A Pair of Undyed Hemp Momohiki: Undyed Cotton Repairs
early to mid twentieth century
as shown: 29 1/2" x 38", 75 cm x 96.5 cm
Momohiki are traditional, Japanese work leggings of a type that were worn all over Japan in the old days; they way they are worn can be seen here.
This particular pair of momohiki is very interesting. It is made of undyed hemp or ramie cloth which has been patched with undyed cotton; the tie around the waist area is a soft, indigo dyed blue cotton.
Often momohiki are dyed in indigo, one of the reasons being that when they are dyed in indigo they appear more "clean" as the dark color hides the ingrained dirt acquired from hard work in the fields or mountains. This pair is barely touched by such dirt, and as such, it may be that this could have been someone's "Sunday best," or a pair of momohiki reserved for special occasions. Who is to say? This is only speculation.
A wonderful and unusual pair of traditional work wear from old Japan, this is a desirable pair of momohiki to own.