Skip to product information
1 of 8

Hunter Gatherer

Vintage Japanese Farmers Boro Vest Early 1900's

Vintage Japanese Farmers Boro Vest Early 1900's

This utilitarian, hand loomed Sakiori vest is a prime example of historical significance that amplified the division of classes in early 19th century Japan! Made undoubtedly during the early 1900's, it is tightly woven with thick strips of indigo dyed, hemp and linen 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.

This vest, made of already used textiles, handed down through generations of families, almost to the point of being recognizable, are simple yet have a poetry all their own. Covered in indigo scraps, or cut into strips and woven, what is beautiful to us was at one time shameful to the rural Japanese. As they recovered the devastation of World War II, the boro textiles reminded the Japanese of their impoverished rural past.

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!

The measuremens are as follows: the panels are 6" wide, while the cloth attachments (on the sides) are 5 3/4". The total length is 49" on the right side while the left side is 46", front to back.
Regular price $425.00
Regular price Sale price $425.00
Sale Sold out

1 in stock

View full details