Custom Socks FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
Here's a collection of our most frequently asked questions regarding all things custom sock projects and design. If you don't see an answer to a question that you have, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be happy to provide you with more information!
What makes you better than your competitors?
First and foremost we're a small (but internationally distributed), sock brand who treats custom sock projects as if the end product was our own. The same three designers who create our own brands collection, are the same individuals who will be working on your design. Each design starts from the knitting pattern first. This means we're sending you a mock up that we're certain we can pull off with the knitting machine. We've heard enough stories of clients getting a mock up, only to be disappointed with the finished product because the design has changed so much. We also do not allow the design to be cut off by the heel or toe which is a sure sign of a rushed project. It takes time to figure out the details and do it right.
Our socks are made out of quality cotton (yes it matters), by technicians in Italy who have been making socks for generations. People buy our socks for the design, but they come back for the quality.
We will tell you when something might not be the best idea. You may think having a dense geometric pattern is really what you want, and maybe it is! But we're going to tell you about the amount of cut threads that will be inside the sock, and how that pattern will impact the stretch. Then we'll give you a compromise that balances functionality and design integrity.
In our six years of making custom socks, we have never missed a deadline. If we tell you we can make a deadine, we make it. This means we've turned away business when the risk is too high.
We make suggestions and give you options. You want a white sock? Great, we can do that. Before we go ahead though, check out this very light heathered grey option. It won't show dirt as easily as white.
There are lots of other reasons. Competitive pricing, large and small companies we've worked with, giving back to good causes (over $80k donated in the past two years), etc etc.
What's the order minimum? Can I do less than 150 pairs?
All custom orders begin at 150 pairs of socks. This is for a matching design in one-size. If you'd like a purposely mismatched design our minimum is 300 pairs in one-size.
If you're looking for a smaller quantity (between 50-150 pairs) of socks, we can give you the option of designing a custom hang tag with your branding and attaching it to one of our ready made designs (see our website to see what we have). Reach out to email@example.com for more information!
Can I do two different colours of the same design in the 150 pair minimum?
Sorry! But our factory has to set up the machine for each minimum of 150 pairs. Each new colour variation is considered a new design even if it's the same exact pattern.
Is there a discount if our designer does the pattern?
You would think the answer here would be an emphatic "yes!" I mean, the average time to design a sock from start to finish is over 8 hours, so why wouldn't we want to pass along those savings?
The reality though is that sock design (and the knitting pattern needed for the machine used), is very specialized. We have three internal sock designers and a consultant in Italy who we sometimes need to get involved.
In our experience, working with an outside graphic designer or design team adds twice the amount of time to the process. And, hey, in all honesty we're totally good with it! If that's how you want to work then we're more than happy to oblige. We love working with everyone in design. We just can't discount because it typically ends up being a little more work for us vs. us doing the design from start to finish.
What is the turnaround time?
It varies depending on the time of year, but typically it's two months. We do have dedicated machines on site however and can move around our production schedule if it's a rush.
The absolute minimum is one month, but please keep in mind that this is after completion and approval of the design. If you only have a month, it's still worthwhile to inquire as we can sometimes turn a design around very quickly. If you need the socks in three weeks, and don't yet have a design, we're not going to be able to help unfortunately. Before you go! We do have an option for custom hang-tags. This would allow you to print a custom hang-tag and use a design we already have in stock. Please check our website for in-stock socks and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if this might be a good option for you.
What sort of packaging options are there? What's a hang-tag?
We currently only offer a plastic free hang-tag as a packaging option. On large orders (and for an additional cost), we can swap out the hang tag for a belly band.
What's a hang-tag? A hang tag is a card stock tag with your logo, washing instructions, website info, etc. that is sewn to the top cuff of the socks holding the pair together and allowing you to hang/display them if you wish.
We do offer a hang-tag free option to help reduce the cost of the socks but the vast majority of our customers include the hangtag for the additional branding opportunity.
What are the limitations when it comes to design?
The general limitations are:
6 yarn colour max - we can sometimes push it to 7 colours and will review on a case-by-case basis.
Small intriciate details - are sometimes not able to be picked up in a knitting machine. We are unique in that we design from the knitting pattern before we put it into a graphic that you review. A good guideline is our website. Very small cursive writing, or images with a lot of angles can be hard to pull off. But! We're the best in the business for design and will do our best.
Toe and heel - graphics cannot be knitted into the heel or toe of a sock, sorry.
Sublimated vs knitted - you may see socks out there that have lots of detail and lots of colour. It is likely that these are sublimated. This is where a synthetic (polyester) sock is used and a graphic is heat pressed into the fibers. Because it's synthetic it does not provide the breathability or eco friendliness of cotton, so we don't do these socks. We also find that the white of the sock comes through in the areas where the sock is stretched.
Why is there so much emphasis on the design process?
It's what we do! We have our own brand and have designed over a thousand sock designs. We are not sending your logo out to someone overseas who will make quick work of it. We're gathering your ideas and we're treating it as if we were designing it for ourselves. We start with the knitting pattern file and work our way backwards so that we're ensuring we're sending you an accurate mock up. We pay attention to the details - we don't want your graphic/logo to be cut off at the heel or toe. We want you to have a functional pair of socks - to do this there needs to be balance of space and design, otherwise you'll have a product that is hard to stretch. Materials are important, but design is equally so.
Note: Our socks are all knitted and not printed, or "sublimated." This ensures longevity of your socks and protects the integrity of the design. The print of a sublimated sock is quick to fade, and often times will show the white of the sock when stretched.
To learn more, check out our blog post on the Ins and Outs of Sock Design.
Do I get a physical sample of the socks prior to production?
We do not offer physical samples on most orders sorry. We are happy to discuss on larger orders of 1000 + pairs, but in this case, we'd have to add one month to the production timeline.
Do I get a photo of the socks before production?
The mock up we send prior to production is a very accurate representation of the finished product. We do not offer pre-production photos for a few different reasons. In order to offer the minimums (while keeping costs and pricing down), we have an agreement with the factory that a photo of the socks will be quickly reviewed. When the first pair of socks rolls off the knitting machine, they need a quick approval so that we're not holding up production. This photo usually comes to us at 1am - 2am. The other reason is because the photos are taken on the factory floor under factory lighting. We know what the yarn colours look like in real life and we can easily determine that the integrity of the design is intact. To someone with an untrained eye, the photo could cause uneccessary concern. We've done this process with our own production over a thousand times and can very quickly make sure everything is as it should be, and reflects the mock up accurately.
Your socks are made in Italy, are you going to charge import fees?
All of our socks are ethically made at a family owned factory in Northern Italy. Once your finished custom socks arrive at our warehouse, we ship them out to you for free, you will not be charged any additional duties, customs or VAT fees. We do this with our all-in prices. No surprises.
Are your socks printed or knitted? What's the difference?
All of our socks are knitted, not printed. Printed socks (sublimation), is a process of heat pressing graphics directly on socks made out of synthetic (poly) yarn. These types of socks do not have the breathability or environmentally friendliness of cotton. They also can fade quickly in the washer/dryer and show the white of the sock where the design is stretched out (calf area). If you see socks that have a ton of detail and a huge variety of colours, they are a sublimated product.
Knitted socks are made in a circular knitting machine with hundreds of needles. The thread is pulled from spools and the design is knitted into the actual sock.
What kind of industry experience does Friday Sock Co have?
We are an internationally distributed sock company with over 600 retail store partnerships in Canada, US, and as far away as the UK and Japan. We have made and sold hundreds of designs and have over 100 years of combined sock experience on our team (Canada and Italy).
That being said, if you're looking for a lower quality product (if pricing is the only consideration) we are not likely going to be the right resource. If you're looking for an experienced partner, who will make something wonderful out of high quality materials; that's us. No judgements though! Everyone has different needs and we totally respect that.
Do you offer a discount for non-profits?
Yes. Giving back to the community has always been a big part of our brand. Please include the charity/non-profit name in the form and let us know ahead of the quote.
Note: The organization must be a registered charity. If you are not registered, please give us the details anyway and we'll review.
What is the price per pair?
It depends on the quantity and type of sock. Please make sure to check our pricing grid on the main Friday Custom page.
Some of the factors include how many socks you’ll need, which size, whether or not you’d like a hang-tag, etc. Once we have a good understanding of the project we will quote the exact price per pair. We never charge for shipping, freight, customs or duties: no hidden fees or surprises here.