How are socks made?

Socks are the things you wear every day without a second thought. But have you ever wondered how socks are made? While the process may vary slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer, the steps generally remain the same. 

This article will delve into manufacturing the noble sock and how it has progressed from the tedious task of hand-knitting to the efficient process used today. 

What are socks made of?

Four common materials are used to manufacture socks: cotton, wool, polyester and bamboo, and each comes with its benefits and drawbacks


Cotton socks are known for their breathability and softness, making them good for everyday wear. 


Conversely, wool is often chosen for its insulating properties, making it the perfect choice for winter socks.


Synthetic fibres, such as polyester, are known for their elasticity and stretch, meaning they fit comfortably and snugly.


Bamboo is a popular sock choice because it’s eco-friendly, moisture-wicking, and durable - meaning it’s the ideal choice for all types of socks!

How are socks made?

There are several different processes involved in manufacturing our favourite fancy footwear, which may vary depending on the chosen material of the sock. Let’s explore the steps from the initial design to the finished product…

Step 1: Designing the socks

The first and most fun step in the process is the design. At Hedgy Socks, our designs feature our favourite British animals and insects, including hedgehogs, ladybugs and seagulls.


At Hedgy, we think long and hard about the designs of our socks and ensure that they are pixel-perfect before they go into production.

Step 2: Creating a prototype

Once the designs have been finalised, a prototype is created to determine the exact colours, design, and size to prevent colour clashes, faulty products, and overall disappointment with the product. This sample pair of socks is usually created on the same knitting machine that mass produces the finished product.


Once approved, the raw materials are acquired to start the production process.

Step 3: The manufacturing process

Here’s the best bit, the step where the physical socks are produced! We love this bit because we see our designs come to life in all sizes of socks to suit anyone who wants them!


First, raw materials are spun into yarn before the sock-knitting process can begin. The yarn is dyed to match the colours of the original sock design. Material reels are then loaded onto a specialised knitting machine (the same one from the prototyping step) designed to mass-produce your socks.


The tube of the sock is knitted together, but the toe of the sock is left open, ready for the next step. The socks get transferred to the seaming machine to seal their toe opening. 


The next part of the sock manufacturing process is to treat the material. The socks are stretched over frames, and a caustic solution is applied to make a stronger, more durable material. Socks can take an extreme beating throughout their lifetime (holey socks seem familiar to anyone?), so extra steps must be taken to ensure your socks will last as long as possible. This solution is then washed off to ensure the socks are safe to wear and no chemicals are left on the material.

Step 4: Quality control

The socks need to be checked for defects after the manufacturing process. The quality control step is likely the most important, ensuring no issues with the socks before they get packaged and delivered. 


The socks are usually paired at this stage to ensure every sock has its ‘other half’.

Step 5: Delivering the final product

The final step is packaging the socks, ready to be delivered to customers eagerly awaiting their cosy packages!

Where can you buy the perfect pair of socks?

At Hedgy Socks, all our socks are made with bamboo because we believe in good socks for the planet and your feet! Our bamboo socks are sustainable and chemical-free. They feature adorable animal designs to celebrate the different animals in the UK and spread awareness of how we can help them thrive! 


By purchasing our socks, you are doing your bit for the environment and helping animals across the country, as 10% of every sale is donated to UK wildlife charities!


Browse our wildlife or farm-animal socks to find a pair that reflects the animal in you!