We have been thinking that it might be useful to give some information about how the socks are knitted with the modern available technology which is for sure different than our mothers' conventional hand knitting tecniques.
The socks machine makes the knitting in circular type which is different from weaving and consists of needles up to 400 pieces in a circle which is called the cylinder. The needle counts differ according to the width of the sock or the fineness of the yarns used in the knitting.
By the invention of the socks knitting machines in 1960s, it was possible to make simple patterns on the sock (ribs or jacquard designs), and after the invention of computerized socks knitting machines in 2000s, now it is possible to use up to 15 different colours on the sock surface to make even complex designs.
The sock machine uses double bed knitting technique which enables to use different yarns on the front and back of the fabric in knitted loops. In socks, the main yarn (mostly cotton) is often on the front and plating yarn (elastane covered with polyamide or polyester or just polyamide) is often on the back of the fabric (inside of the sock when worn), therefore, we always see the cotton side of the sock but our feet touch to the polyamide-elastane yarns inside because of marketing issues. This is another subject but maybe it would be healtier to wear the socks inside out then?