Japanese Handmade Sakioro Boro Indigo Farm Vest 1900's

Japanese Handmade Sakioro Boro Indigo Farm Vest 1900's


Vintage from 1900s

I am going through my my blue period and 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.

These textiles would acquire more and more patches, through generations of families, almost to the point of being unable to recognize where the original fabric began,. 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!

It measures 32" in length, 22" wide. More photos are available.

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