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Fox River Mills and the Sock Monkey Have a Long Shared History More News
History in the Making – America’s Work Sock and Americana Craft

Fox River and the Rockford Red Heel® sock share a history of American innovation and industry that goes back over a hundred years.

Both Fox River and Nelson Knitting Mills, the original maker of the Rockford Red Heel® sock, began business in the Midwest at the turn of the century. Both companies knit socks on innovative machines that allowed for the mass production that the expanding country needed.

In 1932, Nelson Knitting Mills first introduced the red heel on the Rockford sock, to distinguish their product from the many imitators. The making of sock monkeys came about on its own by clever crafters using a humble sock to make a beloved toy. In support of this phenomenom, in 1951 Nelson Knitting started enclosing sock monkey instructions with each pair of socks, a tradition Fox River has carried on to this day. In 1992, Fox River purchased the remaining assets of Nelson Knitting, including the trademark for the Rockford Red Heel® sock, as Nelson Knitting closed their doors.

Rooted in a tradition of innovation, Fox River has continued to push modern frontiers in high technology/high performance fibers, eco-friendly manufacturing, and community involvement. We hope you’ll consider the Eco-friendly fiber fill we now offer to stuff your sock monkeys.

In 2008, in recognition of the importance of history and tradition, Fox River decided to reintroduce the blue Rockford Red Heel® sock, which has not been made since last century. We're looking forward to seeing the many unique red,white and blue sock monkeys that will be created with the nostalgic blue Rockford Red Heel® sock.

It's all history, in the making.
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