A Striped Maekake: Traditional Cotton Apron
ca. mid twentieth century
29" x 13 3/4", 74 cm x 33.5 cm
Aprons were worn all the time in old Japan by all classes of people,
especially working people.
Women at home wore them to do housekeeping, farmers and tradesmen wore them, shopkeepers wore them--in the past, aprons or maekake were part of one's daily clothing, and, still, today, many people today in Japan wear aprons on a daily basis.
This hand stitched maekake is fashioned from
a very handsome and beautifully colored one haba or loom width
woven cotton stripe. The apron is narrow, as can be seen in photos.
The tie is made from wine colored cloth, a nice contrast to the the black and orange coloration of the apron itself. The stripes on this cloth, a series of varying widths, is referred to in Japan as "waterfall" since it looks like a stylized cascade of water.
you ever happen to see historical photos of old Japan, particularly
street scenes for scenes depicting everyday life, look closely at the
photos and most likely you will see the presence of maekake in
This one, in particular, is easy to visualize being worn by a kimono-clad working lady, which it no doubt was.