It's All About The Socks!
Each morning we all do it. We walk over to our dresser, pull out a pair of socks, and put them on. But what do we really know about socks? Where did they come from, and when did people start performing this daily ritual? It’s not as obvious as you might think. Let’s get into it!
Believe it or not, socks are a relatively new invention. As we know, the sock is really an accessory to the shoe and it wasn’t until humans started forming farming communities about 10,000 years ago that we even have evidence of something like a sandal being worn. Before that, people were strictly barefoot. So we were slow learners at the beginning.
After the advent of the sandal, it was at least 2 thousand years later that the ancient Greeks started wrapping their feet in animal furs. Can you imagine having to wake up every morning and take the time to carefully wrap furs all around your feet?
Luckily, the Romans, when they saw what the Greeks were doing found a much smarter way to the same end; they simply sewed skins together in the shape of a foot. This was also a bit of a pain because skins do not stretch, so socks had to be tailor made for each foot. This must have made socks for growing children a real ordeal! Hand me down socks?
About a hundred years later in the 3rd century, weavers in the Middle East invented something called knitting. Knitted items started making their way to Europe, and because of the elasticity inherent to this form of cloth-making it was immediately employed as the de facto method of making socks. The basic design has not really changed since then.
So there you have it, the long journey humans took to figuring out how to keep their feet warm by a convenient method was finally over. It’s been all comfort and luxury since.
- The word sock comes from an Old English word ‘Socc’, which in turn comes from the Latin word ‘soccus’ which means, ‘a light foot covering.’
- The city of Datang in China is known as ‘sock city.’ The produce more than 8 BILLION pairs of socks a year!
- The most expensive retail socks you can buy in the world are sold by a German knittery and cost a whopping $1,188 a pair!
- The small design on the side part of a sock is commonly called a ‘clock.’
Cotton socks almost always contain about 5% of elastane or spandex. This is to stretch and fit the individual foot better because cotton doesn’t stretch
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