Journal

Leicestershire made hand linked Socks

We have recently had the pleasure of paying a visit to our sock factory in rural Leicestershire, the home of hosiery. The process of sock making is baffling and not something anyone would consider when opening that top drawer to pull out the piece of essential everyday kit.

In a surprisingly technical process, our Beaufort & Blake English made socks are knitted by 96 miniature needles controlled by a machine manufactured in 1990 by an Italian firm named Sangiacomo (apparently the finest in the world of hosiery.)

The yarns used in our socks are a pure 100% combed Egyptian cotton which is dyed and spun in the U.K by Elton Vale yarns. During the knitting process, a separate nylon yarn is added and laid into the sock which creates an 82% pure cotton and 18% nylon mix. This leaves the core yarn (cotton) untouched by blending it into nylon to produce a less processed, better quality sock overall. The Nylon is added to increase wear and reduce shrinkage during washing.

 

On the knitting machine, the needles are arranged in a circle; so to start with, the yarn fabric is woven into a long tube like shape. A blade then slices this into twelve separate socks which are then painstakingly hand linked at the toe seam. In this highly skilled process, every stitch is carefully linked (toe closed) together by eye/hand to create a completely flat seam which is great for comfort. A hand linked toe is the cream of English sock quality.

Once made and knitted, the socks are placed into a large scouring vat with a special conditioning agent to help both clean and soften the products. They are then pulled onto feet shaped boards and placed into a machine which hits them with high pressure steam to create the classic sock shape.

To finish off, the socks are carefully checked by hand where every single sock is inspected for quality control. After packing and shipment they then arrive ready for fresh footed Beaufort & Blake customers!

Recommended Reading