History of Socks


History of Socks

Socks are an important part of every person’s life. Traditionally socks have been worn as protective clothing for the feet and lower legs; however, they are also commonly worn for warmth and fashion. While socks were originally designed to protect feet and keep them warm, their use has now developed into different areas. Socks were born as a mechanism for foot moisture and sweat absorption.

For example, athletes wear compression socks during athletic competitions to help increase blood flow and reduce muscle fatigue. We know, many have the curiosity about the mysterious history of socks. Keep reading.

What is Socks

Socks is typically made from textile fibers such as cotton, nylon, or wool. They are a piece of clothing that you wear on your feet. Moreover, it helps you to protect your legs from rubbing and blisters; also, aid in temperature and moisture regulation. Socks do much more than just keeping your legs colorful.

They ensure that your shoes stay protected from bacteria that would otherwise infect your feet. However, the idea of socks started as shoes as the main focus of protecting the legs from possible harm. The shocks were common during the hot and cold seasons.

Who Invented Socks

Socks aren’t associated with a certain person as to having invented them. However, socks were first used in three regions that include Greece, Europe, and Rome.  The socks have certainly evolved over the years, making pinpointing one person as the inventor a little complex.

Scientists and archeologists speculate that socks-like clothing came into existence about the year 5000 BC cave paintings and archeological finds. So questions like did cavemen wear socks? Or, who first invented socks? The answer is, Cavemen were the first to wear socks.

When was Socks Invented?

Socks were invented about the year 5000 BC, during the old ages before men thought of giving them a name like socks.

However, they inform by then, socks were made using animal skins that are bound to decompose. Therefore, it is almost impossible to show any compelling evidence of what would have remained. According to Wikipedia, socks were initially called stockings, but the name sock was first recorded in 1690.

The stockings (As they were initially called) were first previously mentioned in the 8th century by a Greek poet, Hesiod. The poet mentioned “Piloi” which meant some foot covering that was worn under the sandals. The Greek piloi was made of animal hair and skin.

To the Romans, the concept of socks existed in the 2nd century. However, the Romans used to wrap straps around their feet. However, the idea became more familiar to the modern socks made of fabric which they named Udones.

Early Europe unveiled the concept of socks in the 5th century but was more associated with the church than the common people. The European type of socks was called Puttees and symbolized some form of holiness or purity.

Why Were Socks Invented?

Socks were invented to protect the legs. The main reason that man invented the shoes was to ensure that their legs are protected from the harsh environment. However, in the middle ages, the man continued using socks as a show of fashion and consciousness to design.

In the modern world now, wearing socks has no aspect of fashion in it. In fact, not wearing socks looks more fashionable. Also, in the modern world, socks are worn for different reasons that include health and sports. Industries are also using adverse technologies when making socks to ensure that they don’t end up causing adverse effects.

Socks History – Early Stages

Socks were invented during the old ages before men thought of giving them a name like socks. However, the idea of socks started as shoes as the main focus of protecting the legs from possible harm. The shocks were common during the hot and cold seasons.

Scientists and archeologists speculate that socks-like clothing came into existence about the year 5000 BC.  However, during those years, socks were made using animal skins that are bound to decompose. Therefore, it’s almost impossible to show any compelling evidence of what would have remained. 

According to Wikipedia, socks were initially called stockings, but the term “sock” was first recorded in 1690. The stockings (As people initially referred to them) were first previously mentioned in the 8th century by a Greek poet, Hesiod. The poet mentioned “Piloi” which meant a foot covering the Greeks used to wear under the sandals. The Greek piloi was made of animal hair and skin.

To the Romans, the concept of socks existed in the 2nd century. However, the Romans used to wrap straps around their feet. However, the idea became more familiar to the modern socks made of fabric which they named Udones

Early Europe unveiled the concept of socks in the 5th century but was more associated with the church than the common people. The European type of socks was called Puttees and symbolized some form of holiness or purity. 

Socks History- Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages, wearing socks wasn’t for the sake of leg protection but luxury. The middle ages represent the ages between the 9th century and 17th century. The socks seemed longer, and that determined the cost. 

During these years, rubber bands or elastic materials weren’t very common, and therefore, humans used garters to hold the socks up the knee during those years. During these years, the socks became a close companion of the trousers and shorts. The length of the socks varied depending on the length of the trousers or shorts. 

Like other items of clothing, socks were also monitored on how you wear them in certain areas. Britain was particularly very strict as it was then under the governance of a king. For example, London had a police department that was strictly specialized in monitoring how people wore socks. Also, in 1589, William Lee designed a knitting machine that would make stockings and socks. The machine didn’t garner a good endorsement from the queen of England as she claimed it made rough socks and stockings.

However, the king of France, Henry IV, seized the chance and financed William. Courtesy of the invention, France turned out to be the greatest manufacturer of socks and stockings in Europe. William’s invention used silk and wool, with the latter being worn by the nobles.

Socks History- Modern Socks

Everything changed during the industrial revolution in Britain, and the previous clothing once worn by nobles became everyone’s.  The industrial revolution in the 18th and 19th centuries brought about the large-scale manufacturing of socks. 

One thing that lowered the cost is the invention of machines in Britain by William Lee in 1589. This meant that Europe could produce more to quench the thirst in the market. The market did not have to rely on France. 

Secondly, polyethylene was invented, which was blended with cotton to ensure the socks are durable and colorful. Since cotton and polyethylene were easy to manufacture compared to wool, the socks ended up becoming cheaper. 

Socks also protect your shoes from having a bad odor. And, we know how a bad odor can cause shame, especially in case you put off the shoes in public. A lot has changed ever since, like the reason why people wear socks.

It is no longer mainly because of fashion nowadays, but other factors factor in. Some of the reasons include health and sports. Additionally, there has been an evolution in the designs and the height of socks. 

Conclusion

Most people can be quick to ignore the history of socks. However, it is said that information is power, and learning the bit of history of where you come from is important. In case you’ve never thought of why they came to exist in the first place, this article has it all.

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