Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Do you need a Calendar ?

The appointment with our Calendar sock is becoming a tradition. The end of the year is approaching and we are ready with our new 2012 Calendar sock. This time, as a little gadget, we have highlighted the dates of the taxes payments...in Italy we will have some more to pay next year..

Happy New Year to eveybody !
The "calzedario"

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Embroidery

We have our special 216 needles machines capable to produce styles with little embroidered or micro-fancies designs. These machines are produced in Italy by a small family Company called Busi. They are focused on high quality machines only.
The base of the sock can be made up using cotton, wool, cashmere/silk, linen or silk, but the embroidery has to be made in nylon, because it is the only material can "link and hold" the design on the background, as the nylon is making a kind of "flake" inside the socks, holding the thread to the base.
Otherwise we have to use a process called "vanisee" where the machine is working like the jacquard, one colour up and one colour down, but this can be done for bigger designs only.


small dots sock



Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Socks' flowers

Maybe due to climate changes, our socks' flowers arrived earlier this year..

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Ironing process


Another important step of production is the ironing process. There currently are two ways of ironing : the old style, using hot forms and the new one using steam machine. Actually there is not difference in the final quality result, but the second one it is faster. We have different forms for different sizes and lenght. The forms are used to check the lenght of the socks during the production process too, as during the day the knitting can change due to different temperature of the needles.
During the process the person working is checking the sock too, so at the end it is another quality control added to the several ones we have.

traditional ironing forms

Before the ironing process all the socks are washed and they are placed on the form when they are still wet.
Immeditely after ironing, the socks are checked once more and another person put together the pair, controlling the sock have the same lenght.


Steam machine


Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The socks' sheep

Sometime we must also have a little fun..
This was our "mascotte" for Pitti some years ago. After the show we didn't have the courage to leave it alone, so we brought her home and now she is living in our show room. She eats only few grams of cashmere per day...


Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Super 140's wool

We already indicated the composition is not the only factor influencing the quality of the sock. For example the indication of 100% wool it means nothing, without the detail of yarn's count and the Country of origin.
Usually the best quality of wool is the Merino coming from Australia or New Zealand. Our parnter Cariaggi is supplying us with a Super 140's Merino wool, which has a count really close to the cashmere/silk one.
The hand is spectacular and the quality is excellent. As we already told, fine count yarns worked on high numbers needles machines, assure the best fitting and comfort.


Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Working on new Winter 2012 2013 collection

Yes, we already selected the new Winter 2012 yarns and we started working on the new Winter 2012 2013 collection. It is always exciting and some way this is the funniest part of the production process. After selecting the yarn, the first step it is developing the first samples ideas and working on the fitting and the knitting. Then the first prototypes are washed and tested. When we come to the final version of the new item, we start working on the colour combinations. Of course not everything is going to be in the collection, so there is a big job before the final version of the sample range usually ready for the presentation for the Pitti Uomo in January (this time January 10th - 13th) in Florence.


It is not unusual we develop special yarns in cooperation with our best suppliers, as we need special treatment specially focus on our product, which is more subject to frictions compared to other items like sweaters, scarfs...
Somtime we blend the yarn ourselves, mixing them during the production process.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

The legendary "linking machine"

We already posted some weeks ago about the famous "hand linked sock".
We told you about the process of the hand linking, which is possible thanks to the support of a machine expressly made for it.
Now, to make it more clear, we are posting some pictures of the machine and the process.
It is called "hand linked" because the manual component of the job it is mandatory, as the worker has to link point by point the knitting of the sock to the needles of the machine. Then the machine, using a thread of the same yarn used for the sock, links the two parts of the open toe.


There are different kind of machines with different numbers of needles, because of course the linking machine has to match the same number of needles of the machine producing the sock.


For mass production or for casual socks production, a different machine can be used, but we will talk about this matter in another post..



Wednesday, 2 November 2011

The "Cuff"

On our over the calf sock, we have 5 cm average lenght of elastic (spandex) and 12 cm of "cuff".
The cuff is a 1:1 rib without spandex, which helps to hold the sock to the leg without giving too much pressure.
The fitting is a lot better and the comfort is the best possible.
We do it only on our dress socks.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Warehouse

We are proud of our warehouse with 120 different kind of yarns available. Cotton, wool, linen, silk, alpaca, camel, cashmere, sea island...it is a kind of museum (not because of the age of the yarn, but because of the variety) of the world's yarns.


The warehouse has temperature and umidity under strict control, to keep the quality of the yarn the best as possible and to avoid production problems when bringing it to machines department.
We put a number on each yarn arrival, in order to use the same yarn for the production order, just to avoid difference in colors while in production.


Internal laboratory is used to test all the arrivals, washing and using the drier on a set of samples socks. After the test the whole production lot is washed anyway.


Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Factory




Yes, this is our factory.

Why it is surprising ? Because 90% of the socks brands on the market are not producers. Too difficult to run a factory or to keep production in Europe, so major part of the collection are not made by the people distributing them.

We moved from the old factory in 2000, so this new factory it is only 11 years old and it was constructed using the best technology.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Cashmere and Silk

For most of the people appreciating our socks, our 70% cashmere 30% silk item it is our best luxury style. It is very light weight, but in the meantime it is warm (because of the cashmere), comfortable (because it is knitted on our 240 needles machines and because of the silk which is keeping the body temperature) and elegant (the shades of colors you can obtain using cashmere it is not comparable to any other yarn).
The yarn is already a blend and this is giving more strenght to the thread. It is reinforced with silk on the heel and on the toe, in order to avoid any kind of syntetic material in it (excluding the top where it has the elastic, of course).

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Cashmere

Our best sellers luxury styles for the coming season are our cashmere and cashmere/silk models. For the ones not familiar with cashmere, it is a very special wool, mostly coming from goats living on the Himalayan Mountains. The peculiarity of this yarn it is his extremly fine fiber, which is the secret of his softness and comfort. To have all the information you want about this unique yarn you can visit http://www.cariaggi.it/, the web site of our partner, who is producing for us the best threads. You will discover a very interesting world !

picture : 2/28.000 count 100% cashmere socks

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Holding the sock to the leg

It is not just a matter of having elastic on the top. To have a good fitting it is important to have a good knitting. At the beginning the sock was hold to the leg using garters. After discovering  new materials, the rubber were used to obtain the result. Now spandex it is the most used material.
When talking about over the calf sock it always better to have under the elastic a 1x1 ribbed knit usually called cuff. It helps to hold the sock to the leg without giving too much pressure.


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Fitting

Why having a sock made up on a 240 needles machine it is a better option compared to a lower numbers of needles machine ? The reason is in the knitting. First of all, of course, the finest yarn can be used on highest numbers or needles machine only, as the others have needles too big to "catch" it. Second an high numbers of needles ensure a finer knitting and this mean a more "flexible" and elastic knit, which hold the sock better to the leg without putting too much pressure on it. The fitting is a lot better and consequently the sock is more comfortable.  Third one it is a fashion reason : with an higher number of needles the definition of the design is a lot better and you can realize smaller designs with better look. Last one : specially during Summer having a very fine sock is better for the transpiration of the skin and to keep your feet cooler.


On the picture cashmere/silk lady's overknee

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Going to the Mountains

Still 30 C° in Italy, but heavy winter socks are ready to leave destination all around the world. For this particular style we were inspired by the '60 ski heavy wool socks. Be ready and don't be scared about cold Winter weather ! Those on the picture are made on our very old manual 80 needles machines. Production is very slow and setting up the machine by hand is extremly difficult, but...that's the result.


Wednesday, 7 September 2011

It is a sock or a slipper ?

Few years ago we had the idea to produce a gadget for the customers visiting us during the Pitti Uomo show in Florence. The development of the idea was quite complicate, but at the end the result was excellent and the feedback was so good, we decide to add the style to our collection.
It is a 4 plies cashmere sock with a deer leather sole.
In Italian we call it "babbuccia"; it something nice to wear when you are in vacation in some small cottage in the Alps, in front of the fireplace, or just to wear home when outside there is a cold Winter.
Cashmere is making it really warm and deer leather is extremly soft and comfortable. Between the two we add a sole in particular material to avoid statyc energy.
Available in a lot of different colors, men's, women's and babies.


Friday, 2 September 2011

Socks' book

No tales or poems in our books, but only some nice pieces of fabrics..
The Company has "only" 41 years of history, but our collection of socks dated back to 1953.
It is actually a kind of museum the one we have in our factory : socks and piece of fabrics of collection collected during the last 60 years.
The books are displayed all around the area of our offices for the customers to see. Part of the history of the textile socks industry and a formidable source of ideas for our collections.
Starting from the time the socks have to be worn with garters, until the last newness in "strange" yarns.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Winter trends

Unfortunately Summer is almost gone and shops' windows are already full of Winter items.
I can tell our best sellers for the coming season (I mean the items our partner shops selected for their Winter proposal) are all in the heaviest weight. Socks made on our 90 needles machines, plain colours "Ski" look, Norvegian fancies...
First place is our ribbed 4 plies heavy Merino wool (see picture), inspired to the '60 Ski socks.




Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Ribbed or flat knit ?

It is not just a matter of look. If you are buying an 100% cotton or an 100% wool sock, the only stretch part of the sock is the top, where you usually have spandex to hold the sock to the leg. In the body of the sock you have no nylon and no spandex. The rib is giving more fitting to the sock, as the reverse points (the classic "derby" rib is 7 points on the front and 3 reverse points) are giving more flexibility to the knitting. So if you would like to have an "extra" fitting in a 100% natural fiber sock, better to go for the ribbed one, unless you prefer the flat knit for "fashion" reasons.


Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Jacquard

There are some styles can be grouped under one denomination. Jacquard for example indicate all the styles made on the double cylinder machine, using 2 colours, one on front and one on reverse. It means you have two threads (or four, if the yarn enter double thread each side) of two different colours : the design is made playing with the two and having one up and one down in order to make up the pattern.
Looking at the sock inside out, you have exactly the same design on reverse, just with reversed colours. This kind of pattern is called Jacquard from the name of the French inventor of the first flat machine using this kind of procedure.

Friday, 15 July 2011

The old good socks

Beginning of last Century socks were still made on flat linear machines. There were two kind of problems : the first was the sock had to be cut and then linked on the back in order to have a tubolar and the second was there was no elastic and socks had to be worn with garters.
Furthermore it was a long and extremly slow process to have the final product.
Around the '30 on the market arrived the first English machines capable to do the socks as we see today.
The tale is actually more complicated, but we will have time in the future to talk another time about it.
Attached couple of pictures of '50 sock.


Saturday, 9 July 2011

Needles and gauge

We already had a post about the importance of the number of the machine needles in order to have a better fitting and comfort. But how understand how many needles had the machine, looking at the sock ? Very simple, just count the numbers of stitches on one side of the sock when is flat (before wearing it) and double it. It is actually 1 stitch = 1 needle.
260 needles it is usually the highest you can find today.
Another matter it is the gauge, which is the number of needles you have in the machine in 1 inch lenght.
Why a sock made on these high needles machines is more expansive ? First, of course, because the yarn used must be the finest, second because these machines are running slower and are more subject to controls.


Saturday, 2 July 2011

Hot Summer = no socks

Some people is going around with no socks during Summer. Of course mine is a "self-sponsoring" suggestion, but I can tell it is not so healty, special if you don't know where your shoes are coming from and how they were produced and treated.
At least you can wear the "ghost" socks, kind of ped you can wear inside the shoe and not visible.
Those will protect you and let your skin breath.
Not to be mentioned that for elegance issues, of course,  always better to wear socks, unless you are sailing or walking on the beach.


Friday, 24 June 2011

Have you ever seen a socks machine ?

Most of people think socks machines are similar to knitwear machines, but it's not actually true. Socks machines have the needles disposed in a circle, making up a kind of cylinder.
There are mono and double cylinder machines. Double cylinders are the ones able to knit jacquard patterns, while mono cylinder usually make only embroidered socks. Both are able to produce plain colour socks.


More needles the machines have, more fine is the knitting and of course finest has to be the yarn used.
Attached an image of the needles cylinder.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Where people buy socks

It seems the favourite place where buying socks it is the department store. The high quality underwear shops quite disappeared during the years and the indipendent clothing stores are paying to the socks only little attention. More and more people buy socks on the web. The offer quite increased during last couple of years.
It is depending on the Country too. In Italy 80% of the people still buy socks on the market place, but of course this is concerning the medium/low quality segment.
Usual the problem of department stores it is they are buying brands only and small  Companies producing high quality have hard time in finding place there.
The web gave more options to the final consumer, but since it is not possible to "touch" the quality, people has to trust the brand and so it is extemly important for a Company to build a strong quality image.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Monsieur Magazine

Monsieur magazine for us is the best style magazine in Italy. They are always nice to us and writing often about our socks. As they did in the May issue :


Saturday, 21 May 2011

100% natural versus nylon blends

100% natural fibers for comfort, cotton/nylon blends for durability. In a few words this is the main issue.
The fitting, the comfort, the transpiration of the 100% cotton sock has no comparation. When wearing 100% cotton sock your skin is thanking you.
On the other hand, nylon is giving strenght to it and it is adding durability.
So ? The final decision it's up to you !


Saturday, 14 May 2011

Over the calf or short ?

Our grandfathers in Italy were used to say "short socks are for kids only". It seems this is something working for Italy only, as 90% of the people in the rest of the world are wearing short socks.
It is something absolutely not related to the temperature, as in the Mediterranean area (supposed to be more hot) people is wearing long socks while in the North of Europe people is wearing short.
Of course long socks are more elegant and it is just a mental matter supposing they are warmer or not comfortable.
So...let's wear over the calf socks gentlemen.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Hand linked toe...what does it mean ??

On all top quality hosiery, people find the label "hand linked toe", but 90% of the consumers don't have an idea about what does it mean.
Socks machines have the needles disposed in a circle, making up a kind of cylinder.
The sock is coming out  the machine with the toe open and of course it must be closed some way.
Hand linked doesn't mean there is a person linking it with a needle by hand, but it means there is a machine linking the two part of the socks with the same thread making up the sock.
By hand means there is a person using this machine, matching the points of the two parts point by point by hand.
It is an extremly slow process (compared to the machine linking which cuts the two part of the socks and links them with nylon) and only skilled persons can do it. The result is the link is so flat people don't feel it when wearing the socks.
Today on the market you have also the new generation of machines, capable to produce the socks already toe closed and this will be the future.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Little secret

Maybe not everybody knows...we are the only ones closing the pair of socks with an hand made little colored thread. So when you see it..you know where the socks are coming from.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Linen

Easter is arriving and weather is nice here in Italy. Nothing better than 100% linen sock for Spring. Linen was one of the first fibers ever used for cloth, it is light and fresh, perfect for hot weather. Our linen is coming from France and it is spinned in Italy. We propose it in a nice selection of pastels colours.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Cotton yarn

In our opinion the best quality of cotton is still the Egyptian one. The reason is because the staple of the Egyptian cotton is longer compared to the others and this is garantee for a better yarn, as it is more durable and it has more strenght. The cotton we use is then gazed (it is a process to burn all the impurities of the thread), mercerized (process to make it stronger and brighter) and then undergoes the process for colour.
There are different counts of cotton (the count it is the meter to calculate how fine it is the yarn). The best ones for socks are the 90/2 and the 120/2.


90/2 means there are 90.000 meters in 2 threads each kilo of yarn.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Quality socks

Not everybody really knows what is making a quality sock a quality sock. First of all, of course, the yarn used, as this is anyway the base of a quality sock. If you want the best fitting and comfort the yarn has to be fine. For example for our basic socks we use 90/2 count Egyptian mako cotton.
90/2 count means there are 90.000 meters of yarn in 2 ply each Kilo (can you imaging ?).
Egyptian cotton is still the best on the market in this moment;  due to the particular climate of Egypt, the cotton has a long staple, which garantee the best result in spinning it.
Then the important is the machine used. Socks machines are circular : it means there is a cylinder with needles. More needles the cylinder has, more fine is the gauge of the sock. 260 needles machines are the finest in this moment on the market for men's socks. Then you go down until 60 needles machines for heavy weight sport socks.
A lot more to say about that, but we will have other occasions.



Saturday, 2 April 2011

Argyle

Argyle is coming back very fashion. Old classic argyle is still the best one, but the one with just overcheque is very strong. Fashion is always a wheel, things are coming back time by time. This design is one of the oldest one, inspirated by the Scottish tartans.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Colours !

Up 20 Celsius means Spring. Why don't wear colourful socks ? Until few years ago black and navy were the only colours, luckly now people is asking about a rainbow of colours. Suggestion for Spring : sky blue, light yellow and sand.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Spring silk

Ladies' overknee in our 100% organzino silk (organzino is the best quality of silk) has been really successful during last years' Spring. Nothing can compare to silk for brightness of colors and this is the best yarn to keep the natural temperature of the body.


Friday, 11 March 2011

Art that fits

Some seasons ago my brother had the idea to embroider on our socks some words from the "Divina Commedia" of Dante Alighieri. This was the start of our little "Art" collection. We then moved to embroider the "Mona Lisa" of Leonardo da Vinci and some words from other Italian poets.
In few words it become a very successful part of our collection..


Wednesday, 9 March 2011

socks' sizes

Unfortunately there isn't a standard  sock size - shoe size conversion, so it comes everytime to a little trouble when trying to convert the shoe size to the sock size.
Socks' sizes are actually the lenght ot the sole of the sock from the heel to the toe in inches.
For example size 11 means 11 inches from the heel to the toe of the sock, size 12 means 12 inches..etc.
Let's visit our web site http://www.bresciani.it/ in the section philosophy of product where you can find our size chart.

A blog about the socks' world

Since socks are our world, we are starting a space on the web where we updated our friends about what's going on at Bresciani and in the socks world in general. So this is the start. Welcome !