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A “Trans-Generational” Boro Futon Cover

Written on September 24, 2009

Today I am showing a boro futon cover whose lifespan seemed to have bridged a few decades.  The futon cover is hanging next to a spectacular Indian kantha.


I call the boro cloth “trans-generational” because the base of this textile is of faded and worn, hand woven and  hand dyed katazome cotton which is likely to be about 80 years old–and you’ll notice some of the patches are of a brighter, newer, more commercially produced fabric that were sewn on in the years after the original futon cover was made.

I think this contrast of old and new, bright and dull, hand woven and power loomed cloth is visually delightful—and extremely artful.

The meandering mending stitches on the two large patches are noteworthy.  Have a look at the photo, below, for a better view onto them.

Below, have a look at the turquoise colored patch onto which is written “1/8.”  Obviously, in old Japan, prior to, say, the early part of the 1900s, Arabic numerals like this would not have been used.  With the opening of Japan during the Meiji Era (1868-1912), Western influences started making their way into Japan.  This turquoise cloth, however, may be from the 40s or 50s.



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  1. Pingback from scraps « ann wood:

    […] out this amazing ” trans generational “  boro futon cover on his blog. November 16th, 2009 | Tags: boro, japanese, textiles | Category: […]

    November 16, 2009 @ 12:08 pm

  2. Comment by alessandra:

    fabric poetry, I love it, thanks for the link.

    November 16, 2009 @ 4:21 pm

  3. Comment by karen:

    The textiles are beautiful!

    November 16, 2009 @ 5:53 pm