Today is the day for our latest historical shoe - "Nankeen" Regency Boots!
Nankeen boots were an early 19th century fabric walking boots with adjustable lacing closure. Just like boots of old, our Nankeens have soft toes (no toe caps), leather soles, stitched eyelets, and bound edges.
The name "Nankeen" comes from the variety of cotton used to make these boots, originally a pale buff-colored cloth manufactured in Nanjing, China. Shortly after its rise in popularity, Nankeen cloth was "knocked off" in Europe, and made of just ordinary cotton dyed to the characteristic khaki color. Ironically, our modern Nankeen cloth is, in fact, made in China, which is entirely historically accurate!
First, I want to show you some historical examples:
|Click this link for an in-depth description and many photos of these fabulous Nankeen boots.|
|From The Beau Mone Blog (defunct) - Ladies half boots, tied with cord, and with little rosettes on the vamps.|
|Museum of London - 1815 - Nankeen boots made by Miss Francis Burrow. I love that these are described as having traces of horse droppings still on the soles. Click through for more information and views.|
- Hand-made uppers are buff-colored, dyeable cotton
- Lining is same, with a facing of leather around the top and opening
- Lace closure is adjustable, through stitched eyelets
- Leather soles, with a 1/2" stacked lift at the heel
- Women's US sizes 6 - 11
- Historically accurate for c. 1800 - 1820
Nankeens are also wonderfully dyeable. A quick test with the International Fabric Dye produced a vibrant and consistent finish, which means you can create a totally unique pair of boots to match your Regency wardrobe.
|Not the best photo, but you can see how consistent and rich the color is.|
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Edit: A question which has come up a couple times: What is the difference between "Hartfield" and "Nankeen?"
Nankeen boots are cotton, lined in cotton with a leather facing around the opening. They have a soft, round toe, stitched eyelets, and are dyeable with fabric dyes. They fit the dates 1800 - 1820 most accurately.
Hartfield boots are calf leather, fully lined in leather. They have a pointed toe with a toe box (stiffener to keep the shape), punched eyelets (no stitching). They fit the dates 1790 - 1815