The history of slippers
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The history of slippers

Views: 57     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-06-21      Origin: Site

Feeling comfortable is one of the simplest pleasures in life. Whether sleeping on a pillow, lying on a soft mattress, or putting on warm slippers, these small luxury items have become part of our daily lives. From travel pillows to memory foam mattresses, most of them have evolved to keep up with the pace and expectations of today's society. Before we discuss the role of slippers today, we think we should study where, when and how slippers change over time. Although slippers are generally considered to be a simple and mundane object, it quietly appears in our daily lives, but few of us know it better than this.


The origin of slippers

In 1478, the word "slippers" was first recorded in English, but it seems that slippers have been around longer. It turns out that Spanish cave paintings dating back more than 15,000 years depict human beings wearing animal fur and animal fur on their feet, which people would think of as makeup shoes or slippers. At Boscombe Down, Roman corpses have been excavated for the past 15 years, so you might think that if you want to find anything interesting, you should have found it by now. However, in 2008, a peculiar discovery made the headlines. Interestingly, the focus of a corpse unearthed in 2008 was not the sad fact that a child was curled up, but the fact that she was buried in slippers. This shows that slippers can be traced back to 200 AD. It is believed that her slippers indicate her high social status, because most of the 300 corpses left there are wearing traditional boots.

Therefore, it is obvious that slippers, or at least the concept of slippers, have existed for longer than we thought. However, it is still unclear who invented the first slippers. 

The first slippers actually recorded were in Vietnam in the 12th century. At that time, slippers were not the simple everyday comfort items we see today, but a symbol of imprisonment. Wearing them is the maid of the wealthy Sudan, because the loose fit and soft soles can prevent them from escaping easily on the rocky terrain outdoors.

A few centuries later, slippers developed in the Middle East for far less sinister reasons. Moroccan babouche is derived from Arabic "babush" or Persian "papush". Inspired by halter sandals, the focus of babouche is its exaggerated point on the toe. It is said that this together with its super soft design reflects the fact that the wearer (usually a monarch and a French courtier in the 17th century) cared too much about their lifestyle and appearance. They live a luxurious life, cared for by gophers and drivers, ensuring that their shoes are kept in good condition while enjoying the best comfort. The special softness of babouche stems from its manufacturing process: repeated cleaning and drying until the best softness is achieved.

Around the same time, the Italians discovered another use for slippers. Venetian Furlane became particularly popular with Gondoliers in the 16th century. Its rubber sole is made of old bicycle tires, ensuring that the boatman will not skid or leave marks on the paint of the gondolas. At the same time, the velvet upper retains the elegant aesthetic associated with the Venetian culture. Many are still handmade, which helps to maintain the authenticity of the slippers. Both practical and attractive, Flann slippers can still be seen around Venice today, whether they are on the feet of the boatman when gliding in the city or sold on the cobblestone alleys, attracting many tourists with their long history.

flip flop

In Japan, take off outdoor shoes (whether at home, hotel or school) and put on a pair of slippers when you get indoors. Slippers are usually ready to wait. This is still a social obligation in Japan. People should keep their shoes. At the door, this is not only to show respect, but also because people believe that after a day's work, the feet should need to rest. Slippers are usually provided by the owner, and it is customary to bring a pair of socks and wear them again. The specific area where shoes are placed is called "genkan" and is generally considered to be one of the most basic aspects of Japanese culture. At the same time, light and comfortable slippers that can be put on at any time are called "uwabuki". Even if you are only visiting Japan, you should generally respect this custom and wear slippers at the entrance to any place indoors.

Although not a formal part of culture like Japan, moccasin slippers are a style that can often be seen today. The design of moccasin shoes is largely related to Native American culture. The design is simple and conforms to Native Americans' belief in the least waste. Moccasins were originally made of soft leather, usually deerskin. Slippers are usually bright, with colorful natural scenes painted on them, distinguishing different tribes from each other. The tribe will also personalize them based on the way they shape the shoes or how they decorate the shoes with their own beadwork. You can see here how much the design differences between the entire North American tribe are. Although moccasin slippers are usually made by machines in today's society (fur lining added for warmth and comfort), many Native American craftsmen still make them handmade products.

In the 21st century, in addition to the simplicity of Japanese slippers or the elegance of furlane, the western world also produced a variety of slippers to meet people's needs for comfort. From furry animal images or children's favorite cartoon characters to slippers that might be called "Grandpa", there is no denying that there are many choices for slippers wearers.

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