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What is the production Process Involved in Sock Manufacturing?

China’s sock manufacturing industry is one of the largest sock producers and exporters in the world. China has accumulated rich experience and technology in sock manufacturing and enjoys a good industrial base and supply chain advantages.

China’s sock manufacturers can meet the needs of different domestic and foreign markets, including sports socks, casual socks, thick socks, thin socks, and other types of socks of different styles.

China’s sock manufacturers are constantly striving to innovate and improve their production processes to adapt to market demands and provide consumers with high-quality and diversified socks!

Yarn selection and preparation in sock manufacturing

sock manufacturing

Description of the yarn selection process

The raw material of socks is still mainly cotton socks, supplemented by chemical fiber socks. Common chemical fiber socks for nylon/spandex products are breathable and wear-resistant. In recent years, the new launch of more modal bamboo fiber and other regenerative fiber tai fiber as raw materials for socks, with comfortable, breathable, anti-bacterial, and anti-odor features.

Cotton socks to enhance wear resistance, generally add about 15% of polyamide or polyester, some high-end socks will use wool, cashmere, camel thread, and other raw materials, the price of most of the more than one hundred dollars. Consumption of fast-growing pantyhose products in the majority of blended products.

First of all, manufacturers need to clarify the design requirements and functional needs of the socks. For example, in the case of sports socks, breathability and moisture absorption need to be considered; in the case of winter socks, factors such as warmth need to be considered.

Sock manufacturering need to research the different yarn options available in the market and understand their characteristics, performance, and price. This includes knowledge of different materials, fiber structures, textile processes, etc.

After selecting several yarns as candidates, sock manufacturing usually conducts sample testing. This involves using the yarns to make sample socks and evaluating aspects such as quality, comfort, and durability through actual wear and testing.

In addition to the performance of the yarn, sock manufacturering also needs to consider cost and availability. They will assess the price, availability, and stability of the supply chain of the yarn to ensure that they can meet the production requirements.

Once the yarn has been selected, manufacturers need to ensure that it is of the required quality. This includes rigorous quality checks on the yarn, such as tensile strength tests, dye fastness tests, etc., to ensure that the yarn is free from defects and meets the appropriate standards.

All in all, yarn selection is a crucial step in sock production. Manufacturers need to make decisions based on sock design requirements, yarn characteristics, and performance, as well as cost and availability to ensure the quality of the final product and customer satisfaction.

Introduction to yarn preparation techniques

Winding: Winding is the process of spinning the original fiber into yarn. It includes the steps of fiber opening, bunching, pretreatment using a bobbin or card blender, and fine stretching on the spinning machine. The objective of winding is to form the fibers into bundles and to give them a certain strength and consistency for subsequent spinning operations.

Combing: Combing is the process of removing residual staple fibers and impurities from the yarn by carding the fibers. This step improves the quality of the yarn and makes it smoother and more uniform. The combing operation usually includes steps such as pre-combing, combing, and sealing. The combing force and speed need to be controlled to avoid yarn breakage or other problems.

Lubrication: Fiber friction in the textile process will produce static electricity, and fiber-to-fiber adhesion, resulting in yarn pilling, affecting the quality and appearance of the fabric, so the need to use lubricants to solve the problem.

How socks are knitted and dyed

Knitting machines used in the production of socks

sock manufacturing

Single-pass knitting machine: Single-pass knitting machine is the basic model used to make knitwear and socks, which can be used to produce single-color and multi-color socks of different styles.

Double Knitting Machine: Double Knitting Machine is a special type of knitting machine that can knit two pieces of socks at the same time to improve work efficiency and productivity.

Cylinder machine: A cylinder machine is a special machine for making sock cylinders, which makes sock cylinders and sock bottoms at the same time on the same machine.

Flat Knitting Machine: Flat Knitting Machine can make both the bottom and the foot part of the socks, usually used for mass production of socks.

Floor Knitting Machine: The floor knitting machine is a large machine for sock manufacturing and knitted products on a large scale, and can make several pieces of socks at the same time.

Microcomputerized knitting machine: Microcomputerized knitting machine can automatically prepare socks according to the design pattern and size, with higher production efficiency and production quality.

Automatic sewing machine: An automatic sewing machine can sew the various parts of socks production to improve the beauty and sturdiness of socks.

Detailed description of the knitting process

The yarn is first loaded into the lathe area of the knitting machine, divided into strands and the knitting machine is switched on. The yarn will pass through the eye of the needle plate to form the sock.

Once the knitting machine starts working, the loom glides in turns at high speed over the needle plate while stitch, circular pattern, and sock coordinates are knitted on the yarn, executing operations such as single circular tube opening and gripping.

During the knitting process, it is necessary for the workers to skillfully grasp the speed, coordinate the beats, and adjust each needle position to ensure that all parts of the knitted socks are intact and free from misalignment.

Add rubber yarn to the edge of the machine and knit the edges appropriately, to increase the ribbing of the socks in daily life and make sure that they will not be slackened due to external force.

According to the design pattern of the socks, it is necessary to control the addition of color at the appropriate point in time, as well as the number and combination of yarns on each needle position during the whole process.

When preparing each group of socks, the machine will dynamically check the condition of each needle bed and needle, as well as the problems of yarn tension and strength, etc., to ensure that the final output of socks is of stable and excellent quality.

When the socks are finished knitting, it is necessary to remove some overhanging thread bundles, shedding filaments, and other clutter in time, and at the same time, under the checking operation of the product quality inspector, to scrutinize its size, quality, and aesthetics.

The cutting machine will automatically separate and cut the sock cylinder and heel sole, and then organize the golden knots in the hem and tube.

Dyeing technology in sock manufacturing

sock manufacturing

Acid Dyeing Technology: This technology enables socks to be dyed brightly with excellent color fastness and luster, suitable for all types of socks. In this technique, acid dyes are first dissolved in water and then heated for dyeing with the addition of an acidifier. The socks go through several processes to complete the dyeing process such as soaking, coloring, rinsing, and color fixing.

Alkaline dyeing technology: This technology is suitable for cotton socks and blended socks and can obtain bright colors. Alkaline dyes are first mixed with a saturated alkaline solution and then heated or reacted until the dyes and fibers are combined.

Direct Fiber Dyeing Technique: This technique requires that the socks are first completely saturated in the dye solution and then the dye is heated or cured. This technique is suitable for all types of cotton and blended socks with bright attractive colors and excellent color fastness.

Combination Dyeing: Combination dyeing techniques allow two or more dyes to be transferred to the same fabric, producing unique and excellent dyeing results. Some of these combination techniques can transfer dyes to yarns that can be dyed in only some stages, creating complex and unique color combinations.

Connecting and sewing sock with ingenuity

When knitting a sock cylinder, the knitting machine knits the upper part of the cylinder into an elastic material according to the design requirements to ensure that the sock fits snugly on the leg. Typically, the barrel portion of the sock has a higher yarn density to increase the tightness of the sock.

The instep and foot portions of the sock can be joined using either a flat seam or chain link. If a flat seam is used, the instep and foot sections are placed together and sewn together on a sewing machine. If a chain link is used, the chain link needles on the knitting machine will seamlessly join the instep and foot together during the knitting process.

In sock manufacturing, the toe of the sock is usually the last part to be joined and is one of the key areas that tend to fray. Double stitching or additional padding can be added to the toe for added strength and durability. The knitting machine will use a technique of reducing the number of stitches while knitting the sock according to the design requirements so that the toe portion of the sock is gradually tightened to form a closed structure. This allows the toe of the sock to be seamlessly connected to the rest of the sock.

When joining the various parts of the sock, the knitting machine needs to be adjusted to the design requirements and knitting pattern. By controlling parameters such as needle seat movement, yarn or yarn supply, and yarn density, smooth transitions and tight connections between the different parts can be achieved.

sock manufacturing

Quality control and inspection

Implementation of strict quality control measures

Quality control of raw materials: For the raw materials needed for sock manufacturing, such as cotton, polyester, etc., we should do a good job of raw material procurement management to ensure that the quality of raw materials meets the standards and regulations. Strictly check the defects of raw materials, yarn strength, and other technical requirements, and do not use unqualified raw materials to ensure the quality of socks.

Process control: Reasonable planning of process flow, strict inspection, and control of important processes such as knitting, cutting, and packing. Add sample inspection and sampling test in each process, and rework the products that do not meet the technical requirements repeatedly until they are qualified or eliminated from the batch.

Equipment maintenance and management: During the production process, carry out daily overhaul, maintenance, cleaning, etc. of relevant equipment to ensure the normal operation and excellent performance of the equipment, and establish equipment maintenance records and consumables information records.

A complete record of the production process: In the production process, establish complete record documents to track and record the products produced in each batch, including batch number, process, date, quantity, quality, and other information. In the production of problems encountered such as errors, rework, etc. record and follow-up processing, and related statistical analysis and research work to find and solve the problem bottlenecks.

Checking sock samples for consistency and defects

Sampling inspection: A certain number of samples are randomly selected from the production batch for inspection to represent the quality of the whole batch.
Appearance Inspection: Checking the appearance of socks, such as color difference, yarn breakage, burr, etc.
Size Measurement: Measure the length, width, elasticity, and other size indicators of the socks to ensure compliance with the design requirements.
Functionality check: test the socks for wearing comfort, breathability, anti-slip, and other functions.

Resolve any problems or deficiencies identified during the inspection

sock manufacturing

Record and classify defects: Record problems or defects found during the inspection and classify them according to their severity.

Analyze causes: Analyze the causes of problems or defects, such as operation errors, material quality, equipment failure, etc.

Take corrective measures: Take corresponding corrective measures, such as repairing, replacing materials, adjusting processes, etc., for undesirable problems or defects.

Preventive measures: According to the cause of the problem or defect, take preventive measures to avoid the recurrence of similar problems.

Distribution and packaging of socks

Discuss the choice of packaging methods for socks

Protective performance: the packaging should be able to provide sufficient protection to ensure that the socks are not damaged or deformed during transportation and storage.

Presentation performance: Packaging should be able to highlight the features and benefits of the socks, attract the consumer’s attention, and provide clear product information and brand identification.

Sustainability: Consider using recyclable and biodegradable packaging materials to minimize the impact on the environment and to meet consumer demand for sustainability.

Convenience: Packaging should be easy to open, close, and carry for consumers to purchase and use.

Inventory management and order fulfillment processes

  • Inventory management

Demand forecast for sock inventory based on market demand, historical sales data, etc. Order Point Setting. Based on the results of the inventory forecast, set the order point level that triggers reordering to ensure timely replenishment of inventory.

Regularly check inventory levels, track sales, and adjust stock levels promptly. Calculate and monitor sock inventory turnover to optimize inventory holding costs.

  • Order traveling process

– Order Receiving: Receive order requests from distributor, retailers, or direct consumers.

– Order Processing: Confirm order information, including sock quantity, style, size, etc., and check inventory availability.

– Order Allocation: Allocate orders to appropriate warehouses or logistics centers for stock preparation. Order Pick and Pack: Prepare orders from stock.

– Order Picking and Packing: Pick socks from stock, pack, and mark them according to order requirements.

– Transportation and Delivery: Arranging for the appropriate mode of transportation to deliver the packed socks to their destination.

– Order Tracking: Tracking the shipping process of the order, providing information such as logistics updates and estimated delivery dates. Order Confirmation and Settlement: Receiving the socks from the stock.

– Order Confirmation and Settlement: Upon receipt of the socks, an order confirmation is made and payment is settled.

Transportation and logistics involved in delivering socks to buyers

sock manufacturing

The socks are properly packaged to ensure their protection during transportation. Labels containing information such as product details, quantity, buyer’s address, and tracking numbers are affixed to each package.

If the socks are being transported internationally, a freight forwarder may be engaged to handle customs clearance, documentation, and coordinating transportation between different countries.

A carrier or shipping company is selected to physically transport the socks from the seller’s location to the buyer’s destination. Factors considered include reliability, cost, transit time, and track record.

If the buyer requests a return or exchange, a reverse logistics process is initiated. The socks are shipped back to the seller, inspected, and appropriate actions are taken to resolve the issue.

Throughout the entire process, effective supply chain management is essential. This involves coordination between suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and logistics providers to ensure smooth operations.

Conclusion

In sock manufacturing, choosing the right materials, designing ergonomic styles, accurately controlling size, and ensuring quality and comfort all require careful planning and execution. At the same time, inventory management, order processing, logistics, and transportation during the production process are also crucial, as they directly affect whether products can be delivered to consumers on time.

By carefully managing every step, manufacturers can provide high-quality, comfortable, and durable socks that bring comfort to customers while promoting sustainability throughout the supply chain.

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