Boro Textiles

Japan's mended and patched textiles are referred to as boro, or ragged, both in Japan and abroad.

Boro t
extiles 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.

A Reversible Zanshi ori Kotatsugake: Flowered Back

A Reversible Zanshi ori Kotatsugake: Flowered Back

mid twentieth century59" x 58", 150 cm x 147.5 cm This fu... (more)

A Beautifully Colored, Fully Reversible Boro Futon Cover: Wonderful Age

A Beautifully Colored, Fully Reversible Boro Futon Cover: Wonderful Age

late nineteenth, early twentieth century69" x 39", 175 cm... (more)

A Mid Twentieth Century Boro Panel: Multicolored Patches

A Mid Twentieth Century Boro Panel: Multicolored Patches

mid twentieth century57" x 13 1/2", 145 cm x 34 cm This l... (more)

A Tattered Three Panel Boro Futon Cover: Good Age and Hand Spun Cotton

A Tattered Three Panel Boro Futon Cover: Good Age and Hand Spun Cotton

late nineteenth, early twentieth century50 1/2" x 38", 12... (more)

A Length of Beautifully Patched and Woven Cotton: 19th CenturyTozan

A Length of Beautifully Patched and Woven Cotton: 19th CenturyTozan

late nineteenth century40" x 13 1/2", 101.5 cm x 34 cm Th... (more)

A Boro Zokin: Pieced, Stitched Dustrag

A Boro Zokin: Pieced, Stitched Dustrag

mid twentieth century8 1/2" x 10", 21.5 cm x 25.5 cm Zoki... (more)

A Beautiful Mid-Century Boro Textile: Colors and Eccentric Stitching

A Beautiful Mid-Century Boro Textile: Colors and Eccentric Stitching

mid twentieth century51" x 27", 129.5 cm x 68.5 cm This i... (more)

A Large Five Panel Boro Futon Cover: Hanten

A Large Five Panel Boro Futon Cover: Hanten

early to mid twentieth century64" x 64", 163 cm x 163 cm ... (more)

A Patched Length of Rustic Cotton Kaya: Mosquito Netting

A Patched Length of Rustic Cotton Kaya: Mosquito Netting

early twentieth century72" x 12 1/2", 183 cm x 32 cm This... (more)

A Large and Gloriously Patched Boro Furoshiki: Very Fine Katazome

A Large and Gloriously Patched Boro Furoshiki: Very Fine Katazome

early twentieth century69" x 65", 175 cm x 165 cm This is... (more)

A Length of Purple and Yellow Plaid Cloth: Gromwell Root Dye

A Length of Purple and Yellow Plaid Cloth: Gromwell Root Dye

late nineteenth, early twentieth century58" x 13 1/2", 14... (more)

A Beautiful, Reversible Boro Length: Wonderful Katazome Pattern

A Beautiful, Reversible Boro Length: Wonderful Katazome Pattern

early twentieth century67" X 13", 170 cm x 33 cm This bor... (more)

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