Walk a km in my socks Estonian Life
Good thing there's the Suva soki/vabrik (sock factory) – since 1919! Otherwise you'd be hard pressed to find any sokid (socks) or põlv/sukad aka põlvikud (knee highs) with writing in Estonian, or sukad (stockings) reflecting the striped patterns of Estonian folk costume skirts and other traditional ornamentation. In recent years, Suva has produced sokid bearing animals of the Chinese lunar calendar. Ahvi/aasta (the year of the monkey) comes to mind, with a monkey face on the toes and the text "Ahvi järele!" (Monkey (mimic) me!). Special socks for Father's Day (the first Sunday in November in Estonia and the Nordic countries) are still for sale such as Armsale issile (to my dear daddy) and Parim isa (the best father).
The original Suva factory building on Põhja puiestee in Tallinn by the Balti jaam train station is slowing being renovated as the new home of the Estonian Academy of Arts; the EKA Rauaniidi hoone (building). Designed by architect Eugen Habermann in 1926, it was one of the first examples of Functionalistic architecture in Estonia. The original name of the company was "Raua/niit" (iron thread) and started off manufacturing showlaces.
Suva has now moved its manufacturing to Mustamäe. They have 3 stores in Tallinn and 1 in Tartu; in my opinion the best places to get practical and unique gifts for friends abroad. They also have an e-pood an online shop (www. suva.ee). You can also have your own text printed on socks. Õ, Ä, Ö and Ü are not a problem. Head sõbrapäeva aka Valentini päeva!
Photo and text: Riina Kindlam, Tallinn