Socks! Since when do people wear them? It seems to be a very long time ago. History demonstrates that what we may jokingly refer to as "foot bags" have existed much longer than the internet, television, radio, vehicle, and a host of other modern conveniences.
You will discover much more about the history of socks in the next few minutes than you ever thought imaginable. And even though there's a history lesson hidden somewhere in here, we'll try to make the history of socks as entertaining and as much fun as can be.
Who Invented Socks?
Socks have a somewhat convoluted past. Depending on the period they belonged to, they had different uses and were produced in different ways. Despite having its origins in Ancient Greece, sock trends have endured the test of time and have been worn throughout numerous eras. We did our best to present a timeline of the history of socks based on an in-depth study, but the topic of who invented socks is a tricky one.
- 600 B.C. : Socks with felted fur. Ancient Greeks used "piloi," a type of sock composed of matted animal fur that is probably comparable to felt. The Greek word for felt is "pilos," which is piloi's singular form. The sole function of socks, according to the Greeks, was to keep one's feet warm and to line leather shoes for added comfort.
- In 500 B.C. : According to the Greek poet Hesoid's famous poem, Works and Days, he mentioned that "Around your feet, tie your sandals made from oxen skin and, and dress them in piloi under them."
- 300 A.D. : Egyptian hosiery. Socks and other materials were made using a process known as nålebinding. This technique, which is comparable to knitting but takes more time, was employed to create a pair of vivid cute socks that were found in a burial place on the Nile and are now on exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Even while they might not be exactly like the wacky socks we have today, at least they are a striking colour!
When Were Socks Invented?
Nobody was surprised to learn that the first pair of cute socks produced by ancient civilisations had little in common with modern socks. They were very different from the cosy cotton socks we're used to wearing in terms of fabrics, fit, and even the skin they covered. So when did socks come into existence? Their origins are in Greece, which is also the home of democracy and philosophy (the Ancient Greeks were some pretty intelligent individuals).
Why Were Socks Invented?
Not surprisingly, the original purpose of socks was to keep people's feet warm. The function of socks changed as the method of production and the materials used varied. Socks have changed from being a foot protection item to a status symbol worn only by royalty to an essential daily wear accessory. What made socks necessary? No matter how many types of socks there are, each has its own significance.
The original purpose of cute socks was to protect people's health. In reaction to premature mortality rates, people realized that their feet required some form of clothing to guarantee that individuals stayed cozy and secure in whatever season.
Peasants had to shield their feet from the weather, including snow and rain, because they were frequently laboring outside. Since interior heating had not yet been developed, individuals had to wear socks indoors as well, to keep their feet warm. And in the winter, socks were essential for preventing frostbite on the feet. Back then, without modern medicine, frostbite might potentially result in death. Thus, it was crucial to sew up sock holes!
- Fashion Statement
In the Middle Ages, sock trends evolved. Now, the socks were no longer worn for mere comfort but as a fashion statement. The fashion trend, which we at SoxyToes support, was bright coloured socks. Socks used to go as high as covering the person's knee back then, rather than ending at the ankle, as pants were shorter.
- Status Symbol
The cost of these bright coloured knee-high cute socks went up as their popularity increased. Because these socks were so expensive, only noble families could afford to wear them. When someone was observed wearing such socks, the upper class was immediately thought of.
Additionally, the sock’s material served as a representation of the wearer's riches. Woolen socks were connected with the poorer classes, whereas silk socks were a sign of prosperity. Peasants mostly wore wool socks since they were inexpensive to purchase, and kept their feet warm. Only aristocrats and other families with considerable money to spend wore the more expensive silk socks.
Thank goodness socks are no longer a luxury item available only to the wealthy. Anywhere, including online, you can find the perfect pair if you need one. Talk about the passage of time and progress.
Visit SoxyToes to see what we have to offer and to be amazed at how far the humble socks have come. Explore a wide range of fun, quirky, and designer socks that compliment your style and make you stand out from the crowd.