6 / 2003

Russia - Lime-rind countryman’s shoes

Above shoes were commonly used by country-people, men and women alike, all over the "Svernye Uvali" or Russian lowlands. They were braided of lime- or linden- rind with twisted straw laces and are called "Lapti". The material was readily available, very strong and durable, cheap and easy to work-up. Thus making it pre-eminently suitable for the creation of footwear. The foot and lower leg were first wrapped in a long piece of cloth witha width of about 20 cm, like a bandage, and then placed in the shoe. The straw laces were tied around the lower leg-part and held all in place. The double braided sole was nearly impenetrable for sharp objects.

Research and text by : W.A.H.M. Habraken-Oosterhout-Holland
Illustration by : Colin Ball - Waalwijk - Holland