Socks 101: What to Know Before Making Custom Threads August 21, 2018
We’re continuing our “Creation 101” series and taking some time off from patches to discuss a product with endless potential — socks. A forgotten accessory for too long, this foundation of almost every outfit is getting a comeback. Is your brand investing in socks? Here’s everything you should be thinking about to make sure your newest footwear is a “shoe- in.”
Lesson 1: Anatomy of a sock.
A sock’s just a sock, right? Nope. Creating a socks are an investment — it’s not just about creating a custom design or logo. You’ve got to think about a complex combination of sizes, fibers, seasonal use, print design, comfort and what actually being worn does to perfectly good sock design. Your cool logo could be unrecognizable once stretched over a size 12 foot unless you plan ahead.
Not surprisingly, there are sock experts and they know way more about designing perfect socks then you ever want to. No worries, though — we make the process simple by breaking it into easy-to-answer questions without getting bogged down in the details. It’s like getting an instant education in socks, which is what you’ve always wanted.
Let’s talk socks.
The foundation of your sock is its style, sometimes called “cut” — no-show, crew, quarter and knee-high. While custom-lengths are definitely a thing, these four will cover any season, activity and style people wear socks in. Using these terms will help you avoid creating a custom-length when you could be going with an affordable pre-cut.
Next up? Fabrication. This is just a fancy way of describing the material your sock’s made of, and ultimately how it’s made. This is where details get a little less obvious.
All socks come in three fabrication methods: jacquard/knitted, dye-sublimanted and 360-degree printing. Jacquard fabrication methods sounds the fanciest but it’s probably the style you’re wearing now — it simply means that any designs, logos or colors are woven right into your sock as the fabric, no printing or emblazoning. This allows for some great “classic” looks as well as classy looks if your preference is for geometric or minimalistic designs. Not great for precise lettering or anything involving curves, but…
Dye-sublimated and 360-degree printing are perfect for more wild designs. The only difference between the two is that 360-degree printing is the “Cadillac” option — higher color fidelity, even more printing precision. Your choice depends simply on budget and design needs: think tie-dye versus comic books.
Who’s wearing your socks? Thankfully, socks aren’t like shoes — there’s a bit of give and take on sizes, with each covering about three shoe sizes. While you may want to stock multiple sizes — small, medium and large, for instance, if you’re running a general fashion brand, large might be perfect if you’re outfitting a men’s soccer team, or youth medium for a girl’s softball crew. Speaking of men and women, socks do differ by sex (just when you thought life was simple). The general shape of a sock is altered by whether a man or woman is wearing it.
The good news is we know all about socks sizes and can help you decide what’s best if you’re not sure. Ordering the wrong size for your soccer team would, well, sock.
Socks won’t sell by themselves (they do, but its called wholesale bins and it’s probably not your line of business or desired profit margin). You need trim, what fashion industry folks like to call the “extras” like bags, tags, and hangers. Hangers are great for “professional” socks like dress attire; bags tend to compliment athletic socks or “value” buys. Tags, like hanger tags, sewn-on tags, and backer cards, help establish your brand with a logo, brand story and care information. They’re worth an investment — an additional dollar spent on trim can increase per-unit profits several dollars. But if you’re set on just a bag or hanger, we can customize those, too with special printing or molding options.
Socks aren’t simple, but creating them can be. If you were able to imagine your answer regarding the above necessary ingredients of a pair of socks, you can start a custom sock order today. When you order with The/Studio, your creative designer or the automated Create Your Product tool walks you through these highlights, plus just a few others. Letting you create a sweet pair of socks unlike anything on the market, without breaking a sweat.