A Pair of Sashiko Stitched Heel Guards: Black on White

$195.00 USD

early to mid twentieth century
each: 4 1/4" x 13", 11 cm x 33 cm

This is a pair of 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 of shin guards, instep guards and heel guards were worn as added protection against abrasion.

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 black, thick, cotton thread.  It seems that this black cotton sashiko thread is not color fast so washing of this pair is not advisable.

The motif stitched onto the guards is interesting: it is the yabane or arrow feather motif, a traditional Japanese design.

By looking carefully at the accompanying photographs we can notice the slight wear to the pair of heel guards.

A really lovely pair of a quickly disappearing hand made accessory from the past, this is a desirable type of sashiko stitched clothing from old Japan.