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How 3D Printing (Sublimation) works on Socks?

Updated: Nov 22, 2022

sublimation socks

We often get questions about how a manufacture does 3D printing/Sublimation? Within this article, we will explain how we do it and what are some of the limitations of 3D printing.

Manufacture Process

  1. Produce the Sock first. If you are curious how a sock is produced, you can check out a quick overview how socks are produced. How socks are manufactured | Inluxe Apparel Socks and Manufacturing (

  2. During step 1, we are taking your artwork and converting it for our 3D printing equipment. The artwork should be vectored to provide the clearest graphic for your sock. If not vectored, depending on how complicated your graphic is, the graphic may not be very clear.

  3. After completing step 2, we take a non-completed sock without the toe link to our printing section and slide the sock over a roller. The roller in conjunction with the printing head will turn as the graphic is printed on the sock.

  4. Once the sock is in position, you simply press a button to start the process. It takes about 3 minutes per sock to complete the graphic. Of course, the time depends on the complexity of the graphic.

  5. Once the graphic is printed, you remove the sock and then we put it through a drying process. This drying process is done to ensure color is fixed and not easily washed off.

  6. This completes the 3D printing aka sublimation process

  7. The printed sock will return back to the normal sock process as mentioned in How socks are manufactured | Inluxe Apparel Socks and Manufacturing (

We included an uncut video to show you, how Steps 1-6 work.

Here are a few common issues we encountered when working with other retail brands on producing socks.

Best color sock to print graphic using 3D printing?

The knitted socks need to be white color, if the socks is in dark color, then the 3D printing graphic may not be as visible. If the socks is in light color, the 3D printing graphic is visible, but the color will be impact by the socks color, so it is better to be with white socks to execute the best 3D printing graphic effect.

Anything to be aware of to make sure your logo looks good?

If your logo is a jacquard and you want to use 3D printing. Then we recommend you make sure your logo colors are dark, so your logo can stand out from the 3D printed graphic.

But if your logo is part of the 3D artwork, then you have nothing to worry about.

Any graphic you do not recommend using 3D printing?

Yes, we often find plaid graphics to not look great using 3D printing because the plaid won't be in a uniform pattern (lines will be inconsistent)

Well, that's all for 3D or sublimation printing!

We hope you enjoyed this article and if you wish to continue to receive our newsletter, please subscribe and make sure you like our post, so we can continue to write wonderful articles about the world of socks


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