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What is Boro?

What is Boro?

The story of Boro begins in the early nineteenth-century rural Japan.  Weather in the northern provinces was too cold for growing cotton, so women in farming and fishing villages wove fabric from hemp and ramie. Preparing the plants and weaving the coarse fiber was time-consuming, so out of necessity women patched clothing and futon covers with scraps of fabric and sashiko stitching.

Over many generations, the repaired textiles acquired more and more layers of patching and stitching, until the original fabric was unrecognizable.  The remaining examples of  these garments are on exhibit in museums and have become known as Boro – a Japanese word meaning “tattered rags”.

Boro-Style for MODERN MAKERS

2019 BORO Hip Stitch Class - SCARF.jpgNot unlike quilting, boro developed out of necessity and is now a creative textile tehnique. Modern makers practice extreme patching and visible mending as both an artistic expression and a statement of the recycle/reuse/re-purpose movement.

 

 

 

Author:

My hand-stitching passion is sashiko. I design sashiko blocks inspired by the American Southwest and sell them wholesale to fabric shops and retail on my website: https://www.sashikosouthwest.com. I continue to learn about hand-stitching and this blog is a way to share with others in the community.

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