A quick spot of research into the basic history and variety of socks available in terms of style, colour, materials, and so on- just to get the concept development building and consideration for the styles of sock which I hope to visually represent in my final design outcome- information sourced from the specific 'sock' wikipedia page- sourced link written below.
A sock is an item of clothing worn on the feet. The foot is among the heaviest producers of sweat in the body, as it is able to produce over 1 US pint (0.47 l) of perspiration per day. Socks help to absorb this sweat and draw it to areas where air can evaporate the perspiration. In cold environments, socks decrease the risk of frostbite. Its name is derived from the loose-fitting slipper, called a soccus in Latin, worn by Roman comic actors.
Socks have evolved over the centuries from the earliest models which were made from animal skins gathered up and tied around the ankles. In the 8th century BC, the Ancient Greeks wore socks from matted animal hair for warmth. The Romans also wrapped their feet with leather or woven fabrics. By the 5th century AD, socks called "puttees" were worn by holy people in Europe to symbolise purity. By 1000 AD, socks became a symbol of wealth among the nobility. From the 16th century onwards, an ornamental design on the ankle or side of a sock has been called a clock.
The invention of a knitting machine in 1589 meant that socks could be knitted six times faster than by hand. Nonetheless, knitting machines and hand knitters worked side by side until 1800.
The next revolution in sock production was the introduction of nylon in 1938. Until then socks were commonly made from silk, cotton and wool. Nylon was the start of blending two or more yarns in the production of socks, a process that still continues.
Socks can be created from a wide variety of materials. Some of these materials are cotton, wool, nylon, acrylic, polyester, olefins, (such as polypropylene), or spandex. To get an increased level of softness other materials that might be used during the process can be silk, bamboo, linen, cashmere, or mohair. The color variety of sock choices can be any color that the designers intend to make the sock upon its creation. Sock 'coloring' can come in a wide range of colors. Sometimes art is also put onto socks to increase their appearance. Colored socks may be a key part of the uniforms for sports, allowing players teams to be distinguished when only their legs are clearly visible.
Socks are manufactured in a variety of lengths. Bare or ankle socks extend to the ankle or lower and are often worn casually or for athletic use. Bare socks are designed to create the look of "bare feet" when worn with shoes. Knee-high socks are sometimes associated with formal dress or as being part of a uniform, such as in sports (like football and baseball) or as part of a school's dress code or youth group uniform. Over-the-knee socks or socks that extend higher (thigh-high socks) are today considered female garments. They were widely worn by children, both boys and girls, during the late-19th and early-20th centuries., although the popularity varied widely from country to country.
A toe sock encases each toe individually the same way a finger is encased in a glove, while other socks have one compartment for the big toe and one for the rest, like a mitten; most notably Japanese tabi. Both of these allow one to wear flip-flops with the socks. Leg warmers, which are not typically socks, may be replaced with socks in cold climate.
In the United Kingdom, a sock's size is similar to the person's shoe size; for example, a foot that has a shoe size of 9 would require a sock sized 8-10.
In some other parts of the world socks are sized differently than shoes. In the U.S. numerical sock size is the length of the foot in inches, whereas shoe size is not.
Sock lengths vary, from ankle-high to thigh level.
Most sports will require some sort of sock, usually a tube sock to protect one's legs from being scraped while participating in sport activities. In basketball, tube socks are worn, and in lacrosse, mid-calf socks are required. In football, knee socks are used. They are mostly to stop grass burns.
The layer of leather or other material covering the insole of a shoe is also referred to as a sock. When only part of the insole is covered, leaving the forepart visible, this is known as a half-sock.
Footwraps, pieces of cloth that are worn wrapped around the feet, were worn with boots before socks became widely available. They remained in use by armies in Eastern Europe up until the beginning of the 21st century.
A sock is also used as a holiday item for the seasonal event Christmas, a Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus. The sock, or Christmas stocking, is usually hung by a nail and filled with small presents that Santa brings while the recipients are asleep.