The traditional Japanese apron or 'Maekake' is ingrained into Japanese culture, and has been since as far back as the Edo period. These heavy cotton aprons, usually dark and dyed with indigo, were historically worn by staff at small manufacturers and breweries throughout the country due to their durability. Nowadays, they’re making a comeback in izakayas (bars and restaurants) throughout Japan.
Genuine Maekakes are made with cotton especially woven on narrow looms, and only in Toyohashi City. Produced in small batches, these aprons have their own distinctive texture thanks to this traditional weaving process, and feature a defining, traditional fringed hem.
Inspired by utilitarian design so often found in Japan, London-based brand Labour and Wait have now added traditional Maekakes to their collection. Offering goods from hardware to clothing, this company draws on the Maekake philosophy, letting function lead the design to create great quality, long-lasting pieces that will live on far into the future. If this traditional apron can last for over 250 years, you never know what else might.
To discover more from the world of Japanese textiles, pick up a copy of the latest copy of Selvedge 81, the Japan Blue issue.