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 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)

An Exceptionally Good Boro Fragment: 19th Century Futon Cover Fragment

An Exceptionally Good Boro Fragment: 19th Century Futon Cover Fragment

late nineteenth century34" x 43", 86.5 cm x 109 cm Pay sp... (more)

A Boro Zokin: Patches and Pieces

A Boro Zokin: Patches and Pieces

mid twentieth century12" x 13", 30.5 cm x 33 cm A zokin i... (more)

A Beautifully Arranged Boro Shikimono: Indigo Dyed Cotton Sleeping Mat

A Beautifully Arranged Boro Shikimono: Indigo Dyed Cotton Sleeping Mat

late nineteenth, early twentieth century63" x 37", 160 cm... (more)

A Very Large Pieced Cotton Boro Banner: Overdyed

A Very Large Pieced Cotton Boro Banner: Overdyed

mid twentieth century55 1/2" x 84", 141 cm x 213.5 cm Thi... (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)

A Reversible Cotton Boro Kotatsugake: Zanshi Panel

A Reversible Cotton Boro Kotatsugake: Zanshi Panel

early to mid twentieth century62" x 60", 157.5 cm x 152.5... (more)

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