Sock Monkey - Costumes and Kits

The Sock Monkey's History

Before the Sock Money became a favorite piece of Americana at the turn of the 20th Century, the Victorian Era was experiencing an imitation stuffed animal craze in Europe. It didn't take long for the flourishing Arts and Crafts movement in American to grab the concept and mothers began sewing stuffed animals for their children. With the increasing familiarity of the public with exotic animals of Africa, monkey toys became very popular. However, the first monkey toys weren't necessarily made from socks and didn't have the big, red lips we associate with sock monkeys.

Still Going Strong Today

In the early 1900s a seamless work sock was being manufactured in Rockford, Illinois by the Nelson Knitting Company and had gained in popularity with workmen. However, it wasn't until 1932, when the Nelson Knitting Company added the trademarked red heel to its products that the socks provided the basis for the iconic sock monkey. The de-tec-tip, the red heel, was the proof that the socks were original Rockford Red Heels. In 1955 Nelson Knitting was awarded the patent for the sock monkey pattern and began including it in every package of Rockford Red Heel Socks. When people bought a package of socks, they were, in fact, buying a sock monkey kit as well. You can get a sock monkey pattern online at wikihow and also on the original Sock Monkey site. Fox River Mills, Inc. acquired the Nelson Knitting Company in 1992 and they continue in the tradition of making Rockford socks for sock monkeys.

These days, sock monkeys and other kinds of sock animals continue to hold their place in the wonder world of toys. Socks are a great medium for creating stuffed toys, and you can find great models to use in order to design your own creative creature. The Schleich figurines of farm and wild animals are a good source of inspiration for making other types of stuffed sock toys.

Accessories, Costumes and Additional Treats

As with all characters and toys, there are always more accessories and items you can obtain to enhance your collection. Some of the things you can purchase with the sock monkey motif include key chains, pillows, a nursing pillow, diaper bag, blocks, slippers, and backpack. You can also get sock monkey fabric with which you can sew any number of delightful things for your child's room. Sock monkey bedding, valance and chair with footstool make cute decor items for a nursery.

Halloween has seen a rash of sock monkeys hitting the streets. Some clever moms are making sock monkey costumes from red heeled socks that they've cut and sewn. The results are adorable. Check them out on the internet, or you can probably get a pattern for a sock monkey costume from a crafts store or from a fabric store. Your toddler will be delighted to take on the persona of one of his favorite toys for a game of dress up. Sock monkey books are becoming popular with the toddler set, so now you can sit down with your baby, your baby's sock monkey, and a little book about sock monkeys to share together.

Made by Hand, with Love

Since many sock monkey toys are handmade, many of them are very unique with features that are original. Sock monkeys are being mass produced, but the best ones seem to be the ones made by hand. The original sock monkey had eyes of buttons, which can be a choking hazard for little ones. If you decide to make your own sock monkey, embroider the eyes on - they'll last as long as the monkey and they won't present a danger to your child.

The Sock Monkey theme is a great one for anything from a baby shower to a toddler's birthday party. Lots of adults still have their sock monkeys - wouldn't it be fun to have a sock monkey party for adults to come to and bring their own sock monkeys? They will never go out of style and you'll never be too old for one.

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