“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.
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.
Size: 17″ x 13″ / 43cm x 33 cm
Size: 36″ x 15.5″ / 91 cm x 40 cm
Size: 34″ x 15.5″ / 86cm x 40 cm