Like wine and cheese, some textiles just get better with age. ‘Boro’ is the term for patched and stitched Japanese textiles, and is literally translated as ‘rags’. With fading, patching and layers of stitching, these textiles develop a beautiful characteristic, like patina on antique furniture.
Boro pieces are usually made from indigo-dyed cotton fabric and the mending was done from necessity, as cotton fabric was often scarce and these clothes were worn by peasants, farmers and merchants.
The layers of simple stitching imbue love and soul into the pieces and the aging of the textiles adds to the beauty and charm.
The concept is environmentally friendly and in line with the value of avoiding waste – a concept that is quite the opposite of our modern-day consumerism. One garment may have layers of mending and patching done over many years.
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