Have you ever wondered...
- The first time socks were worn?
- The meaning behind the phrase "put a sock in it"?
- What people mean when they say "sock it to me"?
Well in this blog, we will talk about the answers to all these questions and more!
The History of Socks
One important thing to note: the first recorded instance of socks is actually in China. The earliest depiction of a sock-like item was around 5500 BC. These woolen socks were made for the ruling classes in China, as it was very expensive to have such an item due to sheep being hard to rear. In fact, it was so expensive that people would only wear them during special occasions such as religious ceremonies or holidays, but usually not daily. In the year 1200 BC, a pair of woolen socks was found inside an Egyptian tomb. During this time period, Egyptians used woolen socks to preserve their feet during the funeral process.
In the 1500's, socks were first used by Europeans. The word "sock" actually comes from the Old English word "socc". Middle-eastern travelers began bringing socks home with them. These socks were woven in various patterns, and they were very expensive as sheep could only be reared in small numbers. Nevertheless, this only increased their demand and popularity as people liked to wear them to show off their wealth. People would even wear two or three pairs of socks at a time in order to make their feet appear larger.
During the 16th century, stockings started to become more popular than socks due to the emerging popularity of shoes. It was not until the 18th century that socks became a more popular item for people to use again. This was probably because shoes at this time had become less common than before as they were expensive and very uncomfortable as well.
In 1764, the first patent was granted to Francis Burdett for his "sockpuppet" invention. This invention was made of real leather, and it could be worn inside or outside the shoes. Until this time, socks were only made out of one piece of cloth which would then be sewn together and dried in a specific way. This method would make the socks more durable, and it would also make them less prone to tearing.
Types of Socks
When considering the types of socks that are available, there are two main categories that divide sock styles. These categories include seamless or fully fashioned socks. Seamless or fully fashioned socks are the most common types of socks that you will see on a daily basis. For example, regular athletic socks are usually made in this way. There are various types of seamless styles, including the classic crew sock, ankle sock and caped socks. Caped socks are seen more often these days. The caped socks have loose cuffs at the end of the sock which come together to form a little peeking hole for the wearer's ankle.
The other category is fully fashioned, or "upper-fitted" socks. These types of socks are designed to fit around your calf, instead of your whole foot and shin area as in the seamless style. These types of socks usually have a 3-4 inch rib cuff above the ankle. Fully fashioned socks are often made from a blend of several different types of fibers. They are hard to find, but many people consider them to be more comfortable than seamless socks as they still provide comfort and cushioning, but with more elasticity in the fabric.
Here are some other different facts about the amazing best friend of our feet:
- On average, you lose 7-10 pounds of skin every year due to the constant growth and shedding of your skin cells. This is also known as "shedding season".
- The word "sock" comes from the Old English word "socc". This word means that the sock was worn to protect one's foot.
- In addition to being worn as part of formal wear, socks were also used to keep feet warm during colder months.
- There are less than 10,000 languages in the world. But only about half of these languages have a word for socks. Yet in most of these languages, socks are gender specific.
- Before the 1700's, socks were only worn by European Royalty.
- In the USA, 73% of girls wear socks to bed compared to only 55% of boys.
- Socks were not invented until the year 1764.
- One of the biggest selling brands of socks in the world is Luxtreme by Columbia.
- Only four pairs of socks are made every second in the whole world. Sadly, this number is down from 6 pairs a second 10 years ago.
- The largest manufacturer of socks in the world is Kimberly-Clark Corporation, who sells over 11 billion pairs each year.
There you have it! These were some of the facts that most people don't know about the clothing item that they wear everyday of their lives.
Hope you liked it. See you on the next one!