A Boro Sakiori Sodenashi: Entirely Patched and Stitched
ca. early to mid twentieth century
27" x 17", 68.5 cm x 43 cm
This beautifully ragged garment is woven from a rag weft, the technique of rag weaving in Japan being referred to as sakiori, a compound word derived from the verbs to tear and to weave.
This vest is sometimes called sodenashi, which means a garment without sleeves--and as can be seen, it is thickly woven with rags and has been used hard. On this particular garment the sakiori has been almost completely covered by large patches of woven, indigo dyed cotton that have been sashiko stitched over the sakiori, creating a thick, almost rug-like texture.
Vests like this were good padding when carrying burden or loads, and they also provided a freedom of movement for the arms.
Have a look at the marvelous gusset that bridges the two sides of the sodenashi at its top. It shows beautiful, dense sashiko stitching in the yama or mountain motif. Notice, too, the broken, thick, white cotton stitching up the spine of the garment: just lovely.Obviously this vest has been warn hard as can be seen by the patches and repair, but overall it is a good looking thing and certainly its a vivid reminder of life in old Japan.