The following is a brief summary of the steps involved in the making of Tabi socks.

There are basically 12 stages involved.

Stage 1|Cutting & Inspection of Raw Materials


While inspecting each cloth used for the surface, lining, and bottom of Tabi, 5 meters of fabric are cut from every roll, and 20 sheets* are stacked for cutting at the next step. We are also careful to flatten the sheets when stacking.

*20 sheets are stacked for cutting the outer pattern and the lining pattern

*4 sheets are stacked for the bottom pattern

cutting & inspection of raw materials

Stage 2|Cutting


A fabric layer made in Stage1 is cut by a cutting machine using molds. The upper part of Tabi consists of 4 patterns; the portions for big toe and the other toes, and the lining for the big toe and the other toes. The bottom pattern is cut using a bottom mold.

There are 86 molds for each pattern with 16 sizes for a total of more than 1,300 types of molds.



Stage 3|Threading for Kohaze I


As patching a cloth, a thread is put through the surface pattern for the big toe in order to attach a Kohaze (metal tab fastener).


threading for kohaze 1

STAGE 4|Threading for Kohaze II


The area around Stage 3 is sewn to prevent the Kohaze from detaching.




threading for kohaze 2

Stage 5|Attachment of Kohaze


4 Kohaze are sewn in between the surface and the lining pattern for the other toes.

attachment of kohaze

Stage 6|Sewing Surface and Lining


The process of making Tabi can be divided into 3 parts; the big toe, the other toes, and the bottom. In Stage 6, the parts for the big toe and the other toes are made.

The surface and the lining pattern for the big toe are put together, and the rim from the ankle to the heel is sewn. The patterns for the other toes are sewn in the same way. 

sewing surface and lining

Stage 7|Sewing the top of the foot area


The 2 parts made in Stage 6 are put together creating 4 layers, and the top of the foot area is attached.


sewing the top of the foot area

Stage 8|Sewing of the heel area


The heel area is sewn to be rounded.


sewing of the heel area

Stage 9|Sewing the toe areas


The bottom of the pattern and the parts for the big toe and the other toes are put together. The toe area is sewn first. This process requires the skills of the craftsmen to ensure optimum shaping. In our factory, we have been making Tabi for more than 100 years using traditional sewing machines made in Germany.

sewing the toe area

Stage 10|Sewing the remaining portions


The remaining portions are sewn, and the bottom and the other 2 parts are assembled.


sewing the remaining portions

Stage 11|Cross Stitching


The seamed areas sewn in Stages 9 and 10 are reinforced with cross stitching to prevent separation and fraying.

cross stitching

Stage 12|Hand Finishing


Tabi are completed through 4 steps of finishing; they are turned inside out, put on a special shoe tree designed for Tabi, and treated with wooden tools and mallets to adjust the shape for a delicate fit. Lastly, Tabi are ironed, which completes the process.

hand finishing

A visit to our factory offers you an opportunity to step onto the factory floor! For more information about the Factory Tours, please click here.