The soft down hair of New Zealand red deer is being used to make the world's most expensive socks, costing a staggering $1600 a pair.
Luxury shoemaker and accessories house Harrys of London has just launched what it is calling, 'The most exclusive sock in the world'.
The Italian-made charcoal grey knee-high high-end hosiery is 100 per cent made from Cervelt - the down fibre of the New Zealand red deer.
"The handwork, dying and weaving of this very special material is highly unusual and requires the highest attention to craftsmanship," boasts Harrys of London, which has stores in the UK, UAE, Kuwait, and Japan.
Cervelt is known as the "diamond of clothing fibres", the retailer says.
Only 20 grams of fibre can be collected from each red deer every year.
Its unique qualities and rarity make it the most sought after and highest quality natural fibre in the world.
Harrys claim it is lighter and softer than cashmere, as well as being resilient to creasing.
New Zealand red deer were gifted to Otago by the Earl of Dalhousie in 1870 from his estate of Invermark, Scotland.
"The animals of the Otago red deer herd are perhaps the only surviving gene pool of pure stock of this subspecies, cervus elaphus scoticus in the world," the retailer says on its website (www.harrysoflondon.com).
"The New Zealand red deer roam across acres of alpine scrub and tussock. Their environment of lower dense rain forests are subject to extreme temperatures.
"To protect them from the cold and wet, the deer produce a soft layer of down underneath their coarse outer coat."
The limited edition of 100 pairs are being sold at Harrys of London stores and online at US$1442 (NZ$1687) each.