A Beautiful Padded Work Vest: Boro and Zanshi
early twentieth century
32" x 23", 81.5 cm x 58.5 cm
This lightly padded, cotton sodenashi or sleeveless garment is beautifully sedate in color and construction.
What is wonderful about it is its self-effacing color palette--and the generous amount of zanshi ori, or cloth woven from left over yarns, that comprises the top of the garment, front and back.
Clearly this work vest has seen its fair share of labor as can be seen by its overall patina from wear, its softly faded color and its generally "lived-in" look. The cotton that was used in this hand stitched garment is hand loomed and is full of soul.
Note, too, the beautifully, two-colored detail at the bottom front, with the proper left side showing a pale indigo cotton patch and the proper right side showing one of a striped cotton.
Looking at the piece you will notice there is ample wear to the surface of the cloth, and an equal amount of warmth from human wear.
A beautiful and soulful garment from old Japan.