The DeStash Diaries, Vol. 25—Boro Boro

April 19, 2011, 15:32 pm  Posted by needlearts

Wow…is this really my 25th DeStash post? Well I guess so. This week I’m riffing off our great Craft Challenge: Dozens of Ways to Repurpose Scarves giveaways (one ending 4.22 and the other ending 4.29) and sharing a boro scarf I made a couple of years ago using vintage kimono scraps. I figured since Ray starred in his post a few days ago, I could model the scarf for you in this photo. J/K Ray….

I shared my love for kimono in my very first DeStash post, as you might recall. A few years ago, at the Asheville HATCH festival (read all about HATCH here), I was privileged to take a workshop with Yoshiko Wada, one of the foremost experts on Asian textiles; she literally wrote the book on shibori. Boro is a Japanese folk textile tradition (it means “tattered rags,” more or less) that could be considered the original repurposing or upcycling, as the makers used rags and leftovers to continually piece and patch items to maintain their usefulness. It was an entirely utilitarian practice that led to some beautiful pieces of fabric collage, created mostly with indigo-dyed cotton. At the workshop, Ms. Wada called boro a “value revolution”—turning scraps into something special. (There’s an intriguing commonality between boro and the work of the Gee’s Bend quilters, if you’re familiar with their amazing pieces.)

In the workshop, we assembled our boro with scraps and fused them temporarily with a water-soluble glue sheet. At home, we let the scarves dry and added the connective stitching, then washed away the glue. My scarf is what Ms. Wada called a “boro boro” piece, meaning it was made of lots and lots of scraps. I found a great clip of the workshop on YouTube; check it out for more information about our day.  The back of my head makes several cameos, and my colleague Nathalie Mornu appears every now and then, too.


2 Responses

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