The history of Socks

Whether they’re covered in plain color, polka dots, stripes, superheroes, animals and robots, socks have indeed evolved over the centuries.  The foot is considered among the heaviest producer of sweat in the body, and socks help in absorbing the sweat and keeping the foot clean and healthy.


Socks have been used to keep feet warm for millennia. In 8th century, the ancient Greeks wore socks called ‘piloi’ which were made from animal skin and matted animal hairs. In middle ages, the socks were made only to cover the lower part of the leg. The invention of knitting machine in 1589 helped in production of socks faster and more efficient than done by hand. After the industrial revolution, socks became the mass market goods.

Socks in modern age

People started using socks extensively after the industrial revolution which resulted in low prices of wool. Today, ‘sockscription’ an online delivery service was started by Samy leichti and Marcel Roth, founders of Black socks. This socks delivery service delivered socks at the doorstep of the client saving their time as well as money.

Why is it called a sock?

The word sock is derived from an ancient Greek word sykkhos which means ‘light shoe’ that could be worn with sandals.  Some theories also suggest that the sock was derived from a Latin word soccus which meant lose fitting slipper.The oldest known socks were found in Egypt which is said to be 400 years old! they have ‘toes’ so they can be easily worn with sandals.

Material used in making of Socks

Natural fiber is the best material for socks such as bamboo, cotton, silk, and wool. However socks can also be made other materials including nylon, polyester, elastane and lycra.  However the most preferred fabric for socks is the cotton. Cotton is not only durable, but it is soft, comfortable and absorbs sweat, can’t stretch and as a result socks made from pure cotton are of exact size.

Where are socks made?

According to Wikipedia, the district of Datang in Zhejiang Province, People’s Republic of China, has become known as Sock City. The town currently produces 8 billion pairs each year. It is responsible for approximately 40% of global sock production.

What are the different kinds of socks?

There are 7 different kinds of socks according to length for both men as well as women:

Ankle length socks

Quarter length socks

Crew length socks

Thigh high socks

Knee length socks

Mid-calf length socks

Calf length socks

Things you never knew about socks!

Albert Einstein never wore socks, annoyed by the holes made by his big toes

The wives of Windsor is the only Shakespeare play that mentions socks

The design on the side or ankle of a sock is known as a clock.

The Sultan of Brunei owns the largest sock drawer in the world. His drawer is spread over three stories of his mansion and has thirty people employed to look after it!