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 Boro Koshimaki or Half-Under Kimono: Nice Stitching

A Boro Koshimaki or Half-Under Kimono: Nice Stitching

early to mid twentieth century28" x 44", 71 cm x 112 cm A... (more)

A Boro Sleeve: Commercially Milled Cotton

A Boro Sleeve: Commercially Milled Cotton

early to mid twentieth century50" x 12", 127 cm x 30.5 cm... (more)

A Beautifully Pieced Zokin: Two Distinct Sides

A Beautifully Pieced Zokin: Two Distinct Sides

mid twentieth century14" x 13", 35.5 cm x 33 cm Zokin are... (more)

A Long Panel of Very Patched Plaid Cotton: Hand Spun Yarns

A Long Panel of Very Patched Plaid Cotton: Hand Spun Yarns

late nineteenth, early twentieth century69 1/2" x 13", 17... (more)

A Tall Boro Cloth: Two Panels of Hand Spun Cotton

A Tall Boro Cloth: Two Panels of Hand Spun Cotton

late nineteenth, early twentieth century72" x 24", 183 cm... (more)

A Patched Katzaome Panel: Wonderful Color and Mending

A Patched Katzaome Panel: Wonderful Color and Mending

early twentieth century72" x 12 3/4", 183 cm x 32.25 cm T... (more)

A Patched Length of Indigo Dyed Cotton: Happi

A Patched Length of Indigo Dyed Cotton: Happi

early to mid twentieth century58" x 13 1/2", 147.25 cm x ... (more)

A Pieced Boro Furoshiki: Recycled Clothing

A Pieced Boro Furoshiki: Recycled Clothing

early to mid twentieth century42" x 39", 106.5 cm x 99 cm... (more)

A Patched Zokin: Machine Stitching

A Patched Zokin: Machine Stitching

mid twentieth century9" x 13", 23 cm x 33 cm Zokin are tr... (more)

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