Visit to Iwaki Sock Lab and Factory (Part 2)

Continuing from the last issue, this is the second part of our visit to the sock factory in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, where "ide homme" socks are made. The socks, which can only be made with rare materials, precious craftsmanship, and old-fashioned machines, are a product of great attention to detail right up until the very end when they are shipped out.

There is a big difference between seeing and doing. Part 1 of this report made us realize how difficult it is to make these socks.

The use of "GIZA45," an extra-long length cotton, requires valuable old-fashioned machines, which in turn requires skilled craftsmanship. Not even a single mistake is allowed. It may look like an ordinary product, but it is anything but ordinary! I had no idea that it was made through such a process. The amazing ide homme, Iwaki Sock Lab and Factory...

The person who showed us around the sock factory was Mr. Yoshida, a well-known veteran of the sock industry with 30 years of experience in this field, and the general manager.

When Mr. Yoshida joined the company, the "high gauge double cylinder" machine, which is now obsolete, was just put into operation. It has been his partner throughout his sock life. Every process is filled with important things, and he showed us every corner of the factory with great care and attention.

After the socks are knitted with such superb skill, they are placed in a large ironing machine to shape them beautifully. A female craftsman quickly prepares the molds and places them in the machine, taking into account the size and shape of the finished socks. Another person quickly inserts the socks into the mold, again in a very smooth and efficient motion. The center line of the toe, heel, and tube are inserted with unmatched precision, and the socks go round and round in the machine.

Mr. Hasegawa asked, "Would you like to try it, too?

He tried it for the second time today. I thought this would be easier than the previous process of inserting the needle at a glance, but it was difficult to match the center line with the characteristics of each pair of socks. I have a lot of respect for the people who are working hard every day to improve their skills.

Even socks made by machine are slightly different from one another, so after shaping the socks, we make even pairs. I was impressed by the fact that it is not just a matter of making a pair of socks. The women were also responsible for making these equal pairs. There are many women working at Iwaki Sock Lab and Factory, and it is a very good place to work.

The last step is to inspect the products. A machine scans the products for needles and foreign substances. Genuine products that have passed the inspection are delivered to the final product room. The product room is made of glass and strictly controlled so that only a limited number of people can enter. It would certainly be a disaster if something were to happen before shipment, so the room is tightly controlled.

It is through these processes that products are finally delivered to our hands (or feet). Socks are just socks, but they are socks. If these socks are made with such care and attention, I will cherish and use them. I was impressed to know that there is such a world of care in the socks I used to wear without thinking about it.

Please try on the supreme socks "ide homme" made at the "Iwaki Sock Lab and Factory! I am sure you will be impressed.

We are sure you will be impressed.

GIZA45 Crew Socks
Brown, Navy, Black ¥3,520

GIZA45 Longhorns]
Brown, Navy, Black ¥4,400

Cashmere Silk Longhorns]
Navy, Black ¥7,700

Silk 5-finger cover socks]
23-25cm, 25-27cm Anaqueous blue, jet black ¥3,020

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