Who Invented Socks?

The earliest knitted socks belong to the Egyptians, therefore, it was not a person or two or three persons who all of a sudden came up with the idea of socks and their invention was rapidly adopted, but the socks evolved over a period of several centuries and by the time of the Egyptians they were more or less resembling our modern socks.

There are also scattered evidences which suggest the socks were worn even before the Egyptians, but the socks they describe are little more than animal skin worn on the feet. The earliest evidences also include mentions of a cloth, by a Greek poet Hesiod, which were made of matted animal hair and were put on by Greek actors during the plays in 8th century BC. It is also difficult to ascertain if they were all more like the slippers of today or the socks.

SocksThe socks begin to take familiar shape in the 15th century. By that period they were known as ‘tights’ and were made of colorful silks, wools and velvets. The invention of sewing machines in the 16th century made socks more common and longer in length and they got their modern sounding name ‘stockings’, which comes from the Latin word ‘soccus’ which refers to the ‘light covering of the feet’.

However, by the 20th century, the socks worn by men got smaller; the name dropped off some letters too and it again changed from ‘stockings’ to ‘socks’. The socks worn by women are still designated as ‘stockings’ because they are longer than the socks worn by men (much like their 16th century counterparts!).

Category: Inventions

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