The history of socks is undoubtedly fascinating. The term derives from the Latin word “soccus” (which recalls the English “socks”), a sort of shoe without a heel that was worn by Roman comic actors. In turn, “soccus” comes from the Greek “sykchos”. In ancient Greece, socks were made with braided animal hair, with the aim of promoting the evaporation of sweat from the feet.
The oldest pair of socks, on the other hand, was found in the Oxyrhynchus area, along the Nile, about 160 km south-east of Cairo. These red socks are dated between 300 and 500 BC, are in excellent condition and are kept in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
In ancient times, socks were mainly plain but in the Middle Ages people began to appreciate socks with designs and textures, especially in Muslim countries, where socks were considered a symbol of prestige.
Sewing machines were invented in 1589 and these gave a strong impulse to the production of socks, significantly reducing the time of realization.
Another important innovation was the introduction of nylon, dated instead of 1938. Mixing nylon with wool or cotton in fact allowed to make the socks more elastic and wearable.
Today 40% of the world’s sock production comes from China, especially from the Zhuji textile district in Zhejiang province. However, Italy maintains its competitive advantage while talking about design and quality thanks to its long tradition of craftsmanship.