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What is a Maekake apron?

What is a Maekake apron?


The Maekake is an apron, traditionally indigo blue and made of thick cotton, made since the 15th century in Japan.

With its retro appearance, this Japanese apron has recently gained popularity, used as a uniform, as kitchen and outdoor clothing but also as a decorative object.

History of Maekake

The maekake is a traditional Japanese apron, tied at the hips and worn by artisans and traders. Maekake aprons have been widely used by workers since the Muromachi period of the 15th century, when it was found in rice or sake stalls. It then bears the name “homaekake”, or “ho” for canvas, “mahe” for front and “kake” for hanging or hanging.

It was widely used by artisans and traders, for whom it gradually became an emblem. Originally longer, it was often worn thrown over one shoulder from the hips in order to protect the upper body when transporting barrels or “taru”. It was subsequently shortened with the appearance of packaging in glass bottles, the boxes now being carried at arm's length and no longer on the shoulders.

The maekake apron that we find today, which therefore comes from “mahe” for front and the verb “kakeru” for to hang, protects clothes from dirt but also the back with its strong belt worn tightly at hip level. It thus blocks the lower back, acting as a strength belt.
It is generally red or almost orange and white in color, a “kohaku” color which brings luck in business.

Finally, the bottom of the apron is not finished with a seam, the fringes remain free. This tradition of intervening as little as possible on the fabric reflects a form of respect, dating back to a time when cotton was a rare and noble manner.

Maekake Anything

Founded in 2000 by Kazuhiro Nishimura, Anything makes maekake aprons and still uses a traditional production method in Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, which is the last and only remaining production location in Japan.

Maekake Anything is home to nine shuttle looms made over 100 years ago, continuing to make high-quality, authentic MAEKAKE Japanese aprons for people in Japan and around the world.

Little wink, Agent Q in the 🤵James Bond film No Time To Die released in 2021, wears a pretty Maekake apron with Mount Fuji!

At Hersée, we have chosen to offer you this magnificent Maekake apron made by Kazuhiro Nishimura of Maekake Anything through several iconic creations of Japanese culture.

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