An Indigo Dyed Boro Noragi: Very Patched and Mended Work Coat
late nineteenth, early twentieth century
37" x 48", 94 cm x 122 cm
This indigo dyed boro noragi, or tattered work coat, is a marvel of patchwork and repair. It is shown here inside-out so as to afford better views of its mending.
The coat is based in a very subtle woven indigo dyed cotton cloth which has been richly repaired with many different kinds of hand woven cotton fabrics over time. Judging by the type and quality of hand woven cotton cloth which composes this coat it seems to have been made during the Meiji era (1868-1912) and all the patches and textiles used for mending also seem to date to this era.
The coat is really what you would want to see when looking for an old boro noragi: richly distressed cottons, multiple patches of various types of cloth, a good deal of visual warmth which is the result of human wear.
Overall the coat is fairly sturdy and could be worn on special occasions. There is a bit of weakness at the patch at the nape of the neck and there is a split to the center seam at the bottom hem.
Still, this is a really "classically good" boro noragi with good age and wonderful visual beauty.