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Turkish hosiery market


HS No: 6115

Hosiery is an item of clothing worn on the feet. The foot is among the heaviest producers

of sweat in the body. Socks help to absorb this sweat and draw it to areas where air can

evaporate the perspiration. In cold weather, hosiery decreases the risk of frostbite. Its

name is derived from the loose-fitting slipper called “soccus” in Latin, worn by Roman

comic actors.


Hosiery is not only the most consumed clothing item but also among the clothing items

that have the shortest life-span.


The history of hosiery, though in different shapes and textures, dates back to older times.

Two milestones regarding the hosiery sector are; the invention of the knitting machine in

1589, although it was to become common only after the 1800s, and the introduction of

nylon in 1935 (introduction to the market in 1938) at a time when socks were commonly

made from silk, cotton and wool. After the introduction of nylon, two or more yarns were to

be blended. Besides these developments, seamless clothing production was one of the

most important technological developments in the last decade.


Hosiery, which is an item of fashion, not only consists of socks in daily use but also

medically qualified items like stockings for varicose veins.


Exploration of socks knitted from animal hair in Anatolia in 5th century BC is an indicator of

an old hosiery tradition in this part of the world.




Textiles and clothing sectors are among the most important industries of Turkish economy

in terms of GDP contribution, share in manufacturing, employment, investments and

macroeconomic indicators. Having a share of 18,5% in total export volume in 2011, these

sectors have a significant role in world trade as well as a capability of meeting high

standards and sophisticated preferences. According to World Trade Organization

statistics, Turkish clothing industry is the 6th largest supplier in the world. It’s also the 2nd

largest supplier of the EU.


As a sub-sector of the large Turkish clothing industry, the hosiery industry started to

develop in the 90s. In recent years, pantyhose, tights, stockings, socks and other hosiery

production in Turkey has shown a faster growth. With the new investments, it is estimated

to have reached a production capacity of more than 2,2 billion pairs per annum. The sector

exports more than half of its production.


With its advanced production capacity, high technology, design capability and the increase

in the number of qualified personnel, the hosiery sector presently has a significant place in

world production and exports. It ranks the 2nd in the world hosiery production, having a

share of 8,5%, following China.


Since it is generally accepted that quality, cost and comfort are the main factors that

determine consumer preferences, Turkey has the advantage of relying on production

structure. Turkey ranks the 8th in world cotton production and the 4th in world cotton

consumption. Turkey also ranks the 3rd in organic cotton production, following India and

Syria. More than half of the hosiery production consists of cotton-knitted hosiery.

There are more than 2.000 workshops and factories active in the hosiery industry with

about 110.000 people working in the sector including the supply industry and the retail



The products of Turkish hosiery sector have a good reputation in world markets.

Furthermore, with its flexible production structure, the sector can adapt itself to consumers’

changing needs and preferences. Today, most of the exporters produce their own designs

while almost all of the materials used for export products are obtained from the domestic




The value of hosiery exports increased gradually between the years 2002 and 2011.

According to ITC Trademap statistics regarding value, Turkish hosiery industry is the 3rd

largest exporter in the world market of US$ 13,1 billion, with a share of 8%, following

China and Italy in 2011. It is also the 2nd largest supplier of the EU.


In terms of quantity, Turkey is the 2nd largest exporter in the world market of 880 thousand

tons, with a market share of 7%, following China.


In 2011, the value of total Turkish clothing exports was US$ 13,5 billion while knitted

clothing and accessories had an export value of US$ 8.4 billion with a share of 62,1%

within total clothing exports. In spite of the global crisis and the downtrend in clothing

exports in 2009, the hosiery sector achieved a share of 12,7% in Turkish knitted or

crocheted clothing exports.


In 2011, hosiery exports constituted 12,6% of Turkey’s knitted or crocheted clothing

exports and 7,8% of total clothing exports. Hosiery exports increased by 10,9% with an

export value of 1.1 billion dollars in 2011, tripling the export value of 2002. As an important

sub-sector of Turkish clothing industry, the sector generated a foreign trade surplus of US$

996 million in the same year.


Turkish hosiery industry exports its products to nearly 130 countries worldwide. The EU,

with a share of about 90%, is the most important market for Turkey’s hosiery exports. The

United Kingdom (25,2%), Germany (20,3%), France (11,3%), Spain (7,6%) and the

Netherlands (4,3%) are the major export markets within the EU.


Today, Turkish hosiery industry has the capacity of creating its own brands and fashion. With its

fashion-oriented and quality products, Turkey has been increasing her share in major

markets, especially in the European market which has high standards and sophisticated

customer needs. 

When hosiery exports are analyzed in terms of 6-digit harmonized codes, it is clearly seen

that more than half of the hosiery exports consists of cotton knitted hosiery. 


To increase the reputation of Turkish fashion in international markets, Turkish companies

participate in many fashion shows and international fairs abroad. In addition, Turkish

hosiery products are exhibited in international and national fairs organized in Turkey. All

the trade fairs organized in Turkey are listed on the “Turkey Fair Guide” in official website

of the Union and Chambers of Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) at

www.fuarrehberi.org.tr The major fair to be organized in 2013 is as follows:

􀂃 IF EXPO 2013, 10th International Hosiery Underwear Fair, İstanbul, 31 January - 2
February 2013, www.ifexpo.com



􀂃 Socks Manufacturer Association

􀂃 Turkish Fashion and Apparel Federation

􀂃 Turkish Clothing Manufacturers Association

􀂃 Aegean Clothing Manufacturers’ Association

􀂃 Turkish Knitwear Industrialists Association

􀂃 Istanbul Textile and Apparel Exporters’ Associations

􀂃 Aegean Exporters’ Associations

􀂃 Uludağ Exporters’ Association

􀂃 Denizli Exporters’ Association

􀂃 Mediterranean Exporter Associations

􀂃 Southeast Anatolia Exporters’ Associations

􀂃 United Brands Association


Tags : Turkish hosiery sector , buy hosiery from Turkey, import hosiery from Turkey