Knitted or Printed Socks ... What's the Difference?

twin roads

For the most part, there are two types of socks available on the market. We will delve into the details of both types, along with the pros and cons of each.

Knitted Socks

knitted sock

Knitted socks can be made using a traditional knitting machine to create either a traditional knitted or jacquard pattern. These patterns are directly integrated into the fabric as the sock is being knitted, using interlocking loops of yarn to create intricate designs. The type of yarn used can vary depending on the intended use of the socks, with options for bulkier or finer looks. A greater number of needles typically results in a finer, dressier appearance, often using thinner yarn for a softer feel.

For solid color socks, the knitting process is relatively simple as only one-color yarn is used. However, for intricate designs, computer technology is used to determine the placement of different colored yarns to create the desired pattern. Loose threads on the inside of socks with designs are normal, as these threads form the basis of the design on the actual sock.

 

printed socks

Printed Socks
There are several methods for printing designs, images, and logos onto socks. Let’s explore a few of them:

Dye Sublimation:
Sublimation socks are created using a special printing technology that transfers intricate patterns to the socks through the heat and pressure of a heat transfer machine, resulting in a personalized and detailed design.

Here's the process:
1. A special printer uses dye sublimation ink to print the design onto transfer paper.
2. The transfer paper with the design is placed on the sock fabric. Then, the sock and transfer paper are subjected to high heat (usually around 400°F or 204°C). The ink on the transfer paper turns into a gas and permeates the sock fabric, bonding with the fibers.
3. The sock cools down, and the ink solidifies, resulting in a vibrant, long-lasting image that won’t damage the sock material.
Note that due to the pressing process, the overall printing pattern of the socks may not be fully complete, and there may be an indentation or white line on two sides of the socks.

360-Degree Printed Socks:
360-degree digital printing socks are a product of the latest printing technology, allowing for full printing coverage on the socks, not limited to just a part of them. With a special sock printer, this technology offers unprecedented design freedom to create detailed and visually striking patterns.

Key points to note:
- 360 Seamless printing attracts attention with its all-around seamless printing design, making the pattern more coherent and the visual effect more eye-catching.
- This technology can print detailed, brightly colored patterns without design limitations that are not possible with silkscreen or traditional printing.

The process for 360-degree printing is as follows:
- Socks are placed on a flatbed printer.
- The printer directly applies ink to the sock fabric, and the ink is cured using heat to ensure it bonds with the fibers.

Keep in mind that knitted socks can be made using various natural and synthetic yarns, while printed socks require synthetic yarns to fully display the design due to the printing process. At Twin Roads, we provide both options, and your choice should depend on the pattern or design that you prefer.

We assure you that either way our socks are of the highest quality and you won't be disappointed with the outcome.


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