5 Tips to Successfully Knit Text on a Custom Sock

Hanna King
July 12, 2024

It’s no secret that we have some of the best knitting machines in the world. It’s often stated that our knitting machines are the “Ferrari’s” of the industry. They knit with pinpoint precision which is one of the many reasons our custom knitted socks stand out above the rest.

Knitting text into our custom socks is an extremely important aspect of showcasing brand identity and artistic vision. The text can be your logo, a tagline you’d like to include or a fun marketing message to catch people’s eye. Whether you’re wanting your logo to be the main focus or your company’s slogan, our expert designers use their knowledge of knitting practices to best display the text and our top notch knitting machines execute it. Here are five tips for knitting text into a custom sock:

Small Text

We often get asked how small we can knit text on a sock. The answer is about an 8pt size, particularly with a sans serif style font. Since we translate everything into pixels, as one pixel equals one stitch of yarn, the pixels must form a legible word. A stylized font, such as a cursive font, must be larger in order for the pixels to pick up the details of the curves (more on this in tip #4). See the below examples for the scale of our smallest legible text on our knitted socks.

Small text knitted into a custom sock on one line and then on several lines

Text Location

The best place to display text on a custom knitted sock depends on the purpose of the text. Are you wanting the knitted text to be front and center on the sock, or would you like it to be understated? If you’re looking to display the text, say when a person sits down and their pant leg comes up, the best place for that text is on the sides of the calves or a step and repeat pattern.

For subtle placements, the text can go above the toe line, on the footbed of the sock or right below the cuff of the sock. In the Tico Electric example, this is a great placement to display text/font/messaging. In the STL example, the small text logo at the toe is hidden when wearing shoes but is still a great way to showcase a brand in a subtle fashion.

Small text showing in two different places on logo socks for Tico Electric and Arch Apparel

Curved Text

Many brands have a shield or circular logo where text is wrapping around a curved shape. As the designers are translating the text on a curve, they are careful to make sure this curved text is legible since they are converting it into a pixelated version. In most cases, the curved text needs to take up about half the width of the sock to keep it legible.

Another option we give clients is we can remove the text from the curved location and place it on a horizontal plane, such as right below the cuff or on the footbed. Below is an example of curved text on a sock.

Curved text in a logo on a branded sock for the US House of Representatives

Font Styles on Knitted Socks

I bet you’re noticing a trend! The smaller the text, the more pixelated it becomes. This same concept applies to fonts. In order to get the details of a font, the text needs to be at least 12 pixels tall, especially if it’s a cursive or script style font.

Serif fonts can be slightly smaller at around 10px tall. Below is an example of a font with unique characteristics and what it looks like translated at a 12px scale.

Woven text on a custom sock showing how a serif translates when knitting text onto a sock

Moving Text Location

I mentioned this briefly in tip #3 about moving curved text to a horizontal plane elsewhere on the sock. Oftentimes, a tagline or small text below a logo may be too small to knit legibly. Have no fear! We can move that text to another area of the sock, such as above the toe or below the cuff. A third option could be making the logo/text larger and adding it to the footbed. Typically, our design team places logos with small text on the footbed so it has enough room to knit legibly.

In the example below, the client wanted to replace all the logos with the logo that included the “Insurance Services”. The small tagline is too small to knit legibly on either side of the calf like shown, so we placed the full logo on the footbed so the tagline could be included.

Large knitted logo on the footbed or bottom of the custom socks with logo

Still have questions about knitting text on a sock? Send us your logo and our sock design experts will take the lead. We can’t wait to see what we create together!