28 August 2013

ボロ Boro...

Now highly collected, beautiful Japanese Boro,which basically means rags or scraps of cloth, were made out of necessity not design. It was the need to stay warm and the patience to repair that created these lovely fabrics that we now consider an art form. 

These fabrics were precious, they were made from the hemp or flax that people had planted, harvested, spun and dyed themselves. Therefore when clothing and bedding needed to be repaired, patches of other fabrics were stitched over worn areas with tiny 'sashiko' stitches to secure them in place.

For the poor of Japan up to the early part of the 20c, clothing  had to be maintained throughout the wearers life. Boro was born of the value of 'mottainai' an ancient Buddhist term from Japan that means to have respect for the resources around you, to not waste resources and to use them with a sense of gratitude.  

 Each boro is by it's definition totally unique, it is the value of time spent, not money.

all photos - google search 


  1. Thank you for this beautiful post. There was a stall selling pieces of Boro at the last Selvedge fair and I noticed how expensive it was. Looking at your pictures is inspiring.x

  2. I love this work too. There was a wonderful exhibition about it, with many examples, at York Art Gallery a couple of years ago. I'm in the antiques trade but have never come across any of this work - I assume old pieces are used and used until they disappear into nothing!


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