Historically, even though the word sock is at least as ancient in origin, what men normally wore were often referred to as stockings, probably especially when referring to longer hose. Before the s, stockings were made of woven cloth. The first knitting machines were for making stockings. A polished cotton called lisle was common, as were those made in the town of Balbriggan. Before the s, stockings, if worn, were worn for warmth.