Lotus Shoes Sole Embroidery

The soles of lotus shoes (small shoes for bound feet of Chinese women) were sometimes made of layered cotton (rather than wood).

In that case, they were usually, in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, quilted with small running stitches in a variety of simple lines or geometric forms. Sometimes, ladies who received guests while sitting on a kang (bed) had elaborately embroidered soles decorated with intricate designs worked in silk. These were intended for pleasurable viewing, so their wearer would quite deliberately place the shoe soles in the direction of her visitors.

Dancers also embellished their shoe soles with brightly coloured silk embroidery and sometimes with small sequins to add to the complete visual effect.

See also the TRC Needles entries on main types of Chinese lotus shoes.

See also the TRC digital exhibition Chinese lotus shoes (TRC, Leiden 2018).


Last modified on Wednesday, 25 April 2018 08:10
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