13 Surprising Facts about Socks, Stockings, and Hose

We often take socks, stockings, and pantyhose for granted. Rarely do we think about their history or even innovation. Who was the inventor of socks and what was on his mind when he created these nice garments? Here are some interesting things about socks, hose, and stockings.

1.There is a sock city in China

There is a town in China that is famously known as ‘Sock City’. Datang (the original name) is the leading producer of socks in the world. Datang can supply the world population with two pairs of socks per person. If you want to own a pair of custom socks, check out customweekend The company offers Custom weekend deals in custom design socks. You can order socks for your pet or send a picture and they will print it. Surprise your loved one with a pair of custom-made socks or stockings by ordering from the custom weekend.

2.Earlier socks had split toes

The earliest pair of socks in records dates back to about 1600 years ago. The discovery took place at the end of the 19th century. The socks were excavated from the burial site of ancient Oxyrhynchus(an old Greek colony) on the Nile River in central Egypt. The woolen pair of socks were red and had a unique style – they had split toes. This may suggest that people wore socks with sandals.

3.Earlier people may have worn socks with sandals

While this is a fashion flux of the modern times, historically, socks were worn with sandals. The early socks discovered in Egypt had split toe, which implies they were probably worn with sandals. Away from Egypt, the Romans too may have committed this fashion flux. Researchers at the archeological excavation site in Yorkshire discovered a rusty nail from a Roman sandal. The rusty nail had some fiber materials which suggests a kind of socks garment was worn with sandals.

4.The design on the side of the sock is called a clock

Probably, there is no relation to time, but the side of the sock (which may contain decorative patterns that run up the side of the socks) is called a clock. The term remains in use since the 16th century; however, the origin is still unclear.

5.Cavemen are probably the first people to wear socks

Historians believe cave dwellers are the early humans to wear socks. The socks were in the form of animal skin that they wrapped around their legs. They used the animal skin to provide extra warmth for the feet.

6.Socks are not popular in some areas

Socks are almost everywhere across the globe. However, some parts of the world prefer foot cloths rather than socks. A foot cloth is a kind of fabric wrapped around the foot and leg to protect against long and bulky boots. Until 2013, Russian soldiers wore portyanki – a foot cloth. However, some soldiers still believe that cotton portyanki is more comfortable and fits with boots better than socks do. The material also dries quicker than socks.

7. Albert Einstein did not wear socks

Well, Einstein had a dislike for socks. He hardly wore socks even for official occasions – Albert Einstein did now wear socks when he was accepting the Nobel Prize. Einstein saw no logic in wearing socks and shoes at the same time, especially because the socks will eventually get torn patches.

8.Only the wealthy wore nice socks

The significance of socks is to protect the feet from elements and absorb sweat from the feet. However, around 1000 CE, people wore socks not just to protect the feet but as a symbol of fashion. At the time, the process of making nice, comfortable socks was complicated and time-consuming. Therefore, only the wealthy could afford such luxurious socks. Kings and other noble people work knee-high stockings as an expression of class and financial status. The silkier materials reflected a more affluent status.

9.There is an etiquette for sock colors

The traditional sock etiquette guide spells out that sock color should match that of the shoes and trousers or one of them. The socks should be at least a shade darker than the color of the trousers and a shade lighter than the color of the shoes. The rule makes one look sharp and is always proper for business settings. However, those who feel more adventurous in their dressing can try colored socks that do not match the trousers.

10.The 20th century saw the evolution of socks and stockings

Before the 20th-century, stockings went up to knee length. As men’s trousers increased in length, the long leg covering became unnecessary. Socks thus began to reduce in size. Women needed stockings to keep warm and stay modest when wearing short dresses. Socks became popular with men who left stockings for women.

11.The term ‘sock’ originates from Romans

The word sock originates from the Latin word ‘soccus’. Soccus is the term for the loose-fitting slipper that dressed the Roman comic actors.

12.The Greeks wore furry socks made from matter animal fur

In the 8th century BC, Hesiod (a Greek poet) mentions pilol in his writing. The pilol is a type of socks made from a unique kind of material – matted animal fur.

13.There was a riot in America over stockings

Before the 1940s, women would hardly leave the house without dressing in a pair of silk stockings. American women loved the comfort and durability of the stockings. It was also not appropriate for women to visit public places barelegged. During the Second World War, the production of nylon stocking paused in favor of the manufacture of nylon ropes, parachutes, and cords for the war. Stockings became expensive and difficult to find. Production resumed after the end of the war but could not meet the demand. Women made queues outside stores to buy nylon pantyhose but became angry when the limited supply ran out. For about eight months from August 1945, women across America fought to get a pair of scarce stockings.

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