When you mean to start a sock company or get your custom socks manufactured in China, you’ll want to know how are socks made in a sock factory. This post is arranged to inform our potential clients of the whole sock manufacturing process. Generally, it would involve several steps from the original online design to the last stitch of yarn in the factory. This is to say a great deal of preparation should be in position before the mass production comes into being. Each section of the production must coordinate with each other to ensure quality and time-controlling. Specifically, this post would be elaborated based on the following eight aspects:
1. Settle down specification
An order normally starts with frequent emails communication of the specification. Generally, it would cover colors, materials, tube height, weight and quantity etc. Also, pictures of the desired products are indispensable in order to ensure the sample and the mass production are accepted by our clients. It could be designed by the clients themselves or our technicians based on the general descriptions.
2. Pattern coding
Pattern coding is the first step of our work, which literally refers to the transformation of vector designs of clients into bitmap designs. This transformation is necessary as the machine is not capable of reading the vector designs directly. A professional and regular coding team that familiar with the machine and design model would normally in position within the factory to take responsibility of the work.
Each pixel of the bitmap design equals to a thread in real practice. Based on different width of flat bitmap design, different needles of knitting machines would be applied thereafter. Pixels width such as 96, 144, 168, 200 generally equal to the needle of 96N, 144N, 168N, 200N respectively. These indexes would then be input into computer knitting machine. The fact is pattern coding can be complicated for some companies that shed its focuses on chain production. Hence, outsourcing to some relative factories would be a normal practice.
3. Yarn preparation
After the coding of the pattern is settled down, yarn preparation then follows as the second step. Normally, the sock yarn is purchased based on the varying requirements of each order. Namely, there are two things that should be carefully dealt with: color and composition. In terms of color and composition selection, there are some tips that should be followed in case some faults or mismatch might occur later in the mass production.
Concerning the color, it would be better for the clients to check Pantone color card before the order is arranged. With the specified reference, the factory could be far easier to correctly select the color that the clients need. The composition of the yarn is then another critical issue that seeks abortive treatment as it involves the material of the final products. Of course, composition varies in prices, just as their differing experiences and comforts. Relative materials are elaborated in the previous post. A glimpse of them would express a comparative clearer understanding of them and guide you afterward.
Related article: What Material Would Be Good For Making Socks
4. Knitting socks
The manufacturing operates based on the above two steps. Specifically, the specially-programmed code in the first step would enable the multiple needles to knit the scattered thread into a series of interlocking loops. This is then followed with the programmed socks knitting machine to run at a high speed to do custom production. Generally, this is a once-for-all deal. It is to say the knitting machine only needs to be programmed at the very beginning. Of course, defaults regarding length, trimming and interlocking could happen from time to time. This involves timely inline inspection and post-inspection as well.
5. Linking/ Sewing socks
Linking or sewing steps is needed afterwards. This is because the fact that most knitting machine normally makes a cylinder tube, while the toe parts are made alone. Hence, connection is indispensable. Presently, the connection is in ways of machine linking or manual sewing. But these two ways enjoy their respective merits and demerits. The machine linking can be quicker and easier than manual operation, while the manual sewing could be more refined in general.
6. Socks Boarding
When the very production process is finished, boarding is then implemented to keep the socks in good shape and most importantly, enabling it to be easier to be paired and packed. This is processed with steams of a specified pressure and temperature to keep the socks soft and elastic. Of course, the temperature sometimes could be uncontrollable, which would grill some socks into defective ones. The operators then sort these out in order to deliver the real qualified products.
7. Pair & Label & logo
The easy and mechanical pairing of the left and the right one is arranged before label and logo. Out of clients’ different requirements, the label could be designed by the factory or assigned from the clients. As for the logo, this is normally requested by clients as it is a good way to settle up a brand or do some advertisements for some events. Jacquard or embroidery is selected based on different designs and budget of the clients.
8. Package & delivery
Packaging and delivery is the terminal process of order. Normally, clients would require some specific packaging based on their target customers and budgets. There are some choices available based on clients’ needs, such as OPP bags, box, and some elastic plastic bag etc. Issues relating to delivery would also be determined based on clients’ intentions. Based on time and cost, we would arrange a different delivery.
Related article: How to Choose the Best Way to Ship Socks from China?
If you have any questions or interests relating to socks or gloves production, please do feel free to send an email to us (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org). May you have a good day!