What I learned about vintage soft toys part one sock monkeys

Vintage toys

Making sock monkeys I was always fascinated about where they originated from ? So wrote about it at the time !  Love vintage Please read on if interested I will tell you more……

*sock monkeys

Everyone knows what a sock monkey is. You probably played with one yourself as a child. But did you know that a sock monkey actually made an appearance at the Academy Awards? And that one of them even starred in batman returns

Stuffed toys are a rather recent invention. The first manufacturer to concentrate on soft toys was the German company Steiff, which was founded in 1880 and invented the teddy bear in 1902.

When the European trend reached the United States in the 1920’s, mothers started making their own stuffed toys from socks. Nowadays, when people think of sock monkeys, they automatically think of so-called Original Rockford Red Heel® socks — gray work socks with a distinguished red and white heel.

I made one of these myself and I called him Rockford you can still buy these socks today with pattern on how to make


These socks were originally made by the Nelson Knitting Mills in Rockford, Illinois (hence the name) since 1890, and patented in 1915. When the company decided to include sock monkey instructions with every pair of the Red Heel® socks in the 1950’s, the true marketing magic began.

The pattern was published in a craft magazine in 1955, and in 1958, the first book dedicated to sock monkeys was published. By then, elephant instructions were published as well, and sock monkeys became an important part of every American childhood.

As with every trend, it slowly died down, only to be resurrected again in the 1990’s, when the baby boomers shared their own childhood memories and started making sock monkeys again.

Sock monkeys will always be part of my life as I have been making them for over 4 years . Nice to know how it all started and the history.

Now made out of all socks in different colours but all very unique to the person making them.

Thanks for reading lots more to tell you about the history of soft toys


you can see a collection of vintage sock monkey pics over on Pinterest 

click on boards


Please follow and like us:
Follow by Email