Thursday, June 9, 2011


Boro is a Japanese word meaning “tattered rags” and it’s the term frequently used to describe lovingly patched and repaired cotton bedding and clothing, used much longer than the normal expected life cycle. Like early North American patchwork quilts, boro textiles revealed much about the Japanese family's living standards and the nature of the economy of their time.

19th c. Japanese cotton futon cover made from recycled indigo dyed cloth in patches joined together.

19th century Boro textiles.

Farmer's Boro Yogi. Early 1900s , From Kyushu, Western Japan.
The Japanese Yogi is a sleeping garment used like a blanket for warmth.
The typical yogi had several layers of fabric for the purpose of keeping the person warm during cold winter nights. The fabrics are Indigo cotton, Home Spun and Hand Loomed and feature many different kinds of indigo fabrics - checks, solids, katazome.

Images and short history from here. A beautiful book about it "Boro: Rags and Tatters from the Far North of Japan." here, but sadly no longer available.

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