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Knit vs Print: Which Is Better For Your Sock Design?

Knit vs Print: Which Is Better For Your Sock Design?

When designing custom socks, there are a few things to consider when choosing between a printed (sublimated) design or a knitted sock design. One important factor is determining how your design integrates into the sock base.

Printing your design requires a white sublimation panel to be built into the sock base. This ensures that when your design is applied all colours are rendered accurately. It also means that the entire sublimation panel must be filled, no matter how small or simple your artwork. This is why we recommend background patterns for printed designs, as it helps fill in the remainder of the print panel. A plain colour printed background is unlikely to match a plain knitted colour.

Knitting your design uses the same raw materials as the sock base, and only applies your artwork, leaving the rest of the sock base untouched.



The example above shows the exact same design applied using both methods.

So which is best for your logo?

As a general rule, text is better rendered with a printed design, due to its limited size and surface area. If you're going knit text it's best to make sure your font is large and bold.

Printed design example


Logos can obviously vary greatly, but in most cases we find they can look great in either format as long as the size is large enough. Printed logos can be scaled without any loss in quality, however knitted logos will lose clarity as they get smaller. Printed logos can have unlimited colours whereas knitted logos are limited to 6 colours.

Knitted design example


Curves can be rendered smoothly when printed, but when rendered through the knitting process curved lines will have a "stepped" gradient, which will increase with the angle of the curve. Both methods will look smooth from a distance.

Text design example


Similar to curved lines, diagonal lines are rendered in tiny "steps" when applied through the knitting process, however the end result can be similar to sublimation when viewed from a distance.

Logo design example

We can produce mockups to show what your socks might look like as either a printed or knitted design. And don't worry, we'll always steer you towards the best decoration method for your sock's design and use.