An Unused Pair of Sashiko Stitched Tabi: Unmatched Stitching
early to mid twentieth century
each: 5 1/2" x 10 1/4" x 4 1/2", 14 cm x 26 cm x 11.5 cm
Tabi are traditional Japanese, split-toe footwear that are either lightweight like socks or slightly more heavy weight, like shoes.
This pair of never-been-worn tabi fall into the latter category: they are more like slippers than socks--and they are beautiful.
The body of the tabi is of very dark, indigo dyed cotton. The sides of each of the tabi are densely sashiko stitched with one tabi being stitched in a light brown, reddish, cotton thread and the other one being stitched in a darker, duller brown thread. Wonderfully subtle contrast.
The ties are gorgeous, woven cotton tapes, very similar to those used to tie up kiri bako or boxes that are used to hold ceramics and other precious items.
The soles, as can be seen, are pristine: this pair of tabi is in mint condition.