A Short History of Socks from the Industrial Revolution

When you think about where to buy cool socks, you probably don’t give much thought to the journey socks have made to get to the vibrant, fun designs we have available to us today, or how comfortable they are now – it wasn’t always that way!

crazy cloud socks
  • From the time of the Industrial Revolution in the late 1700s-early 1800s, sock production became cheaper and simpler. This spread the appeal of wearing socks across society throughout Europe.
  • In the early 1800s, the circular knitting frame was introduced, and the production of socks became a mechanised process. Many people lost their jobs as a result and socks became mass-produced in factories.
  • During the American Revolutionary War, American soldiers suffered from, among other things, lack of warm socks. A group of women formed in 1777 to knit warm woollen socks for the soldiers and hundreds of pairs was distributed. Once the soldiers had their required socks, their fortunes dramatically changed for the better in the war after 1778.
  • During WWI, before waterproof boots were invented, many soldiers suffered from trench foot caused by damp conditions. The American textile industry failed to provide enough socks for the soldiers overseas, so volunteers across the US knitted socks which were delivered to those in need.
  • During the 1920s, the argyle pattern became very popular in socks for men and even some women.
  • Nylon was invented in 1938. Socks were soon made of a blend of cotton and nylon; this increased the elasticity and strength of socks, as well as boosting their comfort level.
  • Modern manufacturing advances allow cotton to be dyed accurately and as such, sock designs are now bolder and more vibrantly coloured – resulting in the fun, crazy and cool socks that we see so often today.
  • Modern socks are made from an array of materials and blends including cotton, wool, nylon, spandex, polyester, and others.
  • Did you Know? Datang, China, known as “Sock City” is the largest sock manufacturing base. It manufactures eight billion pairs of socks each year!

Modern socks are manufactured with technology to facilitate great fit, comfort, and style. When you choose a sock subscription at Sockgaim, you know you’re getting the very best fun, cool and crazy socks at the best prices and conveniently delivered to your door or post box every month. Browse our site today and embark on a new lease on life for your feet!

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