Boro, Japanese Mending
I took a workshop with Jody Alexander, our local guru for Japanese mending techniques. I've long admired her handmade books, textile work, and art installations, so I figured it was time to broaden my horizons with a little hand-stitching. Boro is traditional Japanese patchwork, used to repair and recycle garments, which were often handed down from generation to generation. Jody teaches a few stitches, some of which are illustrated in my project in Extras. She also incorporates fabric stamping, which you can see in both pieces. There wasn't enough time for me to finish my bag in class. It's hard to know when you've added enough embellishment, and it's especially hard to stop stamping! There are a couple ways to fold the cloth to get different bags. I think I'll add some more stitching.
Although we were working on an art sampler, these techniques can be used for regular mending and patching of your favorite jeans, or to rescue a garment with a snag or a tear. Years ago I used to mend my son's clothes with patches on patches as he wore out the knees of his pants; more recently I mended his work clothes that he tried to destroy with his tree climbing equipment. I used a sewing machine, so they weren't the lovely things we looked at today, but we sure got some extra weeks out of that clothing.