A Boro Sashiko Stitched Apron: Kasuri and Shima
ca. mid twentieth century
15 1/4" x 23 3/4", 38.5 cm x 60.25 cm
Aprons were worn all the time in old Japan by all classes of people, especially working people.
Women at home wore them to do housekeeping, farmers and tradesmen wore them, shopkeepers wore them--in the past, aprons or maekake were part of one's daily clothing, and, still, today, many people today in Japan wear aprons on a daily basis.
This beautifully boro, hand stitched maekake is fashioned from a large repeat indigo dyed cotton kasuri cloth on its face, and a lovely, deeply toned striped cloth on the back; the back also shows some kasuri pieces of the same type as on the face of the apron.
The sashiko stitching which holds together the front and back is planned nicely: have a look at the striped cloth and you can see that the stitching runs up the natural, woven striping of the cotton. Every other stripe is stitched on its outside border, creating vertical, double lines over the entire field. Really lovely.
The combination of kasuri and striping is a visual treat, as is the textural element of the apron which results from the garment being entirely hand stitched. This is a rustic beauty.
you ever happen to see historical photos of old Japan, particularly
street scenes for scenes depicting everyday life, look closely at the
photos and most likely you will see the presence of maekake in
This one, in particular, is easy to visualize being worn by a kimono-clad working lady, which it no doubt was.