Interesting facts about socks
Where does a word sock come from?
According to Wikipedia, the modern English word sock is derived from the Old English word socc, meaning ‘light slipper’. This comes from the Latin soccus, a term to describe a "light, low-heeled shoe", and deriving from the Ancient Greek word sykcho.
A short history of the sock
Socks have been used to keep feet warm for millennia. The first socks were animal skins gathered and tied around the ankles and the ancient Greeks made them from matted animal hair. Later the Romans used leather or woven fabric to keep their feet warm. Up until 1589 the knitting machine was invented for the production of hosiery although socks were still hand-knitted on a commercial scale up until 1800. The earliest surviving cloth socks were found in Egypt. Dating between 300-500AD, they have ‘toes’ so they can be easily worn with sandals. You can still buy toe socks today; free your toes and take a look at our selection.
Where are the most socks made?
According to Wikipedia, the township-level district of Datang in the city of Zhuji in Zhejiang Province, People's Republic of China, has become known as Sock City. The town currently produce 8 billion pairs each year, a third of the world's production, effectively creating two pairs for every person on the planet on 2011.
Materials used for socks manufacture (cotton, bamboo, wool)
Natural fibre is the best material for socks such as bamboo, tencel, cotton, silk, and wool. However socks can also be made from man-made materials including acrylic, olefins, nylon, polyester, and even spandex (elastane or lycra). Socks made predominantly from man-made materials sometimes have silk, bamboo, linen, cashmere or mohair added to make them softer. Check out our exciting bamboo range for a soft, natural but hard wearing sock.
Manufacturing techniques of standard socks with seams and seamless socks
Seamed socks are made by two different machines; the circular knitting machine makes the main body of the sock and a second one makes the toe. They are then sewed together, and a seam is formed where the body and toe join. Special machines and new technology now enable the two pieces to be joined together by knitting with a flat stitch to eliminate the ridge formed between the sock body and toe. Another machine which makes seamless socks is best described as similar to how a caterpillar spins a cocoon, spinning the yarn round to form a tube.
100% or pure cottons
Cotton is not only durable, but it is soft, comfortable and absorbs sweat, however cotton doesn't have any elastic properties. Not having elastic properties it can't stretch and as a result socks made from pure cotton have to be of exact size. Moreover pure cotton can't "wrap around" your feet, feels loose and have shorter lifespan. Adding 2-5% of stretchy material like elastane makes socks stretchy, better fitting and longer lasting due to increased tolerance to pulling.
Why most socks contain elastane?
The man-made fibre elastane (or spandex) has exceptional elasticity properties, which is why it is used to help with comfort and fit in socks. In saying that elastane doesn't absorb sweat and doesn't feel as comfortable as cotton. This is why most of our products have very high cotton content with few percent of elastane.
Sustainability: bamboo vs. cotton
Bamboo grows quickly, requires about one third of the water cotton needs and unlike cotton, doesn’t need pesticides as it has no natural pests plus bamboo is completely biodegradable.
Why use tencel fabric
Tencel also called lyocell is an award winning environmentally friendly textile produced from cellulose found in wood pulp. It's soft, absorbent, anti-bacterial and durable properties mean it is now increasingly used in eco friendly products. Tencel is 100% biodegradable and manufacturing tencel yields very little byproduct making it more environmentally friendly than bamboo.
Why you should wear socks inside of shoes
Socks help protect your shoes from your body’s sweat which can cause rot and growth of bacteria inside your shoes resulting in smelly feet. Socks also prevent chaffing and rubbing from shoes and ankle boots while padding in the heel and ball of the foot helps cushion the foot in high impact activities.
Men’s stylists are adamant men should only wear white socks for sports, and they should be matched with trousers rather than your shoes. A dash of colour can add a statement to your look. Although some guys may be tempted to go ‘bare foot’ in summer, they should be aware of the problems associated with not wearing socks in shoes. Gentlemen, take a look at our range of footlets and reduce the chance of smelly feet and shoes. Alternatively, be bold and wear a pair of striking cotton socks to add a distinctive touch when everyone else’s feet are naked.
There are lots of good sock looks for women. Anklets look great with funky pumps, and if summer’s hotting up, try out some of our ‘no heal no toe’. Dark, long, loose fitting products work well with ankle boots, or sass up the look with a pair of our knee or thigh highs socks. Opt for comfort and warmth in your boots when it comes to winter – our range of woollen products will help keep your toes cosy and toasty on the coldest of days.
Split toes socks (also called flip flop or tabi socks) come in various shapes and sizes. They have big toe separated out from all other toes to allow for thonged footwear. Design of split toes is actually centuries old due to it's practicality we still use it today.
Left versus right
Are there left and right socks? Sounds odd, doesn't it? Socks are designed to be one and the same and therefore it doesn't matter which one is left and which one is right. There are exception though, socks with split toes.
There’re a huge amount of awareness days which involve socks. Whether it’s odd sock day, red sock day, rock your socks day, or novelty sock day, you’re sure to find something to wear for these days on happy toes. You could even sneak on some of our footlet to wear for ‘no socks day’!
Bet you probably don’t even realise you’re using some metaphors: Foot in mouth, one foot in the grave, get cold feet, drag one’s feet, get off on the wrong foot, step on toes, think on your feet, put your best foot forward, but to name a few – best pull up some of our bamboo socks before you put your foot in it!
About your foot
There are 26 bones in our feet (about one third quarter of all the bones in your body). Each foot also has 33 joints, 19 muscles, 10 tendons, 107 ligaments and over 250,000 sweat glands, producing approximately 500ml of perspiration daily.
From kid to adulthood, it pays to look after your feet
The foot is sometimes called the ‘mirror of health’ and there are over 300 different types of foot conditions, from dry skin, brittle nails and poor circulation to bunions, corns and fungal infections. Around 40 per cent of Australians will experience some form of foot problems in their lifetime so it pays to look after them, wear the right shoes and socks, and visit a podiatrist if your feet look or feel unusual. Dressing yout feet in natural fibre can help prevent infection as they allow the foot to breathe. Toe socks can also help prevent between the toe blisters. There are even specially designed products to give arch support and seamless socks are good for people with diabetes who can suffer from friction and focal pressure.
From baby to kid foot development
Babies are born with a pad of fat where the arch is in the adult foot and although children usually start walking between 8 – 18 months old, they don’t develop arches until they are around 2.5 years old. A lot of children are flat-footed at first and may turn their feet inwards, however the child will start to walk normally as the feet, muscles and ligaments develop and strengthen.
Feet, like the rest of our body, develop problems as we age, mainly because they’ve been trodden on for all those years! They start to broaden and flatten, and lose the fatty pads which cushion the soles. As the arches drop, there is an increased risk of bunions forming too. Conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis are common afflictions of older feet, and as the foot changes, so does the gait of the person. This often causes problems in other parts of the body. As walking is the best exercise for feet, older people should make sure their shoes fit properly and get their feet regularly seen by a podiatrist.
Workmen, protect your feet
You may have the best work boots, but you also need the socks to go with them. We recommend our bamboo range which is soft but extremely hardwearing. Even people with allergies to natural fibres such as hemp or wool can usually wear bamboo next to the skin. Bamboo fibre also has natural antibacterial, antifungal and odour resistant qualities, making it ideal for people wearing heavy-duty footwear for long periods of time.
Barefoot vs shoes
Although it’s great to feel the sand between your toes, barefoot living isn’t necessarily for everyone, particularly those living in extreme areas - think hot sand, sharp stones and the cold! However, badly fitting shoes can cause foot problems later on, particularly for kids, and some shoe designs, such as very high heels can be dangerous for the wearer. Some people wear specially padded or built up shoes to help them walk and people with diabetes are recommended to wear shoes as nerve damage can make it difficult to feel foot injuries.