Like so many men, my husband is very difficult to buy presents for. Especially, for Father’s Day.
Our children despair and ask me the same question every June. “ We can’t get him socks again can we?” to which I reply, “You can never have too many socks. They are the foundation stones of any look. Socks matter.”
“But we have bought him every possible brand and he still sulks,” they wail, reeling off over twenty years of M&S, Debenham, Primark, Bridgestone, Sunspel, Adidas tubes ( he was going through his Jimmy Connors phase), Tennant’s Lager, Hugo Boss and, when Father’s Day coincided with a passed driving test and hopes of a car, Turnbull & Asser.
“Let’s give him some Pantherallas.”
“He doesn’t smoke,” said his sock illiterate bother.
He had decided on hand-linked toe seams and elastic tops to stop pinching and puffiness. “They have some new Platinum Jubilee socks. With an embossed crown embellishment. And a new Elgar diamond jacquard design.”
Pantherella first opened its doors in 1937 as Midlands Hosiery Mills, an established women’s hosiery factory in Staffordshire. German Louis Goldschmidt was obsessed by other people’s feet. For him, utopia wasn’t possible without a wide choice of lightweight seamless socks.
Local machine makers P.A. Bentley made him a specialist sock machine and in 1940s he was exporting his pioneering hand-finished ribbed socks from his Hallaton Street factory to North America and Australia.
Pantherella moved to its current site in Leicester in 1962. The factory employs eighty.
“What about me? What should I get him then?” asked our youngest with real anxiety , remembering all the cosy micro yarns from Gobi desert goats, Tasmanian sheep, Spanish royal flocks, Nile delta cotton spun and dyed in Italy, West Indian cotton, Chinese Swiss ‘Tram’ silk, Eco Luxe from recycled plastic (PET) bottles and recycled cotton waste.
I suggested a pair of Corgis and some half-calves. He can slip into some pugs or labradors. A Tardis could be an option too. Corgis will bring out the inner Time Lord and President Eisenhower in him.
Corgis Socks, run by Chris Jones and his sister Lisa, Wales’s oldest and most iconic sock manufacturers.
Established in 1892, the family-owned luxury socks company is still located in the Welsh mining village of Ammanford. The staff of fifty-two comprises Mrs Margaret Morgan who has been working there for sixty years as well as different generations of the same families. It is a close-knit working community.
The company was founded in 1892 by draper, Rhys Jones in Ford Mills. He made high socks for local colliery workers as well as socks to war to chapel.
The company has ended up working in collaboration with Brooks Brothers, Burberry , Ralph Lauren, J Crew, Thom Brown and Prince George. Corgi also made socks for US President Eisenhower. The company received a Royal Warrant from the Prince of Wales in 1989.
British and Allied soldiers wore Corgi socks during the War. Its Regimental Collection produced in close association with HRH The Prince of Wales. includes nine designs, each one depicting the unique stripe and colours of one of the regiments or battalions of which he is Colonel or Colonel in Chief. These include the Black Watch, the Queen’s Dragoon Guards, the Gurkha Rifles, the Parachute Regiment and the Welsh Guards.
Corgis also offers a personalised socks and monogramming service as well as hand-finished, hand frame pure cashmere and Pembrokeshire Monkstone flock wool jumpers. The company is the only one in the world to make traditional, hand-made Argyle socks.
125-year-old Griswold hand-knitting machines are still used with high-tech knitting machines employed ed to produce Corgi’s trademark colourful and quirky, fine gauge Lurex sock.
Corgis have also moved into Time Lord hosiery with its Dr Who range since the filming is done in Wales.
“Are you sure about another pair of comedy socks? You remember what happened last year when we got some Chatty feet royal family socks for Christmas? We found them the next morning shredded and scattered all over the living-room floor.”
“That was the dog.”“We haven’t a dog, Mum.”
Corgi partners with the charities Combat Stress, Pobl Trust and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Trust.