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
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
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.
TRADE FAIRS IN TURKEY
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