Sock Monkey Day is March 7! A stuffed monkey fashioned out of socks in the shape of a monkey is known as a sock monkey. In the United States and Canada, these stuffed toys are a blend of folk art and silliness. Brown and white sock monkeys have exceptionally long limbs, long tails, and vibrant red lips. Additional decoration on the animal’s head and around its neck is possible. The figure has been ingrained in popular culture, appearing in comic books and art pieces.
History of Sock Monkey Day
The most likely forerunners who are responsible for the sock monkey date are the Victorians. During that era, the demand for replica stuffed animals spread through Europe to North America and collided with the developing Arts and Crafts movement. As stories of the Scramble for Africa raised the public’s knowledge of exotic animals, crafters started sewing stuffed toys for children. Stuffed monkeys eventually became a regular feature in many American nurseries.
The original sock monkey is thought to have been created from Rockford Red Heel socks during the Depression of the 1930s. Disputing claims suggest that the 1950s is a more accurate guess. Several reports did claim that a woman named Helen Cooke got a patent for sock monkeys in 1953. Too bad we can’t ask the monkeys.
In 1869, John Nelson got a patent for sock knitting machines and founded The Nelson Knitting Company. In 1890, the Red Heel Socks were introduced, and they were mostly worn by factory employees and farmers. A customer is said to have fashioned a Sock Monkey from a pair of Red Heel Socks and forwarded it to Nelson Knitting Mills in the 1930s.
Being big admirers of the stuffed toys, the mill began providing Sock Monkey guides with pairs of Red Heel Socks on sale. For the following few decades, the Red Heel Sock Monkey was quite popular in the United States.
Sock monkeys have become one of the most popular gifts for a variety of important events, including anniversaries, birthdays, and graduations. Depictions have since appeared in photographs, literature, greeting cards, films, and other media.
Sock Monkey Day timeline
John Nelson gets the patent for sock knitting machines.
The Nelson Knitting Company is established in Rockford, Illinois.
The first Red Heel Socks are introduced into the market.
Helen Cooke receives the patent for sock monkeys.
Sock Monkey Day FAQs
Should sock monkeys be cleaned?
Sock monkeys are machine washable. Use cold water on a gentle cycle with delicate detergent. You can wash the sock monkey alongside other items like towels, but not with bleach.
Where is the ‘home of the sock monkey’?
The iconic Nelson Red Heel sock was born in Rockford, Illinois. There’s a sock monkey museum, fiberglass sock monkeys all across town, and a Sock Monkey Madness Festival early in March.
Why do sock monkeys have red mouths?
The red heel of Rockford’s Red Heel Socks is responsible for the distinctive mouths of sock monkeys. The makers fashioned the stuffed monkeys using old Red Heel Socks.
Sock Monkey Day Activities
Make a sock monkey to celebrate the holiday. Unleash your creativity and make unique designs never seen before.
Gift out a sock monkey
Sock monkeys make great gifts. Give someone the gift of a wooly companion and you can be sure they won’t be forgetting it in a hurry.
Teach someone how to make one
Are you a sock monkey expert? Why not teach someone how to make one? The more monkeys out there, the better.
5 Facts About Socks That Will Blow Your Mind
The word ‘sock’ has both Greek and Latin origins.
Animal skins were used to make socks in prehistoric times.
Misplaced socks go on to cost their owners hundreds of dollars each year.
Albert Einstein hated them
Einstein hated socks and refused to wear them from a young age.
Upper-class Europeans once considered silk socks to be a status symbol.
Why We Love Sock Monkey Day
Old socks get a second chance
Perhaps one of the best parts of Sock Monkey Day is that old socks get a new lease on life. That abandoned pair can finally be put to good use.
We love fun holidays
Who doesn’t enjoy a little fun now and again? Sock Monkey Day is the perfect opportunity to get back in touch with your fun side.
Keeping tradition alive and well
Sock monkeys have been around for years. By celebrating this observance, we’re keeping in touch with our roots.
Sock Monkey Day dates