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Hunter Gatherer

Vintage Japanese Farmers Boro Vest Early 1900's

Vintage Japanese Farmers Boro Vest Early 1900's

This vest, made in pre-industrial Japan, was made in the rural countryside. Made up homespun cotton and hemp textiles - it amplifies how industrious the farmers were in utilizing hemp, linen and eventually cotton. Cotton was expensive and was imported from Europe, therefore not used for the general population.

This utilitarian, hand loomed Sakiori vest really hits all the key notes of my blue period! Made undoubtedly during the early 1900's, it is tightly woven with thick strips of indigo dyed, cotton fabric. A remarkable and unique legacy, this cotton farmers garment, utilitarian and beautiful, was fashioned in the colder regions of northern Japan.

It's history is similar to American's patchwork quilts; in that the concept of recycling was a necessary and useful way to stretch the life of textiles. Hard to believe now that we live in such a disposable society. Boro grew out of necessity as opposed to aesthetics. Meaning “ragged” or “tattered,” the boro style was favored by nineteenth and early twentieth-century rural Japanese. Cotton was not common in Japan until well into the twentieth century, so when a kimono or sleeping futon cover started to run thin in a certain area, the family’s women patched it with a small piece of scrap fabric using sashiko stitching. Textiles were the dividing line between classes; boro textiles and fine, hand embroidered silk kimonos reflected the difference between the peasants and the higher classes.

Ironically the boro textile has had a rebirth as fashion has a humorous way of recycling. You can see it in jeans, jean jackets and coats. The texture and enduring quality of these older textiles have a complex history woven into the fabric. Nothing is more exquisite in my opinion!

From the neckline to the bottom is 25 1/4" ; From the top of the shoulder to the bottom is 27 3/4" ; From shoulder to shoulder across is 17" ; Each vest panel is 6 1/8" across ; The back center panel is 12 1/4" across ; Each black strap (4 total) connecting each vest panel to the center panel is 5 1/2"
Regular price $465.00
Regular price Sale price $465.00
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