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How Loud is it inside a Sock Factory? Sorry, I can’t hear you!

When you buy an item from the supermarket, a retail clothing store or a DIY shop do you ever wonder how these goods are made and where they are made? Not many people do and not many people get to experience what it is like in a factory unless of course they are working in there. You’ll find that some things will surprise you, especially a sock factory, if you have not been in one you will not know how loud it is inside a factory that makes socks.

Socks are knitted by machines and have been since the late 1800’s. Beforehand they were hand knitted but since then machines have done all the work. This mechanical process can create a lot of noise for many reasons. For a comprehensive explanation of sock knitting read the theknittree’s article on knitting history.

Firstly, the machine has to take the yarn that it is knitting from the back, there can be multiple yarns that can be interwoven together to create many types of socks. This is then usually put through the knitting process, which uses mostly the needles and the sliders. When the sock is fully knitted it is shot out into what is usually a basket. By these points the socks are not knitted at the toe, so they are taken to a rosso machine (unless it is a new machine that can link the toe as well). Then they are usually washed, boarded and then packed ready to go out the door.


So, why does this process make it so loud inside a sock factory. Well, there are a few reasons as to why. The main reason being down to the needles and the sliders. Imagine, having up to 240  needles whirling around in a cylinder knitting the foot and the leg of a sock, it can almost sound like a semi automatic machine gun! You can even have more or less needles depending on how fine you want the sock to be knitted, Pantharella explain the knitting process really well. Then, when the heel is being made the sliders and the needles then make a completely different noise. It is almost as if every machine in a factory is at a different stage of knitting the sock, creating an orchestra of sock machines, all of them always at different verses of the song.

Also, if the sock machine is not screwed to the bottom of the floor properly (which apparently is more common than I thought) it can create the very loud vibration. Lots of power goes into sock machines and if this is transferred into the floor then I can imagine it creating a great cacophony of noise. Then, don’t forget that noise changes based on the size of the space that it has to operate. If the ceilings are very low then that will naturally compress the noise and make noise coming from the sock machines even louder.

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| Price: £7.99 | Style: Thermal Socks | Size: 4-8 | Brand: THMO | Pack Size: 1 Pair | 7 Colour Options.