Thursday, March 13, 2014


If you've been following along,  you know I am trying out some new creative crafts. I've started making handbags, I have some new textile jewelry in the making (Next week I hope!), and I've been spending my evenings researching textile arts for inspiration--usually while I'm nursing Huck to sleep, as Pinterest only requires one hand. 

I've gotten a little obsessive. Researching needlework, quilting, dyeing, etc., I've accidentally stumbled upon the Japanese arts of Boro and Shibori. I'm about to bombard you with a zillion images, but you won't be disappointed. 

Boro is a Japanese folk fabric made from scraps of clothing worn by peasants, artisans, and merchants over a century ago. Translated as "rags" or "scraps," Boro is used to describe textiles that have been sewn up or patched many times, often with Sashiko, a traditional Japanese stitch. 

Once clothing was made it would be maintained throughout the owner's life. Cotton was scarce and much of it is made from hand-woven hemp which would last a lifetime. source

This clothing would often be passed from generation to generation and despite its humble beginnings, the beautiful textured pieces are stunning to look at. 

I think I actually like the dirty, tattered ones even more. 

They are mostly dyed in indigo but here's some in red..yowza. So cool. 

Some contemporary pieces

Reading more about Boro really has me thinking outside the box with textiles. So much of what we buy is so. . . disposable. I am guilty of buying cheap trendy crap at Target only to turn it into kitchen rags/garbage in a few months time. The few times I actually spring for some expensive, quality clothing I wear them FOREVER and as fast as my laundry rotation will allow. 

Have you ever thought about the process of how something came to you? Does it make you less likely to buy cheap and dispose?

I started thinking about the person who planted the cotton. Someone picked it. Someone else spun into thread. Someone else made into cloth. Someone else dyed it, softened it, and made it into cloth. That cloth became a garment. We bought that garment, wore it, and now where does it go? 

Possibly into one of my new creations.. stay tuned for some Boro-inspired pieces coming up. I'd love to live in a world where everything in my house would last the test of time and be treasured for centuries. 

All images can be sourced here

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