The whole process, from raw materials to finished socks, is the sock manufacturing process. Sock manufacturing is not a high-tech industry, but it involves many detailed processes. Each part of production must be coordinated with the other to ensure quality requirements and time control. In this blog, we will talk in detail about the sock manufacturing process.
6 Steps of Socks Manufacturing
The whole process of producing socks does involve many steps, there are 6 steps in general, which we will mainly talk about:
- Material Selection
- Pattern coding
- Knitting socks
- Pairing and labellingsocks
As science and technology progress and living standards improve, so do the materials used in socks, which can be found by clicking on this blog.
Socks are made up of three main components.
The main material: various fibres (natural, synthetic, recycled) form the basic structure of the sock.
Auxiliary materials: elastic fibres, which allow the socks to shrink close to the foot and prevent them from slipping off.
Auxiliary materials: rubber bands, which shrink the socks and prevent them from collapsing and falling off. Jacquard yarns, produce a variety of beautiful patterns, mainly in high-elastic, nylon and cotton yarns.
An example: just like building a house, the main material is the frame of the house, the auxiliary material is the walls of the house and the auxiliary material is the decoration of the house.
Our customers provide us with sock designs, however, sock knitting machines are not so intelligent as to be able to read the designs directly. This is where a team of professional coders who are familiar with sock patterns and machine mechanisms will do the job. They will take your vector design and turn it into a bitmap design and then into a code that can be read by the knitting machine. Each pixel of the bitmap design means that there is a specific colour of thread that will be knitted out.
Different knitting machine needles mean that the width of the flat bitmap design varies; 96N, 144N, 168N and 200N machines mean width of 96, 144, 168 and 200 pixels respectively. And the limitation on the number of threads is the reason why socks cannot be rendered with gradients or detailed patterns.
Using the programming code in step 2, numerous needles then knit the various threads into a series of interlocking loops. The computerised sock knitting machine works at high speed and can easily be programmed to produce a wide range of socks. The 1st inline check is implemented here to avoid errors in length, trim, interlock etc.
There are two types of sutures: hand-to-eye suture and machine suture. Hand-to-eye suture, also known as boneless suture, involves sewing the needle on the toe of the sock by hand through a disc-mounted needle plate, requiring that the eye and the needle are not dislocated. Machine suture involves transporting the part of the sock to be stitched at the toe by hand to the entrance of the machine, where it is stitched directly by the machine. They each have their own advantages and disadvantages, the latter being more suitable for mass production.
The boarding process is carried out primarily to keep the socks in good condition so that they can be easily paired and packed. It is also important to note that the boarding step is also carried out to keep the socks clean and soft by experiencing steam at a fixed pressure and temperature. After boarding, the socks can be dried naturally.
Pairing and labelling socks
This step is very important. This is because it is the final check step to see if there are any offsets on the socks. The left and right socks are paired together and passed on to be privately labelled. You can choose between a hangtag or a band to mark your socks.
These are the main sock-making processes. Isn’t it a lot more tedious than you might think?