An Old Small Boro Furoshiki: Well Worn and Beautiful
late nineteenth, early twentieth century
27" x 25", 68.5 cm x 63.5 cm
This is a wonderful, quite old and beautifully worn boro textile--it is composed of fantastically good, old, hand spun, indigo dyed cotton pieces.
It is a small furoshiki, a type of traditional wrapping/hauling/carrying/storage cloth that is still very much used in Japan. The base is hand stitched from three pieces of weft-based egasuri or picture kasuri. The proper interior of the cloth, shown in detail here, is beautifully patched with big pieces of hand spun cotton.
There are ties at two opposing corners, one which is twisted from two pieces of rag and one that is a single, long narrow rag fragment. A name is sashiko stitched on the upper, left hand corner of the piece.
Note the heavy surface abrasion and the holes that have marred this piece, all of which attest to its past as a utilitarian cloth which was hand made of recycled cottons in old Japan. Because this piece was used hard, the center portion of it is distended so the square does not lay flat.