A Layered Indigo Dyed Cotton Boro Apron: Mending Stitches and Patch

$325.00 USD

early twentieth century
19 1/2" x 24", 49.5 cm x 61 cm

This indigo dyed, layered stitched and mended cotton maekake or apron is a traditional, utilitarian folk textile from old Japan. 

Aprons were worn all the time 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.

The example offered here was clearly made and worn by a woman in the home.  One can almost imagine it.

It is constructed of a few layers of repurposed, hand spun, hand loomed, indigo dyed cotton cloth.  You can see the attractive eddies of stitches on both sides, front and back, which both mend and reinforce the cloth. Their erratic and stark placement--due to stress to the cloth it serves to reinforce--is unusual and beautiful.

This is a real memory of every day in old Japan--it conveys the authentic spirit of a bygone age.