The origins of footbinding go as far back as 1700-1027 B.C. during the Shang dynasty. Foot binding was at first for the wealthy but it moved to the countryside when girls realized they could marry into wealth with small feet aka "lotus feet". The desired length was 3 inches.
Began before the arch of the foot had developed properly (between ages 2 and 5). After the feet were soaked in herbs and animal blood, they were massaged while cotten bandages were prepared. The toes were curled under the foot and then forcefully broken with great pressure. The foot was then brought level with the leg and the arch broken by force. Then the binding began, with the bandages repeatedly wrapped around the feet pressing the broken toes tightly against the sole of the foot, and squeezing the ball and heel together. Finally, the ends of the bandages were sewn tightly so they could not be undone.
foot binding