Japanese Socks Obsession

Japan is a land of contrasts, especially between the old and new.

On the one hand we have the state-of-the-art technology used on their high speed trains and toilets, and on the other we can appreciate their respect for tradition at a tea ceremony, or screen printing ateliers. 

For the longest time, we've been admirers of their incredibly rich culture, and have seen first hand why they have a fantastic reputation for high quality manufacturing of all kinds of goods.

Having had the opportunity to visit Japan and discover some of its wonders ourselves, we stumbled upon Japanese socks. We're not talking about the tabi style or with cute characters all over which can be found at souvenir stores. We are talking about luxurious socks, made of the softest, wool, cotton and silk yarns, manufactured with care by skilled craftsmen. The kind of sock that makes your foot feel a warm embrace and makes you sigh peacefully as soon as you put them on.

But, what makes them so special compared to socks made elsewhere?

It's definitely down to the masterful craftsmanship of Japanese artisans and their ability to create subtle, yet long-lasting beauty. Traditionally, Japanese people take off their shoes inside their homes and inside some venues such as restaurants or tea houses, so their socks are on display more often that those of people in Western societies. So we could say that in Japan, socks are part of the image one shows to the world.

As outside observers, we can say Japanese craftsmen are very proud of their attention to detail, and really take their time to ensure both the input and the final product is as perfect as possible. As a society, the Japanese tend to consume less than shoppers in most Western countries. Japanese people also buy less for themselves, instead, they favour buying good, long lasting presents for their loved ones.

It's about quality rather than quantity.

This is certainly how Japanese socks are built; there are several brands that use vintage knitting machines from the 50's or 60's, which only produce a few dozens of pairs a day, making their socks quite hard to find. There are some brands that finish each sock by hand, and that have vertical supply chains and even grow their own cotton.
We have also seen innovation with different materials that help with odour control, or the use of unconventional fibers such as green tea leaves and Japanese paper! There are a number of interesting players making premium socks in Japan and they all definitely have high-quality in common, here at Gelau, we are always excited to discover new brands and material combinations.

Your get what you pay for

Great materials, along with the fact that they are manufactured in a developed country with strict labour regulations, certainly translates into higher prices than those of most socks.

Whether you want to splurge and wear only Japanese made socks every day, want to make a fashion statement, or just treat yourself, or a friend, to a good pair of socks, it's important to take care of them to ensure they will last you for as long as possible. We always recommend following the care instructions on the label and washing them inside a delicate garment bag.

While they are made of premium yarns and undergo several quality checks, in the end they have to be cared for, like a fine watch.

We have all been spending more time at home this year, here in Australia, winter just ended and we found it to be very comforting to wear pair of double faced wool and silk socks on a cold day. At Gelau we believe once you try on a pair of excellent, Japanese socks, you will never go back to your standard pack of socks, we certainly didn't.



Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published