A Beautiful Two Panel Boro Cloth: Reversible with Stark White Stitching
ca. late nineteenth, early twentieth century
66" x 26 1/4", 167.5 cm x 66.5 cm
This two panel, beautifully stitched boro panel is interesting when viewed from both sides, so please take time to examine each of the accompanying photos shown here in order to appreciate the complexity of this wonderful old piece which was taken from a futon cover.
The boro piece is constructed from many pieces of old, Japanese hand loomed, indigo dyed cottons; the piece's salient feature, or the one that catches the eye, is the graphically interesting network of thick, white, cotton sashiko stitching that can be seen on one side of this two paneled piece. The white stitching appears to be a kind of tracery and adds a delicate touch as it makes its way all over the surface of one side of this piece.
The reverse, which would have been the proper "front" side of the futon cover when it was in use about a century ago, is beautifully constructed, is visually very different from the reverse side, and the two, large, misshapen circular forms are just fabulous. Peer into these circular forms to see a complex congregation of hand stitched cotton pieces--a wonderful visual surprise and a beautiful passage of hand work from old Japan.