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Now that it is officially autumn, I’m picking back up on a hosiery series I began earlier in the year that focusses on natural and sustainable fibres. I’ve already covered silk and bamboo, and today I’m turning my attention to cotton.
Cotton can be a wonderful hosiery option for a few reasons. It’s soft, it’s durable, and it lets your skin breathe, which may be the difference between your thick winter tights feeling comfortably warm and unpleasantly sweaty. It’s also hypoallergenic, meaning it’s less likely to irritate sensitive skin than synthetic legwear. Plus, it’s both relatively easy to find – at least online – and usually quite inexpensive, although the price does of course depend on which other fibres it’s mixed with. (Side note: none of the items I’ve found are 100% cotton – at minimum, a little elastane is needed for a good fit).
As for its downsides, one is that cotton isn’t suited to making sheer hosiery – silk is your only real option for that, if you’re looking for an alternative to the standard nylon. There’s also the fact that you’re mostly limited to tights, although I did find a small handful of stockings and hold-ups which are included below. And if you’re interested in cotton hosiery from a sustainability perspective, that’s a bit of a grey area. Yes, it’s a natural, biodegradable fibre, but cotton production usually causes significant harm to the environment in terms of both water consumption and chemical pollution. The Green Fibres and Swedish Stockings tights below are made from eco-friendly organic cotton, if that’s something that matters to you.
Want to give cotton hosiery a go? Then let’s get onto the fun part – where to find it! Below I’ve rounded up 20 items, organised from highest to lowest cotton content. Note that many of these products are available in multiple colours.
Are you a fan of cotton in your legwear? If you prefer it over other hosiery fibres, what’s the reason?