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A Patched and Re-Patched, Mended and Re-Mended Boro Sashiko Furoshiki: Hand Spun Cotton

September 8, 2012

I love the sashiko stitched furoshiki of old Japan.  These traditional, indigo dyed cotton wrapping or storage cloths are decorated with white sashiko stitching, usually on the corner areas, and they’re stitched there to reinforce the areas that would be tied and twisted together when the furoshiki is filled with goods to store or carry.As much as I like sashiko stitched furoshiki, when one is marvelously mended, as is this one, I like this boro version more than one that’s not boro.  This example has been used and mended hard over time, with layers of patches and lots of extra stitching.Have a look at the layered patches.  The layered mending stitches are gorgeous, and both blue and white threads are used in the stitching.

Notice the photo above and below.  Have a look at the mending patches.  And then see how the white sashiko stitched motif of the original furoshiki is carried over on top of the patch, for the sake of design continuity.You can see this also in the photo below.

So much texture due to patching, re-patching, stitching and re-stitching.

This furoshiki is large.  It measures 63″ x 61″, 160 cm x 155 cm and it dates to the late nineteenth or early twentieth century.

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A Cotton Kasuri Furoshiki: Alternating Dark and Light Indigo

May 10, 2011

When I saw this on my recent trip to Japan, I had to have it: I love when kasuri, or ikat, is faintly resisted as this one is.  What I mean by that is that I like graphic kasuri where the resisted “white” areas show bleeding and skidding from not being tied tightly before dyeing.
Kasuri, or ikat, as it is called, is a resist dyeing method whereby the yarns are tied before being dyed.  When woven properly, the resisted areas–which should remain white–create a pattern or, in some cases, an image.This is a furoshiki or a traditional wrapping cloth–it has never been used.  I believe it dates to the mid twentieth century.I really like the subtlety to be found in the light areas of the cloth: the variegated blues are beautiful.  Or so I think.This piece is fairly large.  It measures 57″ x 54″ or 144.5 cm x 137 cm.  It is completely hand stitched and it is hand loomed.

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