Japan's mended and patched textiles are referred to as boro, or ragged, both in Japan and abroad.
Boro textiles are usually sewn from nineteenth and early twentieth century rags and patches of indigo dyed cotton. The diversity of patches on any given piece is a veritable encyclopedia of hand loomed cotton indigo from old Japan. In most cases, the beautiful arrangement of patches and mending stitches is borne of necessity and happenstance, and was not planned by the maker.
Imagine that boro textiles were stitched in the shadows of farmhouses, often at night by the light of one dim andon, on the laps of farm women. This unselfconscious creative process has yielded hand-made articles of soulful beauty, each of which calls upon to be recognized and admired as more than the utilitarian cloth they were intended to be.
late nineteenth century55" x 12 3/4", 140 cm x 32.75 cm ... (more)