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The fact that the history of clothes and clothing dates back to earlier eras before the true civilization, we all know it. The reason people have started to use clothes is also obvious: not for aesthetics did the first Neolithic people used clothes, but for protection against weather variations. Until today, we are aware that in winter is necessary to wear thick clothes to avoid health problems which can be fatal for us. Nowadays, unlike the Neolithic, we care about the way clothes look on us.
About the appearance of clothes we have all questioned, at least at one time. But not so sure we did the same thing on some specific clothing items such as… socks. We are so used to these garments, that a question concerning the manner in which they appeared would arouse laughter. Yet, it is a curiosity which deserves to be explored. If we look back in history, we find that all the inventions that have revolutionized one way or another the world, and with which we are so accustomed to today, have experienced an evolutionary process sprinkled with funny elements.
Since we are little babies, our parents always ensure thatwe are wearing socks. Sometimes it happens to look like any sock is not thick enough to protect us from cold. What has survived from the Neolithic until today? The fact that each piece of clothing has its role in terms of clothing. There is no definite date on the first moment in which a human wore socks, but it is enough to know that researchers have found evidence that the Romans (yes, those Romans, of Trajan, Caesar and Octavian Augustus) wore sandals with… socks.
The year 1589 marks in a very semnificative way the history of these garments. Thanks to William Lee, who invented the first sewing machine hosiery around the world, making these garments of silk and cotton became possible. By the mid 16th century, stockings made of these materials were worn both men and women. As a general rule, they were white and opaque, being worn solely for protection against the cold. Neither Mr. nor ladies of the 16th century did not know how successful will these inventions centuries later…
Even if we use the same word to designate stockings and socks, since their appearance there was an implacable difference: while the socks are short, stockings are sometimes almost completely covering the foot.
In 1939, Julian Hill discovers the synthetic fiber called nylon, and the nylon stockings success was resounding throughout the world: they have been selling like hotcakes… The next remarkable innovation regarding the evolution of socks and stockings was represented by the occurrence of stockings with duct tape, which did not require girdles, fixing directly on the skin.