pair of Alpacas of Montana socks (from super warm winter socks to hiking and running socks) and you will be amazed at the difference.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Maximum Warmth Alpaca Socks - Fishing, Hunting Winter Socks - with Video

Toasty feet for the longest days and coolest temperatures.
Our super thick, super warm socks keep feet cozy and comfortable all day long. These winter socks are designed specifically as boot socks with a little more room, like muck boots, winter boots and work boots. Ideal as fishing socks and hunting socks.
  • Comfort Control: Moisture-wicking for warm, dry feet that stay comfortable all day.
  • Movement Support: Interior cushioning for a soft, padded, even support that moves with you.
  • Warm Wear: Durable and designed to keep feet cozy in winter socks for low temperatures.
  • Hypoallergenic: Specialty yarn blend to keep sensitive skin happy and odor-free.
  • Fabric: 44% Alpaca, 44% Microfiber, 10% Nylon, 2% Lycra
  • Care: Machine Wash Warm - Gentle, Tumble Dry Low
"Got them. Love them. All Fly fisherman should know about these socks."  Jim L. 

Urbanite Alpaca Cozy Socks - with Video

Cozy comfort for the urban adventurer.
Kick back and relax in luxurious softness with our moisture wicking, breathable, alpaca soft socks. Wrap your feet in warm, fuzzy socks and walk on terry cushioning clouds for a comfortable fit all day long. Great lounging, house and office socks.
  • Comfort Control: Medium weight warm socks stay comfortable all day – even in leather shoes!
  • Stays Put: Generous cuff band keeps the sock in place all day long.
  • Easy Wear: Durable and wrinkle-resistant mens and women wool socks – made for busy people on-the-go.
  • Hypoallergenic: Specialty yarn blend to keep sensitive skin happy and odor-free in cozy socks.
  • Fabric: Alpaca 43%, Acrylic 43%, Elastic 14%
  • Care: Machine wash cold, lay flat to dry

Size Chart
Shoe SizeWomenMen

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Extra Cushion Alpaca Winter Boot Socks - with Video

The perfect partner in winter boot socks for your hiking boots or work boots, these cushioned mid-calf boot socks promise warmth and comfort during all your outdoor adventures. Make excellent hunting socks and fishing socks. Arch bands keep socks in place.

  • Comfort Control: Thick, warm socks with moisture-wicking comfort keep your feet dry all day.  Mid-calf height, stay in place while hiking (no sliding and bunching on your foot arch). Great women and mens boot socks.
  • Stays Put: Generous cuff band keeps the sock in place all day long. Excellent hunting socks.
  • Less Ouch: Padding clinically shown to reduce blisters, foot pain, pressures and odor.
  • Hypoallergenic: Specialty yarn blend to keep sensitive skin happy and odor-free.
  • Fabric: 46% Alpaca, 34% Acrylic, 15% Spandex, 5% Elastic
  • Care: Machine wash cold, Gentle, Tumble Dry Low or Line Dry 

Warm Arctic Over-the-Calf Alpaca Boot Socks - with Video

Luxurious warmth for cool temperatures.
Our tall cozy Arctic Winter Socks keep feet toasty all day and night. Treat your feet to the sumptuous experience and silky soft touch of alpaca in these women and mens boot socks.
  • Comfort Control: Moisture-wicking for warm, dry feet that stay comfortable in cold temperatures.  Heavy weight alpaca material cushions feet in boot socks to eliminate sweat, rubbing and blisters.
  • Stays Put: Generous cuff band keeps the sock in place all day long.
  • Warm Wear: Over-the-Calf tall socks designed to keep feet cozy in low temperatures.
  • Hypoallergenic: Specialty yarn blend to keep sensitive skin happy and odor-free.
  • Fabric: 60% Baby Alpaca, 40% Acrylic
  • Care: Machine Wash, Tumble Dry Low

Adventure Walking / Hiking Socks - Wicking, Breathing, Comfortable - with Video

Created with the multifaceted life of our modern wearers in mind, this go-anywhere crew sock is designed to get you to the office, couch, pavement or trail. Versatility is its middle name.

  • Comfort Control: Patented yarn construction and mesh instep panels keep your feet fresh, dry and breathing. Extra cushioned bottom with micro mesh vent panels on top of foot.
  • Stays Put: Double ankle compression bands keep the socks from slipping.
  • Versatile Wear: Conveniently soft double terry for the office, your work boots or lounging on the couch.
  • Hypoallergenic: Specialty yarn blend to keep sensitive skin happy and odor-free.
  • Fabric: 80% Alpaca Blend, 18% Nylon, 2% Lycra
  • Care: Machine Wash Cold, Tumble Dry Low

Extreme Warmth Winter Wind Stopper Hat - with Video

Extreme Warmth WindStopper Hat

The warmest hat you will ever wear – guaranteed.  
Whether you’re hitting the trails, the slopes, or the town, our WindStopper Winter Hats are built for keeping you cozy and warm when the temperatures drop. A great hat for men and women, the brimmed winter hat with ear flaps is versatile and comfortable.

Double layered, fully lined construction protects you from the fiercest cold while wicking away moisture and still allowing your skin to breathe. A WindPro Polar Fleece & Alpaca Hat, our Extreme Warmth Alpaca WindStopper Winter Hats are built to last and keep you warm for many years to come.
The hat brim protects your eyes from the sun without interfering with your peripheral vision and the protective neck cape provides the ability to guard the sides of your head, ears and neck from the elements when you need it most. If the weather warms, the brim and earflaps can both be folded up for full ventilation and more comfortable fit.
  • Comfort Control: Moisture-wicking, water-repellent and breathable for a warm, dry head that stays comfortable all day. These are the best women and mens winter hats available.
  • Perfect Fit: Bungee system and convertible visor and earflaps ensure the most custom, versatile fit.
  • Warm Wear: Durable and designed to easily transition from cool to extremely cold weather. An ideal hunter hat and fishing hat.
  • Hypoallergenic: Specialty dye-free, chemical-free alpacayarn to keep sensitive skin happy and odor-free.
  • Quality Guarantee: We guarantee this is the warmest winter hat you will ever own (applicable down to -20F) or your money back!
  • Fabric: 100% Alpaca exterior, PolarTec Wind Stopper 200 interior
  • Care: Hand wash, gentle soap. Lay flat to dry.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Alpacas Of Montana Open House - 5K attendees, 1 new baby and LOTS of snow

Each year we celebrate our alpaca farm by opening the gates to thousands of guests.  A free community event, each year creates new excitement, new events and new friends.  This year was no exception.  Enjoy this 4+ minute video about our particularly brisk weekend in October 2018.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Use alpaca dryer balls as an alternative to dryer sheets - See Video

By Jacob Stewart - College Avenue Magazine

If you find yourself rushing to Target on Sunday morning to grab a 25 count dryer sheet package which will eventually deteriorate your clothes away, there is a better alternative. Alpaca based dryer balls are a reusable, eco-sufficient solution which will save you the bi-monthly cost of dryer sheets.

Dryer sheets are specifically harmful to people with sensitive skin who often need hypoallergenic products. “[Dryer sheets] are often filled with harmful chemicals and perfumes that coat your clothing, eventually ending up on your skin,” 63-year-old alpaca ball designer, Tamara Curtis, said. Dyer balls can also be costly in the long term for a student on a budget.
Dryer balls are beneficial in a plethora of ways. They are known to decrease drying times by helping move clothes in the dryer faster and providing more air circulation, this ultimately saves money on utility bills. Similar to dryer sheets, dryer balls reduce static within clothes while still promoting fluffiness and soften clothing naturally. Dryer balls, typically, are made from local, ethically sourced alpaca which hold no harmful chemicals and hold benefits for those who are hypoallergenic.
“[Dryer balls] are recyclable, sustainable, and economic. One set can last you your entire life if you take care of them,” Colorado State University gap year student, Noah Basurto-Olsen, said.
As a tip, dryer balls can also be paired with 2 drops of your favorite essential oil to give your clothes a fresh, naturally scented boost. As we enter the flu season, 2 drops of the doTerra™ On-Guard oil will help boost your immune system and invigorate your body to fight against illness.
If the reusable and sustainable benefits do not sway you to change, the one-time cost is something to definitely take advantage of.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Mountain "Roughing It" in Crandall Creek Cabin

After a few misread directions, we arrived at Crandall Creek Cabin in the Crazy Mountains of Montana.  24 miles from the nearest small, western town, my sister, her 3 kids and I (and Cali the St. Bernard of course) were ready for some wilderness vacation. Our Spring outings usually involve backpacking into the depths of the forests, jumping across flowing creeks and climbing steep mountains with a twinge of regret. 
Carrying all the essentials

This time, we drove up to our sweet little forest service cabin with a suburban and 2 horse trailer containing all the essentials we could not live without for four days – bicycles, motor bikes, chairs, games and floating tubes. 

Happy Campers
We arrived in the early afternoon and just after unpacking our vehicle, the rains set in.  The weather altered into hail occasionally, but wet skies either way kept us inside for the evening.  This was a perfect excuse to begin our marathon of board and card games, learning new ones and slightly altering a few old time favorites.

The next morning was beautiful and we headed out on a trail for a few hours before wandering down to nearby Crandall Creek for fishing, floating and dosing.  The squeaky door was about as ambitious of a task as I was willing to take on and a few squirts of Pam cooking spray and I had my one and only accomplishment of the day.

The next day we found another trail and headed up an old logging road towards Target Rock.  I have never had a knack for flowers’ names and apparently that was the day everything was to change.
We identified 30 different mountain flowers and again, I felt like I had nothing more I wanted to do or offer myself once we got back to the cabin except S'mores, games of Sorry and cribbage.  

An occasional bike ride or walk down to the creek for more water were all the breaks I needed between the kids’ laughter, the mountain’s silence and songs in my head.

Such a beautiful, quiet, amazing place.  We’ll be back to explore more next year.  

Breakfast of champions!

Headed to the creek to keep the cooler in the cold mountain water

The girls doing a happy dance as they explore the cabin

Just a little fishing

All three headed down to the creek with the floating raft for shade

Our campfire ring looking North to Target Rock

Serious cribbage games first thing in the morning

Sunrise on the last morning

Heading Home.  Cali is wiped out...

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Swift Wicking Alpaca Walking & Running Socks - with Video

We now offer our Swift Wicking Alpaca Walking & Running Socks in XL size, which means we are able to give thousands of more movement enthusiasts a great walk, workout or day at the office.  While my legs have not run since the last day of high school gym class, these are a favorite when I hike, camp and go shopping downtown.  We guarantee they will be your favorite active socks.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Premature alpaca cria - get ready to be creative and act fast

Premature alpaca cria
By Linda Blake, Southern Alpacas Stud

Alpaca babies are lovely fluffy creatures, usually full of life and activity from birth. Occasionally one will be frail and flat - maybe because they are very small, or because they were premature, born before their due date, or dysmature, which is born on time but not yet ready for this world. These fragile cria need intensive care, to monitor their temperature and assist them feeding, if they are to survive.

Temperature regulation is essential.

Recently an early morning birther dropped her cria, five weeks early, and it did not move. It was only 10.5 lbs, which is regarded as below minimum survivable weight. It was so cold, that even after rubbing it dry in a heated barn; its rectal temperature did not register on the thermometer. Thermometers start at 89.6 degrees, so this cria was hypothermic, with his essential internal organs closing down.

Quick and decisive action was called for. We had just installed a spa pool, so I got into my bogs, put the cria into a large plastic bag to keep it dry, and together we had a warm spa! A helper held the top of the bag and kept the cria's head out of the water. The spa was at 96.8 degrees, and we had to get the cria to at least that temperature to fight the battle of survival.
Thirty minutes later and my deathly-still bundle of fluff began to move in my arms. He was christened "Maax", after the spa manufacturer, who later told us that it is recommended that pregnant women and children do not spent more than half an hour in a spa for precisely this reason, the rising of internal temperatures.

Frail, dysmature and premature cria cannot regulate their own temperature. Premature human babies are the same, and they have incubators to maintain a steady temperature. We have cria coats which we put on young cria when it is raining or cold. We also have a cria care area inside our barn, just big enough for a dam and her cria, and a human if necessary. Here we can keep them warm at night, dry during rain, and close for bonding together.
As well as keeping preemies warm, it is also important that they do not get too hot. A few days after his spa, Maax was lying stretched out in the hot summer sun, again very still. A check of the thermometer showed he was over 102.2 degrees, and the temperature was climbing into the fatal forties. We brought him inside to the air-conditioned office, where we could set the temperature lower for him. And it worked.

Assisting feeding
Fragile cria are often too weak and small to stand to feed from mom. Initially I give warm glucose water - two teaspoons of glucose dissolved in 60 mls of warm water. Glucose is absorbed as energy directly into the bloodstream, even if the gut is too tender to accept food. Glucose is the essential food for the brain to function effectively, to monitor and regulate all the processes in the body.
Cria also need colostrum to obtain the antibodies that will fight infection. The cria's stomach can only absorb this in the first 12-24 hours of life. It is in mum's first milk, and there are also artificial colostrum substitutes available.
Premature cria need feeding little and often - and for cria this means every two hours for the first day and night. After the first couple of days, if temperature is normal, and weight is being maintained, frail cria can be fed three-hourly for the next three days.

Bonding with mom
Usually we keep a mom and her cria together, as bonding between mom and cria is so important. For fragile cria, the interventions to regulate their temperature may mean taking a cria from its mom for a few hours.

The cria may then smell of humans. Avoid rubbing the cria's head or rump, near the tail, as the dam smells these areas to check that the cria is her own. Alpaca dams usually accept their babies back, unlike sheep, even after it has been handled by humans.

Watch warily
If you have a fragile cria, monitor it closely. Record all the interventions that you do, including how much it drinks. Note down what comes out the other end as well, as cria guts are the last organ to form, and may be tender or incomplete. Take its temperature regularly, remain vigilant, and take quick action.

The first week is the crucial time. If you can get a fragile cria to a week old, your chances improve that it will survive. Seeing the once fragile cria living out in the paddock, is ample reward for the all-consuming challenge of getting it up and going.