Written on June 5, 2014
I bought this boro textile on my recent April trip to Japan, but it wasn’t until I returned home and had a good look at it that I realized there was some something special going on: some of the patches on this tsumugi silk boro piece are paper which was dyed in safflower or benibana.
Quite wonderful: paper patches. Those of you who know washi, or traditional Japanese paper, know that it’s made of long fibers and is a very versatile and strong material: it’s kind of like a non-woven textile. That said, it’s no wonder that paper patches were used here, being that washi is a strong and lightweight material.
Looking at the base cloth you can see that it’s a lightweight, brown-dyed raw silk. The white splotch was resisted when the cloth was dyed and it’s a family crest. This means that this cloth was once a kimono because kimono were decorated with family crests of this size and placement.