Sock-sess for rural firm as exports grow

Jon Monks from Capricorn Mohair Socks
Jon Monks from Capricorn Mohair Socks

Socks made by a small rural north Northumberland business are fast becoming a fashion must have – with punters living in Asia.

Rothbury-based Capricorn Mohair Socks (CMS) has recently exported 6,000 pairs to Japan.

It comes on the back of sending out 2,500 pairs to the same country last year.

The nation has embraced the product, with the socks featuring in fashion magazines.

Four large retailers in Japan now stock the items.

Jon Monks, from CMS, is delighted with the response, and admitted the company went for some eye-catching colours this time round.

He said: “As our socks have really taken off in the fashion market in Japan we did some very different vibrant colours for them this year including pink, lilac and a bright yellow which complemented our existing colours.

“One of the knock-on effects is that it has enabled us to try these colours on our UK customers and over the last few weeks they have been very well received.”

CMS, which also distributes its stock to 65 retailers in the UK, sources local mohair from Angora goats. All the socks are knitted on traditional four-needle machines and dyed in a traditional way as a ‘complete sock’.

It means that the production process is fairly slow and it took nearly five months from receiving the Japan order to it being shipped from Northumberland.

The socks are being exported by land and sea and will be arriving just in time for the Japanese winter. It wasn’t all plain sailing though.

Jon said: “Just the shear bulk of packaged socks alone, 20 boxes which were 3ft x 3ft x 3ft and each weighing 35kg brought its own problems with storage, as we worked through the order.”

CMS is based in the old Tourist Information Centre, on Church Street, alongside its sister business Shepherds Walks.