Socks are a necessary part of every wardrobe, whether it’s for everyday use or special occasions. Socks are also a highly visible piece of clothing that can be a unique way to promote your brand and make an impact with customers. In the past, most socks were made in-house by the sock company, and they were only sold under that specific brand name. Today, there are many different ways to manufacture and sell a sock. The best option for you depends on your business and the type of sock you want to produce.
One of the most popular options is to contract with a sock factory. These factories are large, and they have multiple knitting machines and a team of technicians to operate them. They can produce any style of sock in bulk, and they are usually able to provide the most competitive pricing. In addition, sock manufacturers often work with large retailers and major brands to create custom designs for specific occasions.
There are several types of sock factories, and they can be classified into three categories based on their quantity of knitting machines. The biggest factories own thousands of machines and usually do OEM for famous sock brands. These companies are often more expensive than smaller factories, but they are able to offer the highest quality and fastest turnaround times.
The cheapest sock factories are small, and they may have only a few dozen machines. They can be found in the United States, Canada and Europe. They offer a wide range of styles and are suitable for new brands. Small sock factories can usually meet the requirements of smaller orders, but they aren’t as competitively priced as their larger counterparts.
Once the digital design files are complete, the sock manufacturer will take them to the first step of production, called pattern coding. This process converts the vector-based design into a bitmap file that the knitting machines can read. Each pixel represents a stitch in the sock, and the size of each pixel determines the size of the stitch.
At this stage, the sock “tubes” are paired together, and the seaming process begins. In the sock industry, there are two main seaming methods: over-locking and hand-linking. Over-locking is done automatically by machines, while hand-linking is a labor-intensive process that involves manually sewing each individual thread. This method produces the finest and most durable seams, but it is expensive.
The final steps of the manufacturing process are inspection and finishing. During this phase, a team of technicians ensures that all the stitches are perfectly straight and evenly spaced. Once the socks are finished, they’re sterilized in a steam setting machine. These machines are like big steam ovens that use steam to heat the socks, and the high temperature disinfects and sterilises them.
Once the socks have been inspected and finished, they’re packaged. This can be as simple as applying a hangtag or as complex as adding a band to the sock packaging. The socks are then stored in a warehouse at a constant temperature and humidity, where automated machines secure them into packages and apply SKU-level information. socks factory