A Pair of Rustic and Tattered Undyed Cotton Heel Guards: Dense Sashiko Stitching

$125.00 USD

early twentieth century
each: 4 1/4" x 14 1/2", 11 cm x 37 cm

This is a pair of rustic, very abraded, densely sashiko stitched akutogake or heel guards. 

In old Japan people wore accessories to give protection to the body while working, traveling on foot, and the like.  Hand guards, gaiters or shin guards, instep guards and heel guards were worn as added protection against the kind of abrasion a farmer, for example, would encounter during his or her daily work.

These akutogake were placed around the heel of the foot and tied in front.  They are hand stitched from white or undyed cotton and have been sashiko stitched in undyed cotton thread.

The stitching dense as it was meant to offer maximum protection for the wearer--the reinforced, small patches to each of the heel guards are both quite worn which indicates this pair aided in a good deal of hard work.

By looking at the accompanying photographs we can notice a good amount of wear, and heavy abrasion to the pair of heel guards.

A really lovely set of a quickly disappearing hand made boro accessory from the past.