Considering patchwork of other cultures, I have been looking at Japanese Boro. I have admired these textiles in the past and included a magazine cutting in my theme book (page 18)
Japanese Boro textiles are part of a cultural heritage where need and scarcity led to garments being repeatedly repaired and patched, enabling them to be re-used for generations. I find beauty in such work which is now seen as collectible textile art, fetching high prices.
I really admire these artefacts and their character, the subtle differences in the shades of the worn indigo-dyed cotton, the white stitching against the blues, the texture of the loose weave hemp/cotton, frayed edges, layering, lines of stitch and sashiko stitching on some.
Boro textiles are created by a practice of layering several pieces of cloth, predominantly indigo-dyed cotton, held together with sashiko stitching. Sashiko is a simple running stitch usually in line with the warp or weft, reinforcing the fabric. Working scraps of fabric together, a stronger, heavier material is produced.
- close rows of stitching giving a quilted effect
- some cut/broken threads and knotted ends on the right side of the garment or cover
- worn holes patched from behind with the raw edges of the holes stitched around in running stitch
- the raw edge of the whole cloth finished in parallel whip stitch, blanket stitch or double/triple rows running stitch
- most visible stitching in coarse white, blue to blue black cotton thread
- on close inspection, tinier stitches in finer thread are apparent in some areas, sometimes in a coloured thread
- in some cases, stitching regularly and evenly in vertical lines across the whole piece.
- sometimes vertical stitching is limited to edges of patches
- occasionally patches had edges folded under but predominantly raw edges
- occasional stitched curves
- Some futon & table covers comprised of larger strips of patched fabric stitched together