A Densely Sashiko Stitched Maekake: Kasuri Cotton
ca. mid twentieth century
apron size without the tie: 20 1/4" x 17", 51.25 cm x 43 cm
Aprons were worn all the time in old Japan by all classes of people, especially working people.
Women at home wore them to do housekeeping, farmers and tradesmen wore them, shopkeepers wore them--in the past, aprons or maekake were part of one's daily clothing, and, still, today, many people today in Japan wear aprons on a daily basis.
This apron is most likely stitched in the mid twentieth century--and stitched it is.
The apron section of this garment is made of two layers of cotton cloth: the front is an indigo dyed kasuri or ikat; the back is a deep blue, black commercially loomed cotton. This apron area is finished in a deep turquoise cotton which his hand stitched around the three edges of the apron.
These two layers are held together by tight, close, and tightly stitched rows of sashiko stitching, the vertical rows being about 1/4" or 1 cm apart from one another, the result looking like there is a steady rain of white stitches against the background of evenly spaced, figured kasuri cloth.
The tie is a length of heavy, powerloomed cotton that has been hand stitched to the sashiko-stitched kasuri base. This white cotton tie is not even in length on each of its sides and it also shows some ingrained dirt.
All in all, this is a really attractive and beautifully presented sashiko stitched garment--and very tradition in its conception and execution.