A Large, Layered, Boro Coverlet: Heavily Patched
ca. mid twentieth century
53" x 54", 134.5 cm x 137 cm
This large, heavily layered, patched, boro cloth was probably used as a cover for, or under the kotatsugake, a brazier which was used as kind of a heated table and was a source of warmth in the old Japanese home.
This very handsome cloth in some areas seems to be about four-to-five layers thick at its thickest: what this means is that instead of cotton batting the maker used discarded cottons as fill or insulation, so the more layers that were stitched together, the warmer or more durable the cloth would be.
The surface of each of the sides of the wonderful, spirited old cloth is lovely in its arrangement of hand-stitched patches, some of them quite large. Shown amply in the accompanying detail photographs are the holes and surface abrasions to this piece; the holes act as sort of a window into the making of this cloth; by looking into these surface holes you can see the layers that were used in its composition.
A really good-looking boro cloth, with great character and charm, and one that authentically conveys an aspect of everyday life in old Japan.
Very, very good.