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What is boro and sashiko stitching?

Boro is Japanese for 'rag'.

Sashiko is the simple running stitch that holds the boro in place.

As all things Japanese, words convey a more complex background.

Style of the past

During the Edo period, it was a frugal time so every scrap of fabric was put to good use. The stitching was a way of strengthening and attaching the fabric to an existing piece. This would not only have the benefit of mending the garment but added much needed warmth. These, usually cotton jackets or coats, were passed down through generations and re-mended and stitched as needed and as fabric became available. As time went by it produced a naturally worn and faded patina that we love in our denim today. The sashiko stiching also developed over time as people added their own styles and personality to their work. Even though it was driven by utility today it is greatly valued as art. It wasn't always so as this style became associated with poverty which hid the beauty of this craft.

Style of the present

The idea of mending and handcrafted clothing has been renewed. It fits in wonderfully well with the sustainable conscious choices we make today. Boro appeals to our respect of well crafted clothing. In fact, anything that someone has taken time over it is usually well received.

Style of the future

Respecting the artistry in the clothing we wear is here to stay. In fact it may be a strong influencer in how we view our clothes, not just as pieces to be discarded without respect for the harm it causes our planet but something to be passed on to the next generations.

Now, that can't be a bad thing can it?


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