You know, sock is a daily consumable article and a must for people all over the world. When speaking of hosiery manufacturers, China always comes first. Do you know 80-90% of the world’s socks are made in China? There are thousands of sock factory on different scales in China. But in addition to China, you can also find some good sock manufacturers in other countries.
So we’ve done a lot of research recently and also interviewed several veterans who have 10 to 20 years ’ experience in the sock industry. And finally came up with this post that selected Top 20 hosiery factory in the world.
We have introduced the biggest sock manufacturers that OEM for well-known sock brands. And also those of small and medium-size suitable for small and medium-sized businesses to start. If you want to make socks, you can contact us. We will help you find the best sock manufacturer and get the most competitive price for you according to your business model.
This article consists of two parts. You can click the section you are interested in and read the corresponding content.
Part 1: List of socks & stocking factory in different countries
- Best sock & stocking manufacturers in China
- Best functional sock manufacturers in the USA
- Best stocking & pantyhose factory in Italy
- Best cotton socks manufacturers in Pakistan
- Best sock manufacturers in Japan
- Best pantyhose manufacturers in Turkey
Part 2: FAQ for finding the best sock factory
Part 1: List of Top 20 socks & stocking factory in different countries
Early in the 1970s and 1980s, the global hosiery center transferred from the United States, Italy and other countries to Japan, South Korea and China. Then it gradually moved to developing countries like China, Turkey, India and Pakistan where production costs were lower. Nowadays, hosiery competition is mainly in China, Turkey and Italy.
Pantyhose factory in Europe, especially in Italy, has basically realized the fully automatic production thanks to advanced machinery and equipment. While In Asia, like China, it’s only semi-automated. Some operations on the production line have to be done manually.
Cotton socks and stocking (pantyhose) are the most used socks. Since cotton is almost only grown in China, Pakistan and a little in Australia, cotton socks are mainly imported from China. In America, merino wool is often used as a raw material for socks. While in the Europe area, pantyhose weaved in chemical fiber yarn are the most popular.
More knowledge for certificates mentioned for hosiery factory would be introduced in the Part 2.
1. Best socks & stocking manufacturers in China
There are sufficiently cheap labor resources and also a complete textile clothing industry chain in China. China produces both competitive cotton socks and silk socks and mainly exports cotton socks now.
Due to the recent reduction of the entry threshold of sock manufacturers, most of the sock manufacturers are small. But there are also several large factories, where there are hundreds or even thousands of employees can do OEM for famous brands like Uniqlo, Adidas, etc.
The following factories introduced are all leading sock manufacturers in different scales.
Bonas is one of the Top 3 China hosiery manufacturers that works with Uniqlo. It has 20,000 square meters of production base including cotton socks factory, silk socks factory, nylon factory, pantyhose factory and bale yarn factory, covering a complete industrial chain.
Bonas owns more than 2,000 Italian automatic hosiery machines, 4,000 employees and 10 product patents. It can produce 1.8 million production value per month. Silk socks and pantyhose are their main products. Their brand designer is a Milan fashion designer.
Now Bonas has established a brand company in the United States and entered the Amazon platform. You can select from their current 5,000 styles or ask for OEM or ODM. Since Bonas is a big company, the MOQ will be 3,000 to 5,000 pairs, valuing $1400.
Being the first sock factory that passes ISO9001 in China, Naier covers an area of 24,633 square meters and has more than 2300 employees. Its annual production capacity reaches up to 28 million pairs and they are Mainly exported to Europe, North America, Australia and Japan.
For a long time, Naier keeps the close cooperation with famous brands like Adidas, Walmart, Lee, New Balance and so on via OEM.
In recent years, influenced by trade war and other policies, Naier set a new factory in Vietnam, where has advantages of labor cost, tax and trade barriers.
JASAN Group is the world’s largest manufacturer of cotton socks. It has about 8,000 employees and an annual production capacity of 400 million pairs of cotton socks.
In the aspect of qualification and social responsibility, it owns ISO 9001, ISO 14000, OHSAS 18000 system certification, the US customs C-TPAT counter-terrorism certification and many well-known social responsibility system certification.
For more than 20 years, they have specialized in cotton socks and seamless underwear and established a long-term partnership with world famous brands like ADIDAS, PUMA, NIKE, H&M, UNIQLO, etc. There are five production bases and JASAN arranges several of them to produce exclusively for these brands to ensure the quality and maintain the good partnership.
Compared with last two big factories, Meetsocks is a medium-sized sock factory that offers one-stop socks OEM solution. It owns 189 sock knitting machines and produced 10 million pairs of socks in 2018. It has more than 14 years of experience and owns the certification of BSCI and OEKO-TEX.
Since Meetsocks offers customization service, you can choose various materials like cotton, wool, bamboo, polyester, spandex, etc. You can also find some free sock templates as a reference.
It is a sock factory which is suitable for those who are at the beginning stage of sock business , because its OMQ is only 100 pairs per design per size.
Ji Xing Feng
Jixingfeng Knitting Factory is an OEM socks and tights manufacturer, which has more than 200 machines and hundred-odd workers. Besides common daily socks, they also produce some socks with special functions like non-slip socks, trampoline socks and so on.
They have an output of 400,000 pairs per month and the MOQ will be 1000 pairs per color. And they are certificated with SGS and CSC.
2. Best functional sock manufacturers in the USA
You almost can’t find big sock manufacturers in the USA now.
The present sock manufacturers mainly engage in functional socks. There are may only 10 to 20 machines in these sock factories, but these machines are designed to produce these functional socks, each one may value &80,000 to &90,000.
The important thing is, these machines are highly productive and thus reduce the cost. Functional socks produced by these machines can sell for $30 a pair.
The Sock Factory
It is a family-owned company with over 40 years of experience on socks. They specialize in compression socks and outdoor socks. They now have 50 employees and over 60 knitting machines.
They have also produced their own sock brands, FITSOK, WILLIAM TUCKER and CRAZY COMPRESSION.
Nester Hosiery also grows from a family-owned company founded in 1993. The company keeps innovating and design new types of socks, heavyweight / thermal, midweight / everyday, lightweight / multi-sport.
They are good at making merino wool socks and sport socks. In 2010, they develop their own socks brand named Farm To Feet. Its current production line includes Hike, Sport, Hunt/Fish, Snowsports, Everyday, Tactical, and Equestrian socks.
If you like merino wool socks and want to wholesale sports socks, why not choose this one?
3. Best stocking & pantyhose factory in Italy
As mentioned above, Italian machines are so advanced that almost all other countries applies Italian sock machines. At present, sock factory in Italy is also not big. There may be no more than 30 machines and are operated by several workers.
Because sock machines produced by Italy are controlled by computers and can basically realise fully automated production.
Although the labor cost in Italy is much higher than that of China and Pakistan, the sock machines are very advanced and have a high output. Besides, the raw materials of pantyhose are all produced locally in Europe, so the socks produced in Italy are very competitive.
This is why only Italy in the developed countries can still establish a foothold in the socks industry today. Its exquisite craftsmanship and 100% Made in Italy often represent the quality of socks made in Italy.
Founded in 1967, Golden Lady is one of the first Italian companies to open up the market for ladies’ hosiery and knitted underwear. It specializes in socks and stockings for women and also some for men.
They have 11 manufacturers in Europe and produce more than 3 billion pairs, all products are certified in quality by Spanish. It is a company that attaches great importance to the development of overseas markets, 55% of the total annual turnover comes from overseas markets.
Calze BC is a factory mainly produces stockings and tights that conform to OEKO-TEX standard. There are over 160 circular machines and more than 40 million of pairs produced every year. All phases of production are done inside their factory unit to guarantee a constant standard quality.
They use Lycra, polyamide, polyester, wool, cotton and microfibers. You can ask choose what you want and ask them private label for you.
Viola Calzificio mainy provide socks, tights and stockings to commercial online platforms and department stores. They have around 100 sock machines and the
production capacity is between 500,000 and 1,200,000 pairs per month.
The entire manufacturing process is carried out in their own production units, which represents their products are 100% Made in Italy.
They have achieved many certificates such as: OEKO-TEX, BCI, etc.
Calze Beneduci is a family-run company. Their products cover various high-tech socks like natural fiber socks, recycled fiber socks, synthetic fiber socks and organic fiber socks. In addition, they also produce some healthy socks, such as, compression socks and diabetic socks to prevent and relieve some disease.
The production process is controlled by computers and is entirely achieved inside their plant, which guarantees a thorough control and more possibility to realize Made in Italy.
4. Best cotton socks manufacturers in Pakistan
Since industrial foundation of Pakistan is not very good, they can’t produce the chemical fiber and the cost of importing chemical fiber to make silk socks will be too high, so Pakistan only make cotton socks.
In recent years for policy reasons, a growing number of factories have transferred production line of low-end products to Pakistan and Vietnam. The labor force is cheap in Pakistan and there are also cotton farmed.
They have 40 years’ experience of yarn spinning and expand their business to socks producing. There are 100 Italian Lonati knitting machines which can produce over 36 Million pounds of yarn and 18 Million pairs of socks per year.
In addition to sports socks, casual socks, dress socks, cotton socks, they can also produce functional socks such as diabetic socks, anti-slip socks, etc. It is worth mentioning that they have a hi-tech environmentally friendly system, which can use a minimum amount of water and almost zero discharge.
Mima Knit is as an export oriented company, selling its products to USA, Canada, and Europe. They offer socks in all types of yarns and some socks in special function like Antimicrobial, Enzyme Wash, Anti Wicking, Odor Control, Stone Wash and Aegis Treatment. The types of socks cover Sports, Casual, Dress, Work Wear, Medical sock and Leg Warm.
They attach great importance to quality control and social responsibility. So they set up a Quality Management System and is certificated by ISO 9001.
Crescent Socks owns decades of experience in the textile business (spinning, weaving) and has advanced Lonati Knitting machines and Conti Complett machines.
Their current production capacity is 1.2 Million dozen pairs every year and their MOQ is 200 dozens per design. They have do OEM for Reebok and Fila and get the Sedex, OEKO-TEX, ISO 9001, etc.
Along with basic socks, they also produce technical socks with ECO-friendly yarns, socks with special treatments like:
- Diabetic Socks
- Cool-max Yarn Socks
- Bamboo Yarn Socks
- Anti Microbial, Ultra Fresh, Aegis, Purist A, Sanitized treatments
- Work-wear Socks
- Sports, Casual and Dress Socks
- Football and Rugby Socks
5. Best sock manufacturers in Japan
Japan has the most strict quality requirements for cotton socks in the world. They have even developed their own special fabrics, and the two famous brands are Toray and Xuhuacheng. In Japan, toe socks are very popular because most of the time, Japanese will wear clogs and the normal socks are not applicable.
M&M Socks mainly engages in socks, stockings and tights. They produce silk socks, toe socks, compression socks, sports socks, knee-high socks, etc. All their products will be stored in a constant temperature and humidity warehouse to offer a stable environment.
KK-Mikasa applies the latest Italian Lonati single and double drum knitting machines.They have also buy four Lonati single and double drum knitting machines and get the ISO 9001 certificated.
In order to maintain the stable quality of products, the products produced in the subsidiary factories in China must pass the strict inspection.They will regularly send personnel from Japan to set up detailed inspection content and try to prevent defective products.
Massage socks, sleep compression socks and Yoga anti-skid socks are their featured socks.
6. Best pantyhose manufacturers in Turkey
A veteran who has been working in the hosiery industry for 20 years, tells me that in the old days when hosiery centers were in developed countries like Europe, Turkey was like a worker working for Italy, doing some manual work.
Then, on the one hand, labor became more and more expensive, thus Italy steps the way of fully automating hosiery machines. On the other hand, other countries tend to set up factories in Turkey. So turks began to return to their country and develop socks industry, trying to establish a new socks center.
Turkey now exports more than 90 percent of their socks to the European Union, only second to China.
They usually produce men socks in 156 and 168 needle Lonati Machines, women socks in 144-156 needle Lonati machines. And the minimum order quantity is 1000 pairs per model/size/colour for cotton socks, 360 pieces per mo /size/colour for cotton tights.
Hettatex has certification of OEKO-TEX standard 100 and OCS and has its own production plant for cotton socks & tights with 60 high technology Italian Lonati socks machines inside its own socks factory which can produce 60, 000 pieces of cotton tights, 400, 000 pairs of adult and kids socks.
There are over 120 Bentley KOMET Double Cylinder machines and 75 Lonati machines to be able to produce over 10 million pairs.
They supply all types of socks such as, derby, textured, knee-high, sport socks, thermo socks, tights, leggings and leg-warmers. And the yarn compositions are also various to choose from soft combed cotton, cotton blended yarns, bamboo, mercerized, viscose blended yarns, lycra, wool, acrylic and latest technology yarns like Tencel®, Lenzing Modal®, Lenzing Viscose®, etc.
Founded in 1960, Gelal have 60 years’ experience of socks manufacturing and has registered 3 applications pending patent. There are 1,820 knitting machines 10,000 square meters manufacturing space. And they pay great importance to sustainability, getting the certifications of BSCI, BEPI, BCI, Oeko Tex Standard 100, etc.
Gelal is good at making many types of socks like all kinds of sports socks, 5-toe socks, fashionable socks or high-tech socks. Such as, socks material containing copper for comfort, antibacterial, breathability, anti-blistering, insulation, anti-friction or ultra-grip.
Part 2: FAQ of finding the best socks factory
After knowing so many sock manufacturers, you must feel difficult to find the best one. Actually, the key point in choosing a sock factory is to choose one that suits you, not the bigger the better, nor the cheaper the better.
To get to know which one suits you best, let’s look at some essential matters first.
1. How do the world famous sock retailers choose sock factory?
For stable and reliable quality assurance, sock retailers would consider many factors before purchasing. Based on the experience, I have included the answers in the following aspects.
a. Quality Control System & Quality Inspection System
These two systems are very essential to products. Sock retailers will always care about the operating mode of these systems to guarantee the quality of socks. They would like to know How does the quality control line be independent and how is the staffing structure like, whether you have the ability to guarantee the goods’ quality.
b. A Complete Production Line of their own
A complete production line in your own plant means all the operation is under your control. You can monitor products in real time and timely deal with emergencies.
Outsourcing any link of your production line means potential risks. Many immature and small China sock factories now would outsource many parts of their production line.
c. Risk Resistance Capacity
No matter how big or small the factory scale and the order size are, risk resistance capacity should be considered whether both suppliers and retailers can afford it. In normal conditions, the order amount accounts for less than 1/3 of the factory’s output value would be comfortable for both sides.
d. Ability and Attitude of Collaboration
Collaboration is a very important thing in accomplishing the orders timely and effectively. After placing the orders, it is inevitable and necessary to have communication. So the ability of cooperation and following up orders is very important to business personnel.
2. What qualification and responsibility a good sock factory usually have?There are many certificates of hosiery manufacturers you can see. Some of them are universal all over the world and some are valid and admitted in certain areas. A sock manufacturer doesn’t need to own all these below certificates and different buyers would have different demandings and requirements. The following are some common certificates in the hosiery industry.
- BSCI: Business Social Compliance Initiative
- BEPI: Business Environmental Performance Initiative
- BCI: Better Cotton Initiative
- OEKO-TEX Standard 100
- ISO 9001
- Wal-mart Factory Inspection Standard
- Medical Device Manufacturing License & Medical Device Sales License
common certificates for sock industry
Nowadays, besides the necessary qualification, retailers pay more and more attention to social responsibility not just profits. The UN global covenant requires companies to comply with a set of ten fundamental principles on four aspects: human rights, labour standards, environment influence and anti-corruption.
Pay attention to whether the sock factory you choose comply with these social responsibility principles. Although it doesn’t signify the hard power of a company, it shows corporate culture to some extent.
3. How can sock factories be classified and what’s their MOQ?
Do you know what scale of factory is suitable for you? You may be interested in those big factories that do OEM for famous sock brands, while you may find your order amount is far away from their MOQ. So let’s have a look at types of sock manufacturers and find the appropriate one.
Generally, sock factories can be classified into 3 types according to the quantity of knitting machines.
- Large: >200 machines
- Medium: 100-200 machines
- Small: <100 machines
Sock factories that have over 200 machines, especially those own nearly thousands have the capacity of manufacturers and selling. They will usually establish their own sock brands and their MOQ would be as high as $2,000. And they often supply products to big retailers like supermarkets and brand stores.
Sock factories that have no more than 200 machines would mainly provide with private label service. The MOQ amount will be lower like hundreds to a thousand, even lower around 100 pairs per size/color. These kinds of sock factories are suitable for small and medium-sized businesses like online business.
4. Choose socks factories in China or other countries?
Based on the analysis of different circumstances of different countries’ sock industry, I recommend you to choose China when you’d like to sell cotton socks or private label, because the price would be lower than in other countries.
If you want to purchase some functional socks or socks with special designs or fashions, you can choose socks factories in countries like Italy and the USA. Because the designs of socks from sock factories in China usually aims at Chinese consumers, China sock designers may not be clear about foreign styles.
Thanks for reading this article.
Do you find the best sock manufacturer for your sock business now?