Foot binding was a custom practiced on young girls in China for about one thousand years from the 10th century and until the early 20th century. Beginning at an early age; young girls' feet were wrapped in tight bandages to prevent them from growing normally; their feet became deformed, never growing beyond 4-6 inches (10-15 cm). The four smaller toes on a girl's foot would break within a year of the initial binding; only the big toe remained intact. A well developed arch was the essential feature of a perfect "lotus foot". The ideal outcome was a 3-inch foot, called a golden lotus. A 4 inch (10 cm) foot, called a silver lotus, was considered acceptable.