Monday, August 24, 2015

Boro--The Art of Mending!

Mending?  When the kids were small, I would be mending small holes on torn jeans, socks, shirts, etc.  just to save money.  Today we look at Boro--mending extra-ordinary! 
Now, if and when I need to mend--I will think of Boro and the artistic value of my stitches!
Slow Stitching by Jaki Bogg
A Japanese folk textile known today as 'the art of repair'. Boro textiles were the domain of the ordinary man and represented a collective, impoverished past. Boro faded out after the mid-twentieth century when Japan's society progressively moved towards mass-scale modernization. The patchwork practice was utilized by the rural population of Japan, predominantly in the northern region, as they couldn't afford new clothing. This meant extensively patching and mending littles scraps of fabrics over worn-out areas or holes within the cloth. In most cases, the fabrics were indigo dyed using the traditional 'Aizome' or 'Ai' method, which is said to be an ancient technique from 4000-5000 years ago. The basic raw material is the leaf of the 'Polygonum Tinctorium' mostly harvested in southern parts of Japan. The process yields a color that is commonly known as "Japan Blue" because of its unique hue. The dye also had natural properties to repel insects, preventing odors and a remedy for skin trouble. 
The scraps of fabrics were often sewn together using the 'Sashiko' needlework method (The Japanese Art of Quilting) to strengthen a single layer of fabric for patching worn cloth or quilting per se, and the purpose was to extend the overall life of the textile. Aesthetically, Sashiko is a contrasting running stitch worked in repeating or interlocking patterns. The closer the stitches, the more durable to garment therefore becomes.
Boro textiles were commonly used in farmer jackets, firefighter jackets, fisherman jackets and futons
Mending by Karen Swing

1 comment:

  1. I love this! I had never heard of this before today - thank you for sharing!