Nearly 90% of the stockings in the international market actually come from Shetou, a hosiery village in Changhua, Central Taiwan. Since the Second World War, stocking making has been rooted in Shetou. Today, about 200 hosiery factories are still operating in Changhua. You might think that a small town in Taiwan could only manage the manufacture of regular cotton socks, but in actual fact, it is packed with many large factories producing pantyhose and fishnet tights for international designer brands such as Chanel, and sexy underwear for Victoria Secret.
In order to improve the comfort and elegance of women’s wear, Taiwanese manufacturers have invested in the research and development of seamless garments and have introduced electronic warp knitting machines. Compared to the single-machine, stand-alone operation used in the past, these machines can now make a complete row of stockings all at the same time, which greatly improves the production capacity. In addition, they can also create a variety of styles of stockings, such as making special holes in silk stockings for passing ribbons through, adding colors and lace, or a combination of net and silk stockings. The different styles are very flexible and comfortable to wear because of the one-piece molding. The diverse technologies also attract many international brand OEM and ODM orders.
As the leading manufacturer of hosiery, MIT, (Made in Taiwan), continues to invest in development, extending from stocking technology to seamless sports underwear, and leggings. As an example, by using the technology of double needle bars electronic warp knitting machines with the application of various Jacquard technologies, unique weave patterns can be designed. In addition, innovative products such as environmentally friendly bags have been developed in response to the trends in environmental protection.
In addition, as fashion for trendy hosiery wear moves forward and is becoming part of daily use, Taiwanese suppliers are also using 3D high tech printing to break through some of the limitations of hosiery design, allowing them to create more colorful and customized designs. At the same time this solves the problem of toes being hooked by complicated yarn designs on the inside of socks when traditional yarns are used.
Taiwanese manufacturers have also integrated Asian specific totems, such as Ukiyo-e, the Alishan Small Train, Sun Moon Lake, the Taiwan black bear and other prints, which have become favorites of international buyers. In addition, in order to ensure the comfort and breathability when wearing this fashionable Taiwanese hosiery, S.Cafe Yarns are used in the knitting. These yarns combine coffee grounds with the yarn surface, changing the characteristics of the decorations, and offering drying times that are up to 200% faster compared to cotton; this effectively solves the problems of foot odor and UV protection, and has brought cutting edge technological innovation to the international market for knitted socks.