Monday, 17 August 2009

Something blue...

...and that must mean something boro'd. Boro is the Japanese word for patched or mended textiles. For too long this also meant shame and deprivation. Like the sharecroppers of America the need to use what was to hand to make your own clothes was regarded as a necessity but not one to be celebrated. Now, with our growing interest in sustainability (see my new workshop on Design & Create) we are beginning to appreciate the innovation such pieces represent. Boro fabrics used the wonderful indigo hues of the Edo and Meiji eras and you can almost imagine the intensity of having to sew these beautiful creations out of the worn and tattered clothes that were you're only possession. No wonder for many years these were held in such low regard. Memories could be painful of difficult times. Now we can appreciate them as works of art and circumstance.

The two examples above are futon covers from the early twentieth century but the nagagi or kimono at the top of the post is equally stunning. What wonderful canvases these make for the imagination and recall the works of Tracy Emin that I posted about earlier this summer.
In researching this topic I stumbled on a lovely blog devoted to creating finely tailored garments in denim and, in this case, boro. Denham Jeanmaker has created some wonderfully contemporary and modish garments in their Boro Spy Jacket.

I was interested to read that much of the best indigo-dyed denim now comes from Japan where, by using many original looms from USA, they have created truly fine fabric. The West's loss through mass-production went East and now comes back to it's roots. The Japanese often show us how to appreciate real craft.
The beautifully appliqued cut and stitched patches of the interior of the jackets are to die for. I love to think of the originators of these humble textile triumphs are to be remembered and revered.

1 comment:

claire montgomerie said...

fabulous! sounds like another technique for mdm...