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 It is an item of clothing worn on the feet.  Helps to absorb sweat produced in foot and draws it to areas

where air can evaporate the perspiration.
 In cold environments, socks decrease the risk of frostbite.  The name is derived from the loose-fitting slipper, called a

soccus in Latin, worn by Roman comic actors.

 In the 8th century BC, the Ancient Greeks wore socks from

matted animal hair for warmth.
 The Romans also wrapped their feet with leather or woven

 By 1000 AD, socks became a symbol of wealth among the


 The invention of a knitting machine in 1589 meant that socks

could be knitted six times faster than by hand. Nonetheless, knitting machines and hand knitters worked side by side until
 The next revolution in socks production was the introduction

of nylon in 1938. Until then socks were commonly made
from silk, cotton and wool.
 Nylon was the start of blending two or more yarns in the

production of socks, a process that still continues.

 Some of these materials

are cotton, wool, nylon, acrylic, polyester, olefins, (such as polypropylene), or spandex
 To get an increased level of softness other materials that might

be used during the process can
be silk, bamboo,linen, cashmere, or mohair

 Socks are manufactured in a variety of lengths

 Bare or ankle socks extend to the ankle or lower and are often worn casually or for

athletic use
 Bare socks are designed to create the look of "bare feet" when worn with shoes.  Knee-high socks are sometimes associated with formal dress or as being part of a uniform  Over-the-knee socks or socks that extend higher (thigh-high socks) are today considered

female garments. They were widely worn by children, both boys and girls, during the late19th and early-20th centuries., although the popularity varied widely from country to country.

 In the United Kingdom, a sock's size is similar to the person's

shoe size; for example, a foot that has a shoe size of 9 would

require a sock sized 8-10
 In some other parts of the world socks are sized differently

than shoes. In the U.S. numerical sock size is the length of the foot in inches, whereas shoe size is not
 Sock lengths vary, from ankle-high to thigh level

 Most sports will require some sort of sock, usually a tube

sock to protect one's legs from being scraped while

participating in sport activities
 In basketball, tube socks are worn, and in lacrosse, mid-calf

socks are required
 In football, knee socks are used. They are mostly to stop grass


Yarn Used for Socks
 The standard yarn for men and children's socks has always

been wool.
 In the recent years textured nylon and Terylene have been

 Yarns having stretch properties are widely used .  Both nylon and Terylene yarn can be textured to stretch

Process of Socks Knitting: Machines used
 The machines have a cylinder with slots for the needles, the

needles have latches on them and this is what produces the

knitting as the needles travel in the cam shell path.

Circular Knitting Machine
 The circular knitting machine is used for socks knitting.  The socks are made in all gauges up to 484 needles in a 3 ¼"

cylinder diameter.
 The most common gauge is 400 needles.

Straight Bar Machines
•These machines create a flat shaped fabric by decreasing the
number of loops across the fabrics. •The shaping or fashioning was carried out by transferring loops inward at the selvedge's.

•The tube was completed by a seam up the backing of the
stocking •This system of production is still used for the manufacturing of full-fashioned ladies stockings.

Straight Bar Machines

Principal Gauges
1. Ski socks, fisherman hose - 44N x 5 ½

(i.e., 44 needles in the cylinder of 5 ½" diameter) 2. Heavy half Hose, Foot ball socks
3. Jacquard Half Hose 4. Jacquard Half Hose

- 84 N

x 4 ½"

--- 104 N x 4 ½" 144 N x 4 ½"

5. Jacquard Half Hose


192 N x 4 ½"

Three - Quarter Hose
•These are foot sizes 6", 7" & 8" •The fabric should have at least 50% stretch.

•The machine diameter may vary from 3½" to 4 ½" according to the size of socks and the gauge of the machine.

Children's Socks
•These are nearly always made on circular footwear machines

and foot sizes vary from 3 ½" to 9 ½". •With non-stretch yarns a different size foot would be knitted
for every half inch. •The leg size is usually about the same as the foot size.

•With medium gauge socks (15 NPI) the cylinder diameter would vary from 2 ¼" to 3 3/4" and the yarn used would be
2/36 worsted or 2/100 denier crepe nylon.

Ladies Hose or Stockings
 These are mostly of fine gauge varying from 30 needles

/inch (45 gauge) up to 40 needles/ inch (60 gauge).
 The finished foot sizes range from 8 ½" to 11" at the leg

length from 28" to 36".

Men’s Half Hose
 These vary considerably both in gauge and size.  With non-stretch yarn, the sizes vary from 9 ½" to 12" foot

 The leg length varies from 14" to 15“.
 short -socks are also made with the leg length 7" to 9" and long socks

with elastic top 18" to 12".
 The normal leg length for stretch socks is 11" to 12 but short socks are

made with leg length 8"
 practically all men's half hose are made on circular-Foot wear machines

References: Ncute- Programmes Series

Knitting Technology

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