Tabio Is Not Just a Sock, It’s a Testament to the Obsessiveness of Japanese Craftsmanship

by Charles Manning

Lots of brands make socks, but there is a difference between making a sock and making the sock. After all, lots of brands make trench coats, but only Burberry makes the trench coat — the quintessential, top-of-the-line, gold standard against which all others are to be judged. You want a trench coat, you go to Burberry. Just like when you want a silk scarf, you go to Hermes; or a quilted handbag, you go to Chanel; or a pair of ballet flats, you go to Repetto. So where do you go for socks? Tabio.

Tabio has been manufacturing the world’s top-quality socks in Japan for over 50 years with a devotion to craftsmanship and attention to detail that one would likely never expect We believe that a genuine comfortable lifestyle begins from our feet,” says Tabio. “By approaching sock-making like a unique sartorial art form, we deliver the highest quality socks ever made and promote a better lifestyle.”

The brand really does seem to approach sock-making like an art. They use a mix of rare, traditional, and modern machines, paying special attention to stitching pressure and room temperature to ensure that they create consistently perfect socks. Some of their machines are so finicky that skilled technicians train for 15 years before they achieve the full mastery necessary to opperate them properly.

Naturally, Tabio uses the highest-quality materials, from French Safilin linen to the world’s thinnest wools, and when they can’t find just the right thing, they create it themselves. In 2019, they began cultivating their own 100% organic Koryo cotton in Nara, Japan. The cotton there is ethically grown and hand-picked before being spun into organic cotton yarn, which is then botanically dyed using natural ingredients.

Of course, when it comes to socks, comfort is key, which is why Tabio puts special attention on the design of their socks, even at the expense of manufacturing efficiency. “True comfort is achieved by creating wider toe and heel sections,” says Tabio. “It almost doubles the production time, but when it comes to quality, we don’t compromise. And while it is common to control knitting machines automatically, we are tuning the machines by hand to create the perfect balance in texture, prioritizing product quality over production efficiency. We obsess over the small details that make perfect socks possible.”

But Tabio doesn’t just make socks. The brand recently launched 11 new colors of their premium Tabio tights. It’s a little technical, but the way the tights are created is pretty unique. The brand uses threads that are three times thinner than conventional ones, which results in tights that are super smooth and soft and fit way better. Also, Tabio’s tights are created with a double-knitting technique called “plating knitting.” This technique uses front yarns and back yarns so the tights are perfect and smooth inside and out — a difference you can definitely feel on your skin while you’re wearing them.

Check out more of the brand’s fab products below and visit now to shop their collections for men and women.

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