Footwear

Footwear

A number of ancient lotus shoes (small shoes for bound feet of Chinese women) are still extant.

The Textile Research Centre in Leiden houses a pair of embroidered boots from Mongolia. They were acquired in 2008. They are made of felt, leather, vegetable and synthetic fibre. They are 53 cm high and 32 cm long.

The Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin holds a pair of embroidered boots from Yarkand, Xinjiang, in the western parts of China. The boots were collected by the British explorer Robert Barkley Shaw in c. 1869. The embroidery is worked with metal thread and cotton thread. Some of the decoration is worked with chain stitch. The boots measure 40 x 24 cm.

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam houses a pair of leather and open-weave linen shoes (8.5 x 3 cm) that date to the first half of the nineteenth century (c. 1825-1850). The uppers of the shoes are embroidered with flowers and branches. The embroidery is carried out in tent stitch (or possibly cross stitch). The shoes have a flat sole (no heels) and square toes. The upper edge of the inside of the shoe is strengthened with a tape.

A pair of embroidered woman's shoes from the Iranian province of Gilan, in the north of the country along the Caspian Sea, is housed in the collection of the Textile Research Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands. The footwear dates to the twentieth century. The shoes are made of leather and cotton, and decorated with vegetable fibres. They were acquired in Gilan in 1998.

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London houses a pair of remarkably well-preserved leather shoes from medieval Egypt. The shoes, which originally may have been purple or red, are decorated with gilding (gold leaf) and embroidery, using linen and silk (?) thread. The shoes measure 26 x 8 cm, with a height of 7 cm.

The Textile Research Centre in Leiden has a pair of girl's slippers from Morocco. Localled called babouch, they measure 18 x 9 cm. They are made of leather and hand embroidered with cotton.

The Ethnologisches Museum in Berlin holds a pair of embroidered puttees (leg bands) from among the Hazaras in Afghanistan. The embroidery includes metal thread. The bands measure c. 44 x 9 cm. They were bought in Kabul in 1971/1972. See also Hazara embroidery.

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam houses a pair of high-heeled, leather and green velvet shoes that date to c. 1700 and were made in The Netherlands. They are decorated with silver thread passementerie and floral motifs embroidered with silver thread. The shoes measure 21.8 x 7.7 cm. The heels are 9.5 cm high.

In the Friedenssaal of Münster's city hall (Rathaus) there is a single lady's shoe on display. It is believed to date from between AD 1620-1640. The shoe is made from leather and covered with (red) velvet. It has a small Louis style heel and a large vamp; especially the 'tongue' is very large.

Moccasins are a form of footwear, consisting of sole and sides made from one piece of leather and stitched together at the top. The sole is normally soft and flexible. Sometimes a vamp (upper part of the footwear) is added from a separate piece of material. Moccasins can just cover the foot or reach up as far as the calf of the wearer.

A pair of decorated women's shoes made of linen and dating to the 1840's or 1850's, is housed in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. The shoes have a square toe, and the upper and tongue are ornamented with a red silk trim and glass beads.

The Textile Research Centre (TRC), Leiden, houses a pair of hand embroidered shoes from the Siwa oasis, Egypt. Localled called srabin, the shoes date to the late twentieth century.

The Textile Research Centre (TRC), Leiden, houses a pair of embroidered woman's shoes from Afghanistan, made of leather and velvet. They measure 22 x 7 cm. They probably are associated with the Hazara ethnic group. Decoration consists of metal thread embroidery, with couching.

The Textile Research Centre (TRC), Leiden, houses a pair of leather, gold embroidered man's shoes from Afghanistan. They measure 27 x 11 cm. The pointed tips belong to the traditional style of footwear of the Indian continent. They are probably are associated with the Pashtun ethnic group.

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London houses a pair of wool embroidered half-boots (also called ankle boots), which date to the mid-nineteenth century and were made in Britain. They are made of canvas, with elastic side gussets, and with the uppers being (hand) embroidered. The boots measure 18 x 10 x 28 cm.

A pair of nineteenth century lotus shoes is housed in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. They are made of silk, cotton and wood. The shoes show traces of wear, and were therefore probably used, rather than made for the tourist market. The shoes are 16 cm long, 5 cm wide and 8 cm high and were probably worn by a bride.

In the Siwa oasis, Egypt, brides traditionally wore a particular type of decorated footwear. It consisted of a pair of flat, red-dyed shoes made out of goat leather and decorated with embroidery. The older versions were decorated with floss silkor cotton perlé thread.