A Pair of Sashiko Stitched Mittens: Rustic Hand Guards
early to mid twentieth century
each piece: 10" x 7", 25 cm x 18 cm
This is a pair of heavily sashiko stitched, indigo dyed cotton mittens or hand guards, presumably used for work in cold weather in rural regions of Japan.
The pair is densely stitched with thick, white cotton thread. It seems not to have been used: this can sometimes be the case with folk textiles of this sort as they may have been made just as they have been made obsolete by innovations in commercial materials or the cessation of a type of manual labor.
These hand guards are made to individually accommodate the thumb and index finger while the three other fingers are grouped into one "pocket" of sorts.
A beautiful utilitarian folk textile from old Japan, and one that is highly collectible as few exist.