Socks are a staple clothing item. But do you know how these essential items came to be? Socks were invented in the 8th century BC in Ancient Greece. These early socks were made out of matted animal hair or skin. In the 2nd century AD, the Romans changed the way socks were made by trading animal skin for knitted fabrics. These Roman cloth socks were softer and more fitted than their animal-derived counterparts. Originally, socks had been invented to protect feet and keep them warm, but they quicky evolved into a status symbol. In addition to signifying wealth, socks were also heavily associated with the Church. In the Middle Ages, socks became a fashion statement for the rich, who wore fancy silk socks, while the poor wore simple woolen socks. Handmade for many years, socks were produced much more easily after the invention of the knitting machine in 1589. The sock world changed again in 1938, when nylon was invented and socks began to be made from blended fabrics. Today, socks are made from a variety of fabrics and are used for protection, warmth, and style.