Sunday, 24 March 2013
Boro -ing an Idea
I'm going to gloss over the awful weather, and the fact I have been laid low with some grim virus for the last 4 days. You will no doubt (if you are in dear old Blighty) be experiencing your own awful weather so let's not dwell on it.
Today I want to talk to you about adapting an ancient textile technique to embellish and totally transform a plain jacket. Long-time readers of this blog will remember a post I wrote last year about Boro, the antique Japanese working clothes repaired over and over by patching with more fabric, simply by long running stitches merging the new fabric with the old. No attempt is made to turn under hems, the fresh piece just 'melts' into the ground fabric. These old garments are much sought after - you can read about them in my post from May 23rd 2012 called Japanese Fabric Collection.
I first read about Boro from a blogger called Jude Hill (Spirit Cloth) who has gone on to present an online workshop utilising the technique to alter a garment. My blogging friend Els, from Holland (visit her lovely blog Fiberrainbow) is taking part in that workshop and has begun work on her garment - a good quality jacket she no longer wears. Els has kindly allowed me to use her photos on my post to show you.
I loved the idea from the start, and it was inspiring me to think about something I might do myself. I need a proper jacket for my Molly outfit. Currently I wear a bit of a French Tart theme with a long black cardigan .....but really could do with something warmer, and I may be changing the dress bit of the outfit as well. Something more was called for! I saw Els' jacket and was so excited! Don't you think this is going to be magnificent? This is the jacket I have....about 20 years old and counting! (and yes it does still fit!) About upper thigh length with a good swing to it.
However I have a dilemma. Should I go for the traditional Boro fabrics as Els has - and I do have some Japanese and Javanese indigo fabrics, and these fabrics on the right hand side are my own hand-dyed attempts at Shiborri; I made these years ago - I should really use them up!
- or, bearing in mind the bright colours of my top-hat topper:
should I go for the brightly coloured African fabrics from my collection here?
Mmmmmm, think I know where I'm going with this one, don't you?
The other dilemma I have is this. Boro epitomises the ethos of the 'slow cloth movement'. All stitching is by hand. The item evolves slowly over time. This is the appeal and the wonder of slow cloth. However, I need my jacket fairly soon; I don't have time to hand stitch every small piece of cloth down into the black fabric of the jacket. So I will have to use my machine, which contravenes the slow cloth ethos totally. Well, in this case, I will have to live with that. Not for me the gradual realisation of the highly textured, lovingly hand-stitched, soft-to-the-hand garment. But I should be able to produce a wonderfully patterned jacket which should do the Mollys proud. Watch this space!
I wouldn't want you to think I have been neglecting my frugal-food-meal-planning-organisation drive, it's just that I've felt so grim the past few days that food has been the last thing on my mind -oh, after being organised, that is! But I want you to know that my new kitchen board arrived yesterday and I'm just waiting for Jim to return home as he is the only one between us with the energy to open the cardboard packaging! The worst thing about feeling so awful is that I had to cancel my melodeon workshop with John Spiers. Arrgh! Never mind, I know a few people who will be able to tell me all about it. Bye for now, I feel a Nanna Nap coming on!