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Boro Museum Tokyo

The long life of an Indigo garment

It was here that I was introduced to the art of BORO, stitching rags together to repair or create garments.

I had heard of it and had a vague notion and frankly, not so much interest. That soon changed.

The museum was very hands-on, we were allowed to touch and feel the items which greatly added to the experience. The dignity and strength of these items really did come across and told stories of hardship, determination and care in adverse circumstances, if not abject poverty.

Artful Boro,

Any fabric, any stitching, any size patch will do.

Note the layers and layers of fabric worn and patched again and again, making an interesting pattern in itself.

Scraps and rags were a commodity and a sign of wealth.

Very neat and linear patching.

Imagine wearing a doona as pyjamas! These coats are heavy as a mattress, and they were worn back to front to bed, i.e. the back without opening was worn on top when lying down to prevent the donja coming apart. They were really beautiful in a bizarre way. If it could talk it would have many a story to tell.

This is a well preserved one. The good fabric is outside but as for inside...

All the patches and worn parts were out of sight.

End of part one be continued

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