Sock it up!
Did you know there’s a town in China named Datang that produces 8 billion pairs of socks per year? And why not! Socks protect you from the cold. It protects you from sweat on a hot day. It can be worn with shoes or even without. This is one garment that even the stone age man used. If you’re one of those, who don’t give much thought to what kind of socks you’ll wear with your ensemble, you’ll be surprised to know that they have been a symbol of modernity and style even before your great-great grandfather’s time.
In the Stone Age, socks were made of animal skin that were wrapped tightly around the ankles. By 8th century, the Greeks wore socks made of matted animal hair, and called it “piloi”. By 2nd Century AD, the Romans wore “udones”, slips of leather or woven fabric that were pulled over the foot. Egyptians were the first
to modernize socks. The earliest known “knit socks” were invented by them, and by the looks of it, it probably originated around the 3rd to 6th centuries.
The socks, woven and knit, and made from wool or silk, reached Europe by 1000 AD, and were a sign of nobility. Known as “leggings”, the feet part was added in the 12th century. By the 16th century socks became tighter and more fitting thanks to the invention of knitting machine. They became more accessible and started coming in various designs and patterns. Tighter weaves gave rise to the one-piece style that extended to the crotch. Popularly known as “stockings” they were originally worn just by men. Portraits of Henry VIII
are seen flaunting these stockings .
Gradually, the length of the socks started evolving with the time’s fashion. There was more to the style than just colors and decorations. The design varied from country to country. Men from Switzerland and Germany wore socks with slashes to reveal their brightly colored hose, while men from Spain wore brightly colored stockings made of silk. Late 17th century saw the onset of cotton socks.
Socks evolved further with the invention of nylon in 1938. Its strength and elasticity helped manufacturing of very durable socks. Today, socks made of cotton, wool, nylon, polyester, among others, make up various styles to match the ensemble. Find your perfect pair of socks at beverlyheels.com.