Life at Kerjacob .

Life at Kerjacob .

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Japanese boro textiles.

Recently I have discovered a form of textile 
that I knew nothing about before.

Always exciting to discover new things.
Japanese Boro was a way of making another fabric from what was essentially rags.

Boro is a Japanese folk textile that has been extensively “repaired” by patching and mending little scraps of other fabrics over worn-out areas or holes in the cloth. These textiles were ones used for every day—futon covers, vests, fishermen’s coats, mosquito netting—and handwoven of a plant fibre usually cotton, sometimes ramie, then indigo dyed in most cases.

Whilst I was in Nantes I was lucky to see a large display of these wonderful pieces
of fabric, I love them and now want to find more and more about them.

The irony of course is that these old pieces of cloth are now worth a great amount of money and many collectors are wanting to find them.

Essentially these pieces were created out of need by the poorest people in Japanese society.
Now in the 21st century we throw away all the time and often forget the beauty old things.

However for me the old things have a history and a feel that cannot be easily found in the new.

I have always loved textiles and over the years have collected old pieces,
 sometimes there are the frayed edges, sometimes there are holes 
 which have been darned and mended.
All tell a story.

I don't want to have botox or plastic surgery.
I'll go with the wrinkles, I'll admire the hands of really old people.
Hands that show their life.
They have a beauty.

Old textiles have a beauty and history all of their own.
I have a quilt, very simple which is well worn now but I would never part with it.
I remember being covered with it when I was little and not feeling well.

I'll have to look for some lovely old fabric to patch the worn parts so
 that its life can continue like these beautiful pieces.

This tiny red piece of fabric was like a beating heart of history for me.


  1. Love this post Diane. You may be interested to look at Bryan's blog
    I have been following this since I started blogging and just love it. He writes beautifully, and seems like an amazing man. You will find much in there about shibori, boro ........ other information about Japanese textiles .... also about his wonderful classes.

  2. Hi Diane, how wonderful to see boro in real life, not just in photographs as I have!

    Do you mind if I pin some of your photos (credited of course) to my Boro board on Pinterest?

    1. Yes , that's fine but please credit them to me.
      Sadly there are too many people using photographs without asking.

      The boros were absolutely stunning.