Let’s Talk About Socks Baby!

Let’s Talk About Socks Baby!

Yes socks

What a weird topic, right?

As I was folding laundry this morning, I thought about the different ways that we like our socks folded and put away, then I began to think about the invention of socks, the types of socks, and of course, if you know me by now, the rest is soon to follow.



So here we are….

Sock history

Dating back to the ancient Greeks, 8th century BC, where the “socks” were actually called “piloi”. These were made of matted animal hair. The first knitted-like socks were found in Egyptian graves and date back to 500 AD. In 1500 BC knitted socks were officially invented in Juland.

Then come the middle-ages, socks are growing, in length and popularity. They did not have elastic bands and were hard to keep up; thus, garters were placed to hold them up as the pants became shorter.

Woven socks and knit socks, by the year 1,000, became an actual status symbol for Europe’s elite and nobleman. These socks were woven and knitted. Onward to the 15th century, where the Italian and French decide on hand-knitted fine silk stockings. These were most fashionable to them. Soon to become one garment, therefore bringing on the name “tights”.


These “tights” or “leggings”, came in a variety of colors and materials, such as velvet, wool, and silk.

The 16th century would bring new changes, regulations, laws! The City of London in 1566 employed surveillance techniques to ensure that all were wearing the proper “socks” in the capital. This enforcement was maintained by the “sock police”. At the gates of London, four people were positioned, twice a day to check the legs of those leaving or entering for improper hosiery. Now the punishment or breaking the “sock rules”, I am not sure of.

William Lee was an English clergyman and in 1589, he invented the first knitting machine. He very much wanted his machine approved and patented by Queen Elizabeth 1. He made numerous attempts for her approval by sending her socks, knitted with his machine, in various wool consistencies. She refused to patent his machine. Stating it would put the knitters out of business.

It wasn’t until France’s King Henri IV provided support and offered financial backing to William Lee based on the opportunity that he saw and the potential in the machine. William Lee then moved to Rouen, where he was able to build a stocking factory and supply socks throughout Europe. The socks deferred based on your status. The lower class wore wool socks, while the upper class wore silk stocking made of colored silk.

Cotton became popular in the latter part of the 17th century. Nylon in 1938. Blending both nylon and cotton, given the elasticity and flexibility of the socks. In later years elastane was added.

Socks come in a wide variety. There are bobby socks, toe socks, dress socks, ankle low, low cut, crew, knee-high, tube socks, tights, stockings, hosiery.

 Socks come in many designs, from stripes, different colors, patterns, shapes on them, etc.

There are sports socks too.

Socks are also a great gift, there are “sock boxes” that one can join, these are “monthly subscriptions”, which send different socks each month.

Do socks really serve a purpose?

Why yes, they do. Several in fact. Over many years, socks have kept the feet warm, kept the feet free from damage of the elements, as time evolved and the invention of shoes came along, the socks became a barrier between the feet and the shoes to prevent moisture and bacteria build-up.

Although Albert Einstein decided at a very young age, he was not going to wear socks, apparently, that did not stop him from being a genius. He claimed that socks did not accommodate his lengthy big toe, herefore always putting a hole in his socks.

Personally, I love comfy, thick, fluffy socks in the wintertime. My feet stay very cold. In the summertime, I would rather have something a little thinner. My favorite socks are the “Columbia” brand (not affiliated).

There you have it, a brief sock history.

Some fun facts in case you didn’t know!

Thanks for reading. Please share or comment!

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