Underrated Fiber Series: Bison Wool

In our underrated fiber series, we will be featuring products made with wool from alpacas, llamas, vicunas, bison, musk oxen, and yaks.

Let’s start this series off by looking at Bison wool, which is harvested from buffalo in Colorado and South Dakota each spring, when the animals shed their fur.

Bisons were almost driven to extinction, but today they are making a modest comeback, with several ranches raising Bison for their meat, and a few ranches harvesting their fiber as well.

Bison down is a very warm, insulating fiber. It is also very durable for such a soft fiber. It has a moisture regain of about 30%, compared to 18% for sheep’s wool — this means that even when saturated, the fiber draws moisture away from one’s skin.

Bison Wool Summary

A short and quite fine fiber that offers unusual durability for its level of softness.

Bison Wool Socks

  • 90% Bison Wool Boot Socks by Buffalo Wool Company — highest percentage of bison wool in a boot sock — $54
  • 50% Bison and 50% Merino Crew Socks by Buffalo Wool Company — a very warm sock and with a good tight weave — $42
  • 45% Bison Down Socks by Fox River — 45% Bison, 20% Silk, 20% Cashmere, 15% Tencel — one of my favorite socks — ultralight and very warm — will start to wear after a year or two — $43

Bison Wool Scarves

Bison Wool Gloves

  • 90% Bison Down Gloves by Buffalo Wool Co. — 90% Bison Down, 10% Nylon — the bison wool makes this glove particularly warm  — $98

Bison Wool Beanies

Bison Wool Sweaters

You can read more about Bison wool the Fleece & Fiber Sourcebook, a great reference on specialty animal fibers.

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