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Archives for February, 2010

A Boro Futon Cover and the Versatility of Zokin

February 1, 2010

Pictured hanging on the wall in the photo below  is a wonderful and large boro futon cover; on the floor is an arrangement of zokin or  sashiko stitched dust cloths made from recycled cottons which are laid out to make a kind of rug.
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Because zokin are usually made from several layers of cloth, and because they are usually heavily stitched, they are durable—and they beg to be revitalized and put to use in another incarnation.   When I came across these photos, above and below, I remembered a large bed cover I hand stitched entirely from old zokin.

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And here is that very bed cover, shown below.

When I first started Sri about ten years ago, I began by hand making home accessories from antique cloth: everything was hand stitched.  I soon realized, though, that I was more interested in the actual cloth than in making things from it, so I phased my business from being an artisan workshop into being a proper gallery of antique textiles.  I’m much happier now that I’ve made this transition.

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Still, this bed cover remains one of the favorite things I made: a wonderful client bought it and is living with it, which is great to know.  It’s incredibly durable, and I am sure it keeps my client very warm up there in New England.

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Of course this bed cover was made during the days when zokin were more available than they are now so I had many to choose from to stitch this piece.  As you can imagine, textiles of beauty and age are harder and harder to come by as the time goes on.

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