Cotton (homespun)

These bottomless tabi would have been worn with waraji, the traditional Japanese straw sandals. The tabi would have protected the foot from abrasion. These tabi were well worn, and the dye has been abraded away where the straw rubbed the fabric.

The bottom half of the tabi have been stitched with very thick sashiko stitching. In contrast with the sashiko stitching in firemen’s wear, there is no extra layer of fabric or batting in the tabi, but the bulky sashiko thread gives the tabi a very thick texture. The upper half, with no sashiko stitching, is much flatter.

The person who sewed the tabi took care to create a sawtooth design with the stitchwork, so the tabi are not only utilitarian, but pleasing to the eye as well.

Below, the underside of the tabi. The toes are at the bottom.