Tips and Tricks: Cutting Socks
By “topless” socks and stockings, we just mean socks with no cuffs. Sometimes the description “raw-topped” is also used (raw meaning unfinished). We currently carry four styles of this kind of sock. They’ve got to have garters to hold them up, since they have no elastic band or cuff at the top, but that’s kind of the point.
They’re also great way to deal with tights that are too short or worn at the tops (as in this old Sock Journal DIY), just chop off the part that doesn’t cover your legs! Making raw-topped stockings is probably the best entry-level DIY.
But what kinds of knit can you cut without creating a disaster? The worst thing is to see your creation unravelling before your eyes. You can always drop us a line to double check the snip-worthiness of a style, but we’ve got a couple tips for what to look for after the jump!
Overall, the styles that cut best have a finer, tighter knit, or are some variation of fishnet. For each type, I’ve put together a little Advanced Search that is tailor-made for what that style type is.
Solid Nylon (or nylon/polyester blend)
The most obvious choice for chopping is the solid nylon or nylon blend. Knit very finely, they rarely want to unravel. You’ll be looking for opaque styles that have a high nylon content.
These are a little trickier, because there are some complicated net and openwork styles out there. But, things in the fishnet family do well when cut because each little connecting spot is pretty well tied off. When looking at openwork and fishnet or “crochet” styles to cut up, remember that the edge on these is going to be pretty raw (unless you have mad patient scissor skills), compared to the ready-made topless styles.
Topless Industrial Net Stockings on the left, hand-cut fishnets on the right
DIY-modding t-shirts is pretty popular, because you don’t have to hem the raw edges. The same goes for tights and socks with a similar texture to your favourite tee. Like with the nylon styles, you want opaque, tight-knit styles. Pretty much styles that are t-shirty.
Other . . .
I’ve been focusing on tights styles, but so this reference is more useful, I do want to mention styles like the DreaM Stockings Vertically Inclined, O Lovelies and O Chevrons. Due to their fancy knit, they don’t really unravel when cut straight across. Just a slight tug on the cut edge curls it up and bam. Done.
Those are the key things to look for when modifying tights and socks and you don’t want to have to rage about unravelling. Now, as a counter-point, what does a loose or thick knit sock, like the Long Cuffable Scrunchables do when cut?
It essentially cries yarn tears (and continues crying them until its edges are finished, this is no lone weep but an ongoing sob of WHY DID YOU CUT ME?!!)
But, with some research and smarts, you won’t cry any yourself.