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A quick Google came up with this, sounds reasonable.
George Edward Lynch Cotton (1813-66) was an English clergyman and educator and Bishop of Calcutta, where he did missionary work and established schools for Eurasian children. He asked for donations of clothing, often emphasising "warm socks" for the children. Ladies all over England knitted socks for Bishop Cotton and sent them to India. He blessed all items used in his schools, and many shipments would arrive labelled "Socks for Cotton's blessing". Cotton's socks easily became corrupted to cotton socks.
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