A Wonderfully Tattered Boro Kimono: Beautiful Inside and Out
early twentieth century
50" x 50", 127 cm x 127 cm
This tattered bear of a boro kimono is made beautiful by the layers of cotton that compose it and the abrasion over time which has revealed these layers to us.
More than that, both inside and out show beautiful examples of resist dyed indigo cotton which are patched, stitched and repaired.
The proper outside of the kimono, and this was more than likely a woman's kimono, shows a katazome dyed pattern of faux shibori: the wood sorrel design mimics both tied and stitched shibori. Broad cotton patches are applied over this cloth and both front and back are beautifully patched.
The destroyed inside of the kimono shows pieces of a resist dyed hanten, its stylized geometric Chinese characters can easily be seen amid a flurry of other various fragments of cotton that are added to repair broken areas of cloth. There are some slices or holes that go through all layers.
There is a cacophony of visual information on inside and out of this kimono which makes it a stunning thing to look at, and certainly this is a treasure for anyone fortunate enough to own it.