A Superbly Complex Boro Furoshiki: Plaid on Plaid on Stripe
early to mid twentieth century
57" x 60", 145 cm x 152.5 cm
Although not of great age, this is a really stunning boro textile: it is a heavily patched and well-worn furoshiki which is a traditional carrying/wrapping/hauling cloth.
By taking one quick glance at it, the complexity of its haphazard design is very apparent. All over the piece there is visual action, from scale changes between the applied patches, to contrasting designs between the stripes of the patches and the plaid of the base cloth, to the plaid-on-plaid effects, especially notable on the bottom, center of the piece.
The layering of the patches also suggests a dynamic dimensional effect, kind of like what occurs from time to time in the "push/pull" "figure/ground relationship" in the paintings of Hans Hofmann.
There are too many patches to count, and as you can see they appear and disappear among themselves, depending on where they are positioned and if a patch was later stitched over it.
In the service of enjoying the beauty of this piece it seems that photos are better than words, so pore over the many detail photos that accompany this post.
A truly wonderful boro textile.