The word of “Contemporary Boro” may confuse you a bit. But let me try to explain.
Boro is a type of Japanese textile that has been mended and/or patched together over and over. The appearance of Boro implies that the textile is old and very used, like a torn rag. Therefore, I initially thought the combination of words, contemporary (current/new) and Boro, might confuse the audience. Boro is the result of repetition of stitching over time found in from the past. The Japanese, who lived in a small village surrounded by mountains, had to repair the fabric by hand-stitching because of limited resources. They didn’t have enough money or logistics to get the new fabric from the market. In other words, they had to repair instead of replacing the fabric. They patch a hole one fabric, then kept using it. When they find another hole, they patched it or mend it. The repetition of hand-stitching repairing made a great art piece, and it is called Boro.
*Boro in Japanese means a completely torn rag textile. Sometimes it means “No Use.”
Introducing the word of Contemporary Boro is one of our challenges to share the beauty of Sashiko. We believe that Boro artworks by Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya will wide-open the possibility of Boro Art.
Contemporary Boro For Sale
These are the Boro Artworks created (mended, repaired, patched and stitched) in 2017 by Keiko Futatsuya’s hands. Keiko mended holes on the big torn Boro fabric, which will not function as textile, and patched the other small swatches of Boros into the big art piece. Since Keiko performs Sashiko on the Boro in 2017, we call it Contemporary Boro. Although there are numbers of beautiful Boros in the antique markets, it is rare to have a Boro art piece repaired in 2017, by hand-stitching as the Japanese used to do in 19 century. Keiko is a Sashiko artist who can recreate the Boro. It is my pleasure to introduce Keiko and her works to the world.
Enjoy Clean Boro hand-stitched in 2017
Sometimes, a piece of Boro art can be dirty and dusty. It is no wonder because the Boro may have been kept in the storage room for many years. However, there is a problem of cleaning Boro. Since no one touched the boro for many years, some parts of Boro fabric is completely damaged and the washing process, even gentle hand wash, can destroy the Boro piece. From time to time, the dirt function as the adhesive and washing makes the boro into pieces.
We know that from experience
We purchased a 100+ years old rain jacket from an antique market. They used to make a rain jacket by inserting water-resistant paper in between fabrics. They made 3 layers of fabric-paper-fabric to make the water resisting cloth. This is the fact we learned after we purchased and washed it. By washing the piece we purchased, the weight become 1/3 of the original fabric. The water-resistant paper and other damaged fabric were washed away with the dirt on the fabric.
The Contemporary Boro we introduce is washable. We repeatedly washed the original Boro, then mended and repaired as the Japanese used to do. The fabric may be very fragile, but not dirty or dusty. In fact, we believe the true value of Boro can be found in usage in daily life. We think this boro can be a great wall-decor, but also you may use it as home-decor like a table runner or placemat for flower vase. Again, it is washable. (Please wash gently with hand).
We don’t know how many these Contemporary Boros we can make throughout our lives. However, we are working on collecting the boro pieces and mending them to introduce more of these beautiful artwork we are proud of.