A Boro Shikimono or Sleeping Mat: Patches, Woven Stripes

$595.00 USD

early twentieth century
70" x 39 3/4", 178 cm x 101 cm

It is regrettable that the color tones of the photos that accompany this post are not as rich and subtle as on the actual piece whose tones are much more a pure blue and whose patches are more complex in color than they appear here.

Still, if you acquire this piece, you will see firsthand that it is much better looking in person than here and, that said, this is a good example of a boro shikimono. 

The dimensions of this cloth are somewhat in proportion to the human body and that is for a reason.

The cloth was used for sleeping, either by lying directly on the cloth which was placed on the floor or by placing a futon on top of it.

This body proportion is an appealing feature of this shikimono as it imbues it with a sense of humanness; it reminds us that these types of hand made boro textiles were actually used by people and were made specifically for an individual.

This one has two distinct sides and it is the side in the lead photos that is the more attractive side. The other side shows a large cloud of light fading which is both beautiful and unintended.

The front side shows a good amount of patching from cotton that seems to be contemporary to the base cloth and this consistency in age is a desirable quality in old boro textiles.

The base cloth is wide woven stripes in two tones of indigo, again, when seen in person these indigo bands are purer in tone than shown here.

Note a horizontal slit to the bottom, center of the piece shown in detail on one of the photos here. With a bit of patching this area is easily stabilized and this cloth could be used in the home as an accessory, even as an area rug. Of course it can be hung on the wall to be admired as art.

It is a very good boro textile and one to be considered if you have been thinking of collecting a nice boro textile with good age.