A Pair of Sashiko Stitched Foot Guards: Rustic Indigo Dyed Cotton
ca. late nineteenth century
each: 6" x 10 1/2", 15 cm x 26.5 cm
As the title of this posting says, shown here is a pair of rustic, indigo dyed, sashiko stitched cotton instep and ankle guards.
Guards for the ankle, toe, instep, shin and hand were all part of daily work wear in old Japan, and variations of the same type of accessories existed for the more elite members of Japanese society, such as this pair of shin guards shown here.
This pair is heavily sashiko stitched around the lower perimeter and well into the toe areas. There is no sole to this foot wear, it was meant to protect only the exposed top area of the foot. By looking carefully at the attached photos you sill see that the sashiko stitching shows wear and fading on the areas where the foot met resistance, and these areas are paler in color than the deeply dyed indigo of the entire thing.
A curious pair of old foot guards from old Japan.