How To Design Socks: Choosing The Best Yarn Colors For Your Design

Hanna King
January 10, 2024

Choosing the best yarn colors to make your custom logo socks pop can be a daunting task. As a society, we use colors to evoke certain emotions and feelings. I look at our selection of over 50 yarn colors every single day and sometimes even I struggle to find the perfect color combinations (we have so many rich, beautiful colors). 

Do I want to design custom socks with a monochromatic theme or complementary yarn colors? Or even go a little zany and choose a wide range of yarn colors for the custom socks I’m designing? The options are endless!

A question we get asked a lot as custom sock designers is, do you have an exact color match to our brand colors? The short answer is not really. However, we have a wide selection of yarn colors that we’ve curated over the years to match a wide range of industry standard brand palettes. 

You see, custom dyeing yarn adds time and cost to your order of custom designed socks. We source all of our yarn from here in the United States, specifically from the southern region of the country. Once the cotton is sourced and spun into spools of unbleached yarn, it is then sent to our dye house. 

Thick cotton yarn strands after the first cotton spinning process

They strip the yarn of its natural color and then dye it to match our specifications. From there, they wind the yarn onto smaller cones that are specific to our knitting machines. The design team has found the PMS equivalent for each of our yarn colors so it is easy to share the yarn color across multiple mediums (electronically, physically, etc.).

I bet you’re still thinking – well why can’t Sock Club just dye the yarn to our brand color? Technically, we can. However, dyeing yarn is an expensive and time consuming process. It adds up to a month of production time and raises the minimum order quantity for our custom dress socks substantially. While our normal minimum is 30 pairs, an order with a custom color has a 1200 pair minimum because we want you to get all of the yarn that you pay for. 

We have done custom dyed yarn in the past, but we encourage clients to choose from our selection of yarn colors already in our inventory to keep the process quick and simple. After all, it’s worked to create custom socks for some of the biggest brands in the world!

Custom socks for Slack on a wood table with yarn samples showing the yarn colors that were used in the custom sock design

Something that Sock Club offers when you create your own socks (which I absolutely love) is sending free samples of our custom made socks that clients have purchased in the past. If a client is curious about a yarn color, we will ship them a few pairs with the requested yarn color so they can see it better in person. 

Oftentimes, a color can be misconstrued over technology depending on the screen it is viewed on. Seeing the yarn colors in person is always encouraged! However, if a client doesn’t have enough time to receive their yarn color sample, our team of design experts will send a yarn color comparison with our two closest yarn colors to the brand color the client is interested in matching.

I mentioned in my last blog post that we are limited to the amount of colors we can knit into the socks. Our machines have only so many needles we can pull yarn through which can get a little tricky when a client wants a lot of detail and/or a lot of yarn colors. A good rule of thumb that the designers use is no more than 7 colors on a basic sock and up to 8 if the design is quite simple (ie. stripes or a polka dot pattern). 

Individual yarn threads being fed into the circular knitting machine to feed the needles that create the sock design.

Think of it this way – the more detailed and intricate artwork on the sock, the less colors we can use because our machines can literally run out of space when knitting a complicated design. Working in this confinement can be challenging, but it’s a fun challenge when trying to translate a client’s brand onto a custom sock with a logo.

If you are interested in learning more about our yarn color inventory or have questions over what yarn color to choose for your custom brand socks, let us know and we can connect you with a sock design expert!

Hanna King
January 10, 2024