Japanese Traditional Boro

Japanese Traditional Boro | We Revive them

“Boro (襤褸)” means a piece of ragged cloth in Japanese. Recently, with spreading a word & culture of “Boro” spreading to the world, the word itself starts having other meaning besides simply “ragged cloth.” I enjoy the various interpretation of the culture of Boro and many Boro-inspired art-works. I appreciate the beauty of contemporary Boro culture. However, as a group of Sashiko artists, we would like to introduce how the Japanese Traditional Boro look like.

 

Not only patchwork. A result of repetitive repairing.

Boro is not only about patchworking small swatches of fabric into one art. The big difference from the western patchwork art is that the main purpose of the project was repairing the torn fabric.

Some of the Boro we can find in the antique market is too fragile to use. We have experienced a valuable piece of Boro “washed away” in hand-washing process. Therefore, we understand that some of the Boro pieces should be kept in the museum or other exhibition facilities.

However, what we would like to pass down to the next generation is not only the beautiful pieces of Boro but also the culture of Boro including how to make these. We continuously search for a good piece of Boro, wash them carefully with expecting some damages and loss, then patch them together to revive the fabric. As exactly the Japanese a few hundred years ago performed, we make the Boro fabric.

 

Our Boro arts are “clean” and “usable” in your daily life.

We use the Boro, then we repair it. The repetitive repairing makes the authentic Japanese traditional fabric.

 

Boro from Japanese Tradition

 

 

At Random Beauty in Japanese Traditional Boro?

Some people say that the beauty in Boro is a product of at random repairing & mending. Is that really so? We do not agree with that. It is true that the Japanese did not have enough fabric to create a new jacket or a blanket. They had to repair a hole or torn part by using other old fabrics.

However, if they didn’t care about beauty or artistic perspective of Boro, why did they patch only one type of fabric? I believe that they tried to be as fashionable as they can, in limited resources of fabrics.

It also reflects the interesting Japanese culture of shame. The Boro was a symbol of “poverty” and the Japanese felt shame on the patched Boro. With following this culture, our Boro Jacket has more patches inside of Jacket.

 

We try to follow the old traditional way of Boro making.

With understanding how the Japanese would think and repair, we believe we revive the fabric and Boros as the Japanese in the 18 century do in 2018.

 

The core of Boro | Appreciation.

Please understand that I am not criticizing the current movement of contemporary Boros. I enjoy watching many arts inspired by the Traditional Boro, and I get inspired by the Boros made in current society.

 

The core concept of Boro is appreciating what we have.

As long as we follow this core idea of Boro, the result of Boro (patchworking, repairing and quilting) can be in any form.

 

In this fast-paced society with mass production & mass consumption, appreciating the small piece of fabric is off the mainstream. It is time-consuming and not efficient.

 

However, I believe it would be nice to leave the culture of appreciation to fabric is a great gift we can leave to the next generation. In addition to the culture and beauty of repairing the fabric, if we can share how fun Sashiiko & Boro are in daily life, we can impact a bit to the current society to more sustainable society.

I want you to have the one in your home.

We sell the Japanese Traditional Boro for those who would like to have the actual Boro piece in your home. I believe our pricing is very reasonable for the authentic look Boro pieces. All the Boro pieces were made in 2017, with repairing and patchworking the severely damaged/torn small swatches of Boro with Sashiko.

 

They are available on our Etsy store. Please click the link below if you are interested.

 

#001Boro_Square

Price: $135.00

Size: 17″ x 13″ / 43cm x 33 cm

Japanese Traditional Boro 001_1 Japanese Traditional Boro 001_2

 

#002Boro_Stripe

Price: $250.00

Size: 36″ x 15.5″ / 91 cm x 40 cm

Japanese Traditional Boro 002_1 Japanese Traditional Boro 002_2

 

#003Boro_Purposed Random 

Price:$250.00

Size: 34″ x 15.5″ / 86cm x 40 cm

Japanese Traditional Boro 003_2 Japanese Traditional Boro 003_1
Sashiko and Animism

Inspiring handmade Sashiko Artwork

Thanks to the customised workshop participants from NYC, we have numbers of great photos of our Sashiko Artwork. It is our dream to have an exhibition in a big city so many people can enjoy the beauty of these inspiring all handmade Sashiko artwork. Until we can visit your city and have the exhibition, please enjoy our Sashiko on the images.

 

 

All the posts about Sashiko Artwork

Sashiko Jacket 2nd 5

Sashiko Jacket 2nd | Description of Sashiko Jackets

Sashiko artworks produced by Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya are mostly "one-of-a-kind" products. We use the vintage fabric from 1900's (sometimes ...
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Sashiko Jacket 1st 5

Sashiko Jacket 1st | Description of Sashiko Jackets

We have a few Sashiko Jackets that Keiko is happy to release in the market. Since Keiko and her company ...
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Sashiko Bag 1st | Description of Sashiko Bags

Here is the Sashiko Bag 1st Descriptions ...
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Sashiko Tutorial Videos

Directory of Sashiko Tutorial Videos

Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya and Upcycle Stitches LLC create a series of Sashiko Tutorial Videos. We have a Youtube channel, and of course, every video is free to watch.

Here is a directory of Sashiko Tutorial Videos for the reference.

 

List of Sashiko Tutorial Videos

  1. How to do Sashiko Stitching ~ How to use Sashiko Thimble
    1. Another day of stitching (just stitching / no music no words)
  2. Transfer Sashiko Patterns on to the fabric
  3. How to Not to make knots in Sashiko ~ Overlay Stitching
  4. Making Itomaki Sashiko Thread Bobbin
  5. Denim Jeans Repair ~ Preview

 

How to do Sashiko Stitching

Sashiko requires a unique thimble in stitching. This is our first video with a challenge of showing how to use a Sashiko thimble. This is very important subject, so we will try to upload more sashiko tutorial videos.

 

 

 

Transfer Sashiko Patterns on to the fabric

A good Sashiko project does not indicate only stitching. The preparation of Sashiko fabric is a very important step to get the better Sashiko result. In this video, you can learn how we transfer Sashiko patterns onto the fabric. All of the supplies and materials are available online. Enjoy the video, and try it by yourself.

 

 

 

How to Not to make knots in Sashiko ~ Overlay Stitching

Most of the hand-stitching require the knots at the end of the thread to secure the stitching. In Sashiko, we occasionally do not make knots for the reasons. Instead of making knots, we secure the thread on the fabric by making overlay stitching. This is a video showing how to make overlay stitching instead of knots.

 

Making Itomaki Sashiko Thread Bobbin

Making Sashiko thread bobbin (ITOMAKI) is a minor project. However, it is very important to learn how to keep your Sashiko thread in a good shape. Sashiko thread is more expensive than the other types of embroidery thread. Our Sashiko thread has the length of the 145 meter and it is pretty long. Take a moment and watch the video so you will not waste any Sashiko thread you get.

 

Denim Jeans Repair ~ Preview

Sashiko is becoming famous because many people enjoy the Denim Repair. So do we.

Sashiko Mending Gathering

Mending Jeans and Garments with Sashiko

I started providing Sashiko workshops in NYC in 2016. I was happily surprised so many people were interested in Sashiko stitching. At the same time, I learned that “upcycle and repurpose culture” for garments is getting so big and popular. Many people asked me if I can repair denim, and the requests encouraged me to offer mending jeans workshop in NYC. Mending jeans with Sashiko stitching was simply my personal hobby, and now it gets attention. I am happy to share what I do.

In this website, Upcycle Stitches LLC shares Sashiko mending/repairing projects.

 

Sashiko Mending
A photo of Boro Jacket. The result of repeating Sashiko Mending

 

What do you need for mending Jeans

Mending and repairing denim fabric requires several good quality tools. It is merely a hand-stitching process, so you can use any types of hand-sewing needle, thimble, and thread. However, pay attention to get good quality one. Otherwise, you may waste your time and damage the garment you love.

We strongly recommend using tools specifically designed for Sashiko. Here is a list of the reason.

  • Sashiko (刺し子) is a Japanese word which means “mending garment by stitching” developed in Japan a couple hundred years ago. It is my understanding of Sashiko, but I believe my definition of Sashiko is pretty accurate. Sashiko is a good technique to repair the fabric.
  • Tools and Supplies for Sashiko have all the requirement to complete the mending with good results.
    • Sashiko needles are strong enough to stitch through several layers of fabric, even with new denim.
    • Sashiko thread is thick and strong enough to hold the patches or make fabric stronger. The thickness will result in beautiful stitches. If you would like to hide the stitches, you may use thin thread… but I also recommend you to use a sewing machine.
    • Sashiko thimble and its appropriate way of using will speed up your stitching. Also, it will give you better even stitches, which result in beautiful appearance.

 

Please refer another article about Sashiko tools.

Mending Jeans

 

What type of mending can Sashiko offer

(Coming Soon)

 

 

 

 

More Articles about each project of mending jeans and garments

Here is a list of past projects.

I included the article about the Sashiko stitching to reinforce the fabric and to decorate the garment.

 

Modern Denim Fashion 2

Modern Denim Fashion with Japanese Sashiko

The word of Sashiko is getting popular in many industries, even in a field of fashion. As the Sashiko artist, ...
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Wallet Sashiko Boro Repair 1

Wallet Sashiko Boro Repair Project

Since 2012, I have been using a Sashiko card-holder as a wallet to carry my debit/credit cards. After repeating putting ...
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Sashiko mending project in one warm day.

(This is a revised article about Sashiko Mending from the website of Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya.) We have more articles ...
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Sashiko Mending Jeans / How I enjoy Sashiko

When I start introducing Sashiko in English about 10 years ago, the word of SASHIKO wasn't popular among the general ...
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Text Links in Mending Jeans Category

1. Mending Jeans in a warm day (Mending) / (Original Article is on Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya)
2. How I enjoy Sashiko with Mending Sashiko Jeans (Mending)
3. Modern Denim Fashion with Sashiko (Direct Stitching)