This July 4th as you prepare to celebrate the founding of our great nation with family BBQ’s, parties, picnics, and of course, fireworks. We reflect on the strength and courage of those great men (and women) who took the first steps toward creating our great nation.
As an American sock company, our minds turned toward our founding fathers, and of course their socks. Yep, there, socks. Those knee-high, white socks we see on almost every historical portrait of the Continental Congress. Something many of us put on every day without a second thought (not necessarily knee-highs); has been a part of history for centuries and worn by great leaders to everyday people.
Born from necessity in protecting and keeping our feet warm has transformed into so much more. In today’s society, we use socks as a form of personal expression, a way to showcase our unique style or fashion trend, help with medical ailments such as diabetes, and to safeguard athletes from skin ailments caused by sweat; what impact socks have made in our everyday lives!
History of Socks
Throughout history, stockings and socks have been part of the human story every step of the way, pun intended.
Dating back to the first cave paintings, we see man-made “socks” from animal skins and pelts rudimentarily tied around ankles and feet.
When In Rome
During the Greek and Roman times, matted animal hair was worn under sandals, which eventually led to pieces of fabric stitched together. An idea that laid the groundwork for the style of socks we wear today.
By the time the Middle Ages came about, knitted and woven socks were a status symbol of nobility. As pants got shorter, socks became longer and resembled leggings and had to be held up by garters.
Italian and French aristocrats and noblemen started wearing stockings hand-knit from silk while most of Europe’s working class homespun their own using wool.
An English clergyman, William Lee invented the first knitting machine. With the financial support of France’s King Henry IV, William Lee built a stocking factory in Rouen and began mass-producing socks made from wool for the lower class and colored silk for noblemen. Many of the ideas that were pioneered then can still be found in modern textile machinery used presently.
To The Masses
As the boon of the industrial revolution grew, so did socks. The invention of nylon in the 1930s was another revolution in sock-making. Its elasticity and strength, along with the ability to blend with other types of yarn, have been a significant influence on sock making to this day.
Presently, socks are made from traditional yarns like wool, cotton, silk as well as other materials.EcoSox chooses to use Bamboo Viscose to make the majority of the socks we sell for a variety of reasons, most notably because of the sustainability and the softness and comfort of the yarn, along with the moisture-wicking properties that keep your feet fresher, cleaner, and blister free.
Not only do we have the “traditional” socks, but we also make compression socks which help improve circulation and diabetic socks that are designed to stay up and have a non-binding top. We also make the perfect socks for running and hiking that will wick moisture away and regulate temperature to keep feet warm or cool.
Join The Revolution
This Independence Day, take your first step and join the sock revolution, whether you are a knee-high kind of person or a tri-athlete express yourself today with EcoSox.
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