All about dye sublimation printing socks

February 15, 2020

Now, dye sublimation printing socks may be the most popular socks processing methods. Since traditional socks knitting method is abandoned and color limitation is removed, any colorful design can be applied to socks. A shorter turnaround period, any pictures can be printed on directly, and elasticity and comfort of socks can be retained at the same, all these advantages make this technology very attractive.

So, how does the sublimation printed socks work? Everything about socks printing can be found in this article.

How do people think of socks printing?

When Thomas E. Dewey participated in the election in 1984, he wore a T-shirt with the words “Dew-It with Dewey” printed, which made people notice the magic of this blank canvas. Soon afterward, in the 70-80s, the cultural T-shirt was sought after wildly.

Dew It with Dewey
Dewey lost the campaign, but we know his T-shirt

However, it was a pity that printed socks did not be recorded in history because there was no similar promotion done by such an iconic figure. But people’s ideas were the same, they had been tired of those boring monochrome socks, while people’s imagination was limited by so many limitations of traditional knitting. Consumers and businessmen were eagerly looking forward to a new way of expanding the socks market. Perhaps on a certain ordinary day, some unique socks would be produced by integrating the inspiration brought by printed T-shirts and the dye-sublimation technology.

The technology of sublimation printed socks

The dye sublimation technology had come out as far back as 1957(Dye-sublimation printing) but had been applied on socks production since modern times.

First, print the patterns on a high-peel paper by using a special dye (with sublimation characteristics). And then, compress the paper and socks closely and apply high pressure and high temperature (around 200 ℃) on them. This way, the solid pigment will be sublimated into gas molecules instantly, and these gas molecules will adhere to the bonded polyester and other synthetic fibers immediately and be fixed on them. Finally, the colors will be transferred to the socks.

sublimation socks print
Sublimation socks printers are ordinary inkjet printers with special dyes

Unlike the direct digital printing which needs a flat surface, the dye-sublimation printing needs a medium to carry the pigment instead of printing on the socks directly.


Any color and design can be printed on the socks.

The pattern will not fall off as easily as offset printing.

High color reproduction.

Comfort will not be affected.

The production process is simple, only solid socks are needed as canvas.

Because it uses printing technology, it can be quickly produced and copied.

Less sewage will be produced and friendlier to the environment because the pigment is sublimated through the medium.


The sublimated gas pigment will diffuse because the absorbency of cotton is very strong, which will make the patterns printed unclear. Therefore, patterns cannot be printed on socks with a high cotton content.

The patterns will be stretched after the socks are worn on the feet, which makes the white background color be shown.

The appearance of white creases cannot be avoided at the junction of the front and backside, it is especially obvious on dark socks.

After high temperature, socks will lose some elasticity.

Patterns cannot be printed on black or dark socks because they will be covered by black color.

The application scope of dye sublimation printing socks

Socks customization: Quick designs based on white socks can be completed since printed socks can be produced quickly, and any patterns can be printed easily. If you are following the trend of socks, you must know that people are going wild about face-socks which are from some sock customization online stores.

Startup business: What do you need for the startup of a socks printing business? With only a printer, an ironing machine, and some socks, you can start it with just $3000.

Business gifts: Print your brand and website on the socks, and send them out as a gift or to your employees, it will make your brand more powerful.

Surprise for family members: The reason why the face socks and pet socks I have already mentioned before are so popular is that people pay attention to personality more and more now. Which one would you choose, a boring and ordinary gift, or printed socks with the portrait of your family members?

In short, the dye-sublimation printing socks which can be produced easily will be the trend of the future, people will pay attention to personality more and more. Don’t miss the socks printing business when looking for your next gift or new business idea.

oksox is always here to meet any of your customized socks needs.

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