Get your feet warm with these traditional woolen socks

Updated: Oct 6, 2021

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Photo by Mae Lehto / Foreigners in Finland

Villasukka is the Finnish word for a woolen sock. Aside from being traditional Christmas presents in Finland, these handmade socks are also very popular among people of every age for all-year-round use. People commonly use them on cold winter days to keep their feet and toes warm. They are usually used at home or for any outdoor activity such as winter sports, etc. 

Long tradition

According to ethnologist Anna Rauhala from the University of Helsinki, knitting is an integral part of Finnish culture. Historically, women used to do the task of knitting for the family. Knitting techniques were also taught at schools as an essential skill because the warm socks and mittens are necessary and vital in Finnish weather.

Woolen socks are not only for personal and family use, or as Christmas presents to relatives and friends. Women in the past joined together in sewing and knitting groups and made hand made products to donate to charities and sold for a donation. People had to knit warm socks, hats, gloves, or mittens for the necessity and need. Although the times have changed, knitting is still popular today and is considered as joyful leisure while being fashionable and trendy at the same time.

Beneficial hobby

Many people have experienced and explored the pleasure and benefit in handcrafts such as happy and meditative feelings, reducing depression and stress, helping to relax and sleep better, or merely adding a balance and fun time to daily life. The book Crochet Saved My Life explains the advantages of handicraft on mental and physical health.

Social media and asylum seekers

It's encouraging to know that the long tradition of making handmade woolen socks has also now created a way to reach the various charitable organizations, including asylum seekers. One can make warm woolen socks suitable for Finnish winter and donate them as a gift (for the use of asylum seekers) to the nearest reception center called Vastaanottokeskus in Finnish. It's also possible to donate the woolen socks to Red Cross, homeless people, refugees, low-income families, veterans, hospitalized, children and young, etc. 

Knitting as a lifestyle

Some people love handcrafts and the way they can express themselves artistically. It can bring people together, learners, and teachers of the handcraft, connections, and friendships. Often, knitting socks is not only a useful hobby anymore, but it can be a productive lifestyle. Making woolen socks and knitting is also trendy and there exists a community of knitters who share ideas and spread over social media.

No matter which motivation or reason for knitting woolen socks one could have, for sure we all would agree with Ethnologist Anna Rauhala from the University of Helsinki:

 ”Socks and mittens. Knitting is pleasant and relaxing.”

If your home does not have a heated floor, it can be very chilly during winter days. A small simple trick is to use woolen socks. Normally woolen socks are worn together with regular socks. This way, it will keep your feet warm especially in cold weather. Children love to play with these socks inside the house and it keeps them warm whenever they play outside. Buy a pair of shoes slightly bigger so these socks fit comfortably. If you don't know how to knit and you need these socks to keep you warm, you can find from Babyshop and adult socks from Scandinavian Outdoor.