Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Emma. Emma Wonders, “Why do we wear socks” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Emma!

Today’s Wonder of the Day is all about your toes‘ favorite clothes. They come in all sorts of colors and patterns. Some of them are knee-high. Others are over-the-calf. They even come in tube, ankle, and no-show varieties. What are we talking about? Socks, of course!

When it comes to clothes, socks don’t get much attention. Sure, we like to show off our shirts and our fancy pants. Even our shoes get plenty of notice. But our socks typically go unseen.

If you ask your feet, though, they’d tell you how important socks are. Yes, it’s true that your feet occasionally like to go bare. That’s especially nice during the summer! There’s nothing quite like a barefoot walk on the beach.

Most of the time, however, your feet love the cozy feeling inside a pair of socks. In the winter months, socks help to keep your feet nice and toasty. Socks also help prevent your shoes from causing blisters.

So who first made these WONDERful items of clothing? No one knows for sure. But evidence shows that ancient civilizations made socks from many materials. The ancient Greeks, for example, used matted animal fur. The ancient Romans preferred to wrap leather or thick fabric around their feet. The ancient Egyptians knitted their socks.

By the year 1,000 CE, socks had become a symbol of wealth. Only the rich members of the noble classes could afford handcrafted silk or cotton stockings. Others had to make do with rough wool socks.

Things changed for the better when English reverend William Lee invented the knitting loom in 1589. No longer did socks have to be made by hand. Thanks to Lee’s machine, socks and other knit fabrics were now much easier to make.

Socks took another leap forward in the late 19th Century. That’s when circular knitting frames were introduced. Thanks to the Industrial Revolution, socks were soon being mass-produced for prices that most everyone could afford.

In the 20th century, new materials came along. Many of them became popular for making socks. Today, you can find socks in a variety of synthetic materials, such as nylon, polyester, and spandex. Of course, you can still find plenty of cotton and wool socks, too.

What’s your favorite thing about socks? No, really! Do you like how they keep your feet warm? How about all the colorful patterns they come in? There’s something for everyone to love about this comfy garment!

Standards: C3.D2.His.2, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1

Wonder What's Next?

Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day will keep your toes toasty warm even on the coldest day!