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3 Fabrication Methods for Custom Socks

July 21, 2021

3 Fabrication Methods for Custom Socks

Nothing shows off a pop of personality like some colorful, customized socks.

The possibilities are endless, whether you incorporate stripes, polka dots, or plaid patterns…

Add embroidery, prints, or textured fabric…

Create athletic socks, dress socks, or casual socks…

Or opt for knee-high socks, crew socks, no-show socks, or quarter cuff socks.

But there’s more to a custom sock than just the design itself! HOW that design is implemented can make a major difference in the overall look and feel of the sock as well as in the perceived quality.

If you’re interested in creating custom socks for your store, no need to dig out your knitting needles or sewing machine. You can create high-quality custom socks online from the comfort of your home.

But before you start going through the production process and finalizing your sock design, first you’ve got to figure out how you’ll bring that design from paper to sock.

Here at The/Studio, we offer three major fabrication methods for custom socks:

Each method is best suited for different kinds of designs.

Choose the wrong method and your socks could end up looking totally different from the awesome design you have in your head… but on the other hand, the right method can help you bring your vision to life in a thrilling way!

We’ll go over the three main fabrication methods for custom socks, including how the fabrication process works and what type of sock designs they’re the best for. Then, we’ll fill you in on a few other sock customization options you should be aware of before finalizing your sock design.

Let’s dive right in!

 

3 Fabrication Methods for Custom Socks

One of the top benefits of creating custom socks is getting to personalize the pattern and design that’s on them, as well as other specs like materials and cuff size. Here at The/Studio, we offer three high-quality ways of adding your custom pattern or design to your sock. Each works with many different colors and levels of detail but come with their own unique pros and cons.

Method 1: Jacquard Knit Socks

custom socks jacquard knit socks

The jacquard knit fabrication method is one of the most popular and traditional options.

What are jacquard knit socks?

Jacquard knit socks are custom knitted socks that incorporate your design into the fabric of the sock itself, rather than printing colors on top of a pre-made sock. The word “jacquard” doesn’t refer to a specific pattern, but rather the sort of machine used to create these socks. A jacquard is an apparatus with perforated cards, fitted to a loom to create a predesigned fabric pattern that stays consistent from sock to sock. 

What are jacquard knit socks good for?

Jacquard knit socks are ideal if you’re looking to create a traditional custom sock with a clean, simple design. Jacquard knit socks are especially popular because they’re durable and long-lasting. Patterns that are stamped or printed on the surface can be prone to fading or pattern stretching – jacquard knit prints move as you move and don’t change with daily wear and tear.

That being said, jacquard knit socks may not have as many color options as printed socks do. They’re also best suited for repeating patterns.

Jacquard knit socks are both the most popular and most affordable fabrication method offered at The/Studio. Socks created with this fabrication method start at $2.93 per pair, depending on the quantity ordered, cuff size, and other customization selections.

Examples of Jacquard Knit Socks

If you look closely, it’s easy to spot a jacquard knit sock – especially when it stretches! Jacquard knit socks usually feature repeating patterns that are woven into the fabric itself. Here are a few examples of jacquard knit socks we’ve created in the past:

These black and white socks feature a minimal color palette and a repeating skull pattern throughout.

These Girl Scout socks feature a logo print throughout and a cool grey and green color palette.

These stylish crew socks feature a woven geometric pattern in vibrant colors.

These super-fun socks feature a colorful woven dog pattern that’ll never lose its vibrance.

 

Method #2: Dye-sublimated Socks

custom socks dye sublimated

Dye-sublimated socks allow for intricate details and unlimited color combinations.

What are dye-sublimated socks?

Dye-sublimated socks are created with a heat transfer printing process. Also known as dye-sub printing, dye sublimation is a computer printing process that uses heat to transfer dye onto materials such as paper, plastic, and, of course, fabric. Though the design is not woven into the fabric of the sock, it still looks good even when the fabric is stretched. However, some may notice white gaps on borders of different colors or when the sock is stretched.

What are dye-sublimated socks good for?

Dye-sublimated socks are ideal for wild designs that incorporate lots of colors and intricate details. It allows you to get the closest to your original sock design, matching colors and shades exactly – so if you’re looking for a fabrication method that stays the truest to your original artwork, dye sublimation is the way to go! 

Dye-sublimated socks are another affordable option at The/Studio. Socks created with this fabrication method start at $3.01 per pair, depending on the quantity ordered, cuff size, and other customization selections.

Examples of dye-sublimated Socks

Dye-sublimated socks are also rather easy to spot, with vibrant hues, intricate details, and fun color combinations. Here are a few examples of dye-sublimated socks we’ve created in the past:

These crew socks feature a finely detailed pattern and multiple neon colors.

These tropical knee-high socks feature multiple bright colors and a fun polka-dot and pineapple pattern.

These no-show socks feature a bright color palette and a cool graffiti pattern that does not repeat itself.

 

Method #3: 360 Degree Printed Socks

360 printed socks also add the design after sock production, but they print the sock wrapped around a cylinder instead of printing onto a sock that is lying flat.

What are 360 printed socks?

360 printed socks are created using an advanced fabrication technique. In this method, the sock is first stretched around a cylinder before the dye is printed onto it. This allows the printer to lay out the image with virtually no pesky white lines. The image wraps all the way around with a practically invisible seam.

360 printed socks aren’t offered by all companies, but The/Studio has recently adopted this high-quality fabrication method.

What are 360 printed socks good for?

360 printed socks are ideal for designs that are dynamic, continuous, and vivid. If you’re looking for higher color fidelity and an image that wraps all the way around without the white gaps associated with traditional sublimation, this is the way to go. With endless color options and excellent printing precision, it yields a beautiful result.

Dye-sublimated socks are the most expensive option at The/Studio, but they are still available at a rather low cost. Socks created with this fabrication method start at just $3.15 per pair, depending on the quantity ordered, cuff size, and other customization selections.

Examples of 360 printed socks

360 printed socks are known for their bright, rich colors, wraparound designs, and photo-realistic quality. 

These crew socks bring an action photograph to life with rich colors and intricate details.

These pretty knee-high socks feature a richly colored galaxy pattern that wraps around the entire sock without any white lines.

These creative crew socks feature the Cheetos logo, with rich enough color and details that they look just like the bag.

 

Other Sock Customization Options

custom socks other fabrication methods

Now that you have a better idea of which type of fabrication method might be the best fit for your upcoming custom sock project… Your decision-making has only just begun! The/Studio allows you to customize all sorts of aspects of your socks, including the cuff size, material, thickness, and add-ons.

Cuff size

Choose whether you’d like to create no-show socks, quarter cuff socks, crew socks, or knee-high socks. All cuff sizes are compatible with all fabrication methods. Learn more about the different cuff options here.

Material

Choose from multiple material blends, including standard casual (cotton/spandex/nylon/elastic), premium dress (bamboo/spandex/nylon/elastic), premium casual (combed cotton/spandex/nylon/elastic), standard active (poly cotton/spandex/nylon/elastic), premium active (combed cotton/spandex/nylon/elastic), or 100% polyester. (Note that 100% polyester socks cannot be made with a jacquard knit.)

Thickness

Choose whether you’d prefer a standard sock weight, thick weight, extra-thick weight, regular athletic socks with compression ribbing, thick athletic socks with compression ribbing, or extra-thick athletic socks with terry cushioning. All thickness options are compatible with all fabrication methods.

Add-ons

Choose whether to add on custom embroidery, terry cushioning, compression ribbing, bottom grips, printed/knit text detail, custom cuff shapes, and more.

 

How to Create Custom Socks – Jacquard Knit, Dye-sublimated, or 360 Printed

how to create custom socks

Now that you’re familiar with all three major fabrication methods that can be used to create your custom sock and other customization options available to you, you’re all set to start creating beautiful custom socks for your business. We’ll walk you through the entire process step by step.

1. Find a manufacturer

First up, find a sock manufacturer who can provide you with high-quality, extremely customizable socks at a fair price and with a fast turnaround.

While there certainly are many sock manufacturers out there, they’re not all created equal. Especially for small-scale creators, it can be a little tricky to know which are worth partnering with and which have restrictive prices or policies.

Finding the right manufacturer is especially important if you have your heart set on creating 360 printed socks since it’s a relatively new fabrication method that isn’t widely available. The/Studio offers all three of the top sock fabrication methods.

As you research different sock manufacturers, keep an eye out for the following offerings:

  • Multiple sock options
  • Plenty of customizability
  • Top factories
  • Fair pricing
  • Quick turnaround time
  • Free shipping
  • Free design services
  • No minimum order quantities
  • Excellent customer service
  • 100% satisfaction guaranteed

The/Studio checks all the boxes – if you’re looking for a safe bet, start here! You’ll complete the entire product customization process using our convenient DIY product creation tool. 

 

2. Choose the sock type

Now, it’s time to select your basic sock type. You’ll be prompted to choose the cuff style of your sock (no-show, quarter cuff, crew, or knee-high) and the fabrication method (jacquard knit, dye-sublimated, or 360 printed). Then, you’ll choose your order quantity before moving on to additional customization options.

 

3. Customize your socks

Next up, start making your socks your own! Customize pack size, kitting, size, material, thickness, and optional upgrades.

 

4. Design your socks

Now, it’s time to work on your unique design. Once you’ve customized different specs of your socks, you’ll have the chance to upload your sock design. 

If you’ve already finalized your design whether on paper or on the computer, that’s plenty – simply upload a file and our design team will translate it into a sock! If you’re not much of a designer, that’s okay, too – send us whatever sketches you have along with detailed notes about what you envision, and our expert designers will create something beautiful.

 

5. Approve a mockup

Next, our designers will create a physical prototype or detailed mockup of your sock and send it in the mail or as a photograph for your approval. If all looks great, say the word and we’ll move forward with the rest of production. If you see any room for improvement, just let us know and we’ll make as many tweaks as you’d like. (For free, of course!)

 

6. Sell or give away your socks

Once you’ve given your final approval, we’ll produce all of the rest of your custom socks using the fabrication method you’ve specified within the quoted timeline. You’ll enjoy free shipping on your entire order, then receive your socks all ready to give away or sell in your retail store!

 

Ready to start creating? Start the process here.

Learn more about creating custom socks:

 

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