Recently I have been intrigued with the process of Japanese Boro clothing/fabric techniques. While I was mending a patch on this jean jacket (without any preconceived notion of what it would turn out to be) I scoured my my entire workshop for scrap fabric that met a certain color palette. Fortunately I was able to scrounge a bunch of different scraps, including indigo, dark denim, striped cotton and even some bandanas. Before I knew it, I was deep into hand stitching patches and panels onto the jacket, including a pocket on the arm sleeve. I am no stranger to hand stitching, as I have put my time in with punk patches \m/. If you don't already know, hand stitching TAKES A LOT OF TIME. There is no way to cut corners and speed up the process. It is a meditative process and I love the feeling I get from doing it. It takes a long time, but it is a labor of love. I can't help but notice the similarities to African Indigo cloth that also uses indigo fabric with hand stitching. I can't adequately describe the joy I got from making this piece, so instead here is a beautiful explanation of Boro traditions I found online:
'Boro' originated in rural Japan between 1850 and 1950. The technique was developed by humble peasant farmers of the era, out of the necessity to stay warm during periods of extreme temperatures and poverty. The Boro has a story, and even when we make a piece of Boro, we add the stories to the fabric. The process of stitching, by adding the stories (so-called emotion) to the fabric is called Sashiko, and the result of “caring” someone, including ourselves, is called Boro. The Japanese started stitching the fabric for the purpose of surviving in poverty, but the Sashiko transformed its form over time as a stitching for different purposes such as mending, strengthening, and decorating the fabric.
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