Nara Prefecture has the highest production of socks in Japan.
The domestic market share of socks is about 34% in 2012 statistics, and the sock length is about 56%, both of which are number one. According to the latest 2015 statistics, the domestic market share of Nara's sock length has further expanded to about 61%. (* From data from Nara Prefecture Socks Industry Cooperative)
Why the sock industry has developed so much in Nara?
Behind the beginning of sock making in Nara Prefecture was the existence of cotton called "Yamato cotton" that had been cultivated since the Edo period, and cotton threading and cotton fabrics using that cotton.
Since the Yamato Basin was always a water-scarce land, cotton was actively cultivated to make up for the low rice production, and people in this area made a living from weaving wages.
However, in the Meiji era, when exchanges with foreign countries became active, more modern spinning technology was introduced to Japan, and a large amount of Indian cotton, which was easy to handle with the spinning machine at that time and had long hair, was imported in Japan. It is said that cotton making has declined in a blink of an eye.
As modernization progressed toward such spinning, Taijiro Yoshii of Umami Village (now Koyo city) focused on sock manufacturing. Taijiro, a Yoshii family who used to live in a thread shop, brought back a hand-cranked knitting machine when he visited overseas, started making socks as an alternative to weaving, and developed from a farmer's side business to his main business.
From there, sock making spread to the surrounding area.
After the war,currently Toray Industries, Inc. started full-scale production of nylon yarn in 1951, and the production of domestic nylon increased dramatically. By using this nylon as a material for sock manufacturing, the socks have elasticity and excellent fit.
Koyo city in Nara Prefecture has made great progress in the production of nylon socks, and eventually became the largest sock production town in Japan.
Socks are no exception in Japan, which produces high-quality products in each genre, including home appliances.
"Nara socks" are socks of reliable quality that have won the competition in Japan before foreign socks were imported.
Nara, which has met the demands of discerning Japanese consumers and has won the competition with production areas such as Hyogo, Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya, has been maintaining its quality as the number one production area since 1961.
First of all, the fact that it was the origin of the raw material is a major reason why we were able to maintain quality. Therefore, good raw materials are included and good processors have gathered here.
And by having many vendors involved in each process of raw materials, dyeing, knitting, sewing, embroidery, finishing, and decorative processing, the principle of good competition to work hard with each other worked.
From the fineness of the toe tip sewing thread to the depth of the heel, socks that the craftsmen are particular about in detail from the consumer's point of view. It can be said that the commitment that we have continued to this day has created this quality today.
Over the long history, sock technology has been refined, and we have devised ways to add value and reduce costs. Demand for socks made in Japan, especially socks from Nara, is increasing year by year.