5 Basic Structures of Socks You Should Know

Table of Contents

When you are sourcing or designing your own socks, do you have an understanding of the basic construction of socks? Different constructions can enhance the functionality and comfort of your socks and better fit your brand concept. As a socks manufacturer with 20 years of experience, I, the project manager will introduce 5 basic sock constructions to help you get a better idea.

The 5 basic structures of a sock is a jacquard pattern which can be called as a sock design, the second is one is elastic rib which is normally used on sports socks. A cuff is the top part of socks, there’re many different styles. Mesh structure is also common on sports socks, and the last is terry and flat structure.

Jacquard Pattern

The jacquard section is a common construction on socks, and most of the patterns on socks are knitted which means it’s knitted by the machine directly. Below are photos for reference. So when you send an inquiry to the factory pay attention to the pattern technique, if you write a printing pattern then this is a completely different technique to jacquard (refer to this previous article for the printing process) and the price of printing is more expensive than jacquard. So be careful to distinguish between the pattern process.

jacquard socks

Elastic ribs

Elastic ribs are used to improve the elasticity of the socks, as they are the main component of our factory compression socks. They are basically used in sports socks, mainly ob the cuff, ankle and arch support areas. By adding elastic ribs, the stretch is enhanced, helping the wearer to bounce better during exercise. In addition, the stronger stretching makes them feel more compression during exercise and improves blood circulation. The thickness of the rib varies as well, as shown in the picture below. 2*1 and 3*1 are common, with the latter being more common.

elastic rib

Cuff structure

The cuff part is known as top of socks, and the different cuff structures will affect the comfort of the sock. The below pictures show a few different types of cuff construction. For everyday casual socks, the cuff is relatively loose to achieve a comfortable fit, but loose doesn’t mean that they will fall off over time, but rather that they are less tight compared to sports socks. The right picture shows the cuff of a sports sock, which is made of elastic ribs in 3*1 or 2*1 thickness. A moderately tight cuff prevents the sock from falling off during exercise and provides support for the ankle. There is a special type of sock called a diabetic sock, which is usually made with a loose-cuff construction, as diabetics are affected by high blood sugar levels over a long period of time, which can cause poor circulation and require a loose-cuff design to prevent the foot from being squeezed.

socks cuff

Flat and Terry

In terms of thickness, socks are differentiated by flat and terry, as shown in the chart below. The majority of daily regular socks are mainly flat, while sports socks or socks with a thermal function have an additional terry section. Terry loops can be made on the soles of the feet or the whole sock body, in addition to increasing warmth, there is also the function of moisture absorption and perspiration, so sports socks generally add terry loops on the soles of the feet.

Moreover, the terry can also make a variety of shapes in different parts, such as the dots in the image below, the protective layer on the ankles, and irregular stripes on the soles of the feet.

This irregularly shaped loop is called arbitrary terry, and its production is much lower than that of ordinary socks and is, therefore, more expensive.

terry flat socks
irregular terry socks pattern

Mesh structure

The mesh construction is easy to recognize, as shown in the following picture. Usually, the mesh is used on sports socks to achieve the effect of ventilation, but there are also patterns made from the mesh. In addition, the mesh can be made anywhere on the sock, usually at the instep and ankle.

sock mesh design

So the above is about the 5 basic structures of socks, which we hope will help you with sock design. If you encounter problems in the design, or are not sure what structure can better help you to match your own brand positioning, welcome to contact us Jiaxing Max Hosiery–we’re your problem solver in the socks industry.

Follow us:



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

17 − 5 =

Let's Have A Chat

Get A Free Consultation For Your Sock Business!