You probably didn’t give the socks on your feet a second look today as you were heading out the door.
Believe it or not, socks play an important role in our daily life.
More than we know - they protect your feet from friction while walking and fight off bacteria-induced odours.
Today, we’re going to go over a few random sock facts that will surely knock your socks off.
1. Who Invented Socks?
#1 Who Invented Socks?
While the earliest documented use of socks was from 4-5AD in Egypt, some believe that socks were used even earlier than that by Arabian nomads.
The prototype of socks was believed to be made by Arabian nomads around 2-3BC.
The nomadic lifestyle meant regularly moving to and from long distances.
The rocky area that made up most of Arabia became extremely hot due to the scorching heat, socks protected the feet against extreme climates.
Sock culture developed because there was a need to protect the feet from dessert sands and pebbles.
#2 The Oldest Socks in the World are 1,700 Years Old
The earliest recorded of socks were found in Egypt from around the 4th and 5th centuries.
Socks created with many different types of textiles were found during the archeological excavation of tombs.
These still exist today and can be viewed at the Leicester Museum of Art and the Victoria Albert Museum in London.
#3 Ancient Greeks Used Animal Hair to Make Socks
Socks made by the Ancient Greeks were made from matted animal hair.
This ancient version of the modern day sock was called a “piloi”
#4 Socks Were a Status Symbol
By the 10th century, socks evolved from a functional item to a symbol of status and wealth.
This is because socks were timely and costly to make.
Only the rich and the noble could afford them.
#5 People Used to Wear Socks With Sandals in Rome
Evidence from an archaeological dig shows that it was possible that ancient Romans wore socks with their sandals.
A sandal was recovered from an excavation that turned up with fibres attached, which could hint at the fact that a sock-like garment was worn with sandals.
#6 The Origin of the Word “Sock"
The origin of the modern-English word “sock” is derived from the Latin word “soccus”, which was used to describe a light slippered shoe worn by comic actors.
This was derived from the Ancient Greek work “sykchos”.
#7 The Knitting Loom Was Invented in 1589
The knitting loom was invented by Reverend William Lee in 1589 in an era where hand-knitting was gaining popularity.
He decided to mechanize this labour-intensive work because he wanted to make his wife’s job easier as he saw her slave away everyday grinding and knitting.
#8 Queen Elizabeth Didn't Like Machine-Made Socks
Queen Elizabeth famously stated, “I have too much love for my poor people who obtain their bread by the employment of knitting to give my money to forward an invention that will tend to their ruin by depriving them of employment and thus making them beggars.”
#9 The Key Function of Socks is to Protect Against Wounds
Unlike our ancient ancestors, we don’t have to trudge through sharp sand, pebbles, or scorching rocks in our bare feet.
But, have you ever stepped on a piece of lego at home? Ouch!
If you weren’t wearing a sock, the reminder of that painful sharp jab would probably make you yell at your kids to do a better job of cleaning up their toys.
#10 Why Should Socks Be Inside Your Shoes at All Times?
Socks can help fight off odour.
Depending on the fibre of the sock, some socks have strong moisture-wicking capacity and can pull sweat and moisture away from the skin and into the exterior of the fabric making it easier to evaporate.
The antimicrobial properties of certain fabrics in socks can also help fight off foul smells.
#11 Socks Can Be Made out of Many Different Materials
There are many different types of yarns available to make socks. But we will be discussing the most common 4 types as they make up 90% of the socks manufactured around the world.
Cotton is a lightweight and breathable material, making it one of the most commonly-used fibres for manufacturing socks.
However, it is very absorbent and will trap moisture easily, making it a less than ideal choice for sports.
Polyester is a synthetic material that is warm and soft. It is arguably more durable than natural fibres, which makes this material another excellent choice.
Wool is a great insulator. Socks made from wool are extremely warm, which makes it the perfect option for colder climates.
Nylon is a versatile material. While alone, nylon socks are water-resistant and not breathable, it is usually added to other fibres in blends. By adding in nylon fibres, the new blend will become stretchy and more durable.
#12 What Are Bamboo Socks?
Bamboo socks are breathable socks that can keep your feet dry.
Bamboo socks are made from extracting and steaming the softer components of the bamboo tree, such as bamboo leaves and the inner pith.
#13 The Life Expectancy of a Pair of Socks is 4 Years
Like all things, socks have a life expectancy.
Depending on the material, frequency of usage, and what you’re using them for, socks can actually live up to 4 years!
If you are like me, guilty of not taking good care of your socks (ex. losing them, causing holes to form in them), your socks probably end up in the trash can a lot earlier than 4 years.
So, how do you stretch out the lifespan of your sock to 4 years?
Here are a few tips:
- Wash your socks inside out. This will ensure you clean the inside of your sock which is probably accumulated with sweat and skin.
- Wash your socks with cold water only.
- When you can, hang your socks to dry rather than using the dryer. The intense heat from the dryer can be very damaging for your socks. If you must use a dryer, opt for low heat.
#14 Sleeping With Socks On Can Be Bad For Your Circulation
If your socks are too tight, it can be bad for blood circulation.
A pair of restrictive socks can actually reduce the flow of blood.
#15 What City Produces the Most Amount of Socks?
As the sock capital of the world, China is responsible for the socks on a third of the world’s population.
In China, sock-production is centralized in the town of Datang in the Zhejiang province, which produces 70% of the socks made in China.
#16 Origin of the Christmas Stocking
Do you know why we hang our Christmas stockings for Santa to put presents in?
The legend goes a little something like this...
St. Nicholas slid down the chimney of a home of a recently widowed father with three daughters.
He filled the girls’ recently laundered stockings, which happened to be hanging by the fireplace, with gold.
And then he disappeared.
#17 Albert Einstein Hated Socks
Einstein had a known dislike for socks.
He stopped wearing socks because he complained that his big toe would always poke out of his socks.
#18 December 4 is National Sock Day
Sock day celebrates matched socks and how after so many cycles in the washer and the dryer, they’re still able to find each other.
#19 May 8 is Official No Socks Day
Time to take your sandals and flip flops from underneath the shoe closet.
Go sockless and feel the fresh sand and grass of the upcoming summer time in your toes.
#20 November 12 is Odd Sock Day
Wear a pair of mismatched socks to showcase your individuality.
This day celebrates the uniqueness of each person as an individual through mismatched socks.
#21 What Are No Show Socks?
Like the name suggests, no-show socks are low-cut socks that fit just above the heel collar. They’re also called sock liners or invisible socks.
They act as a protective layer between your feet and the inside of your shoe.
Their moisture-wicking property will also help pull sweat and moisture away from the skin and into the exterior of the fabric making it easier to evaporate.
Which one was your favourite random sock fact?
Let us know in the comments below!