Antique Japanese Indigo Boro Bodoko, a Patchwork Mat or Cushion
This is an interesting and unusual boro textile. Not a fragment, but instead a Japanese bodoko, a small boro mat most likely used as a back padding or small seating cushion.
Boro literally translates as "scraps or rags of cloth". Patched and repaired many times over, boro garments and items oftentimes surpass the life of the original owner and are passed down. Family history and intention lives within the stitches.
In this this example, several layers—upwards of a dozen or so—of old indigo, kasuri, and shima, or striped, cotton have been stitched together to create a dense, textured cushion. The front shows a variety of different pieces of cotton in brown and worn indigo, while the reverse is composed primarily of variegated indigo, striped, checked, and solid cloth. Sashiko stitching is used throughout to mend and secure patches.
This small boro textile is wonderfully constructed. It does have some staining to each side, as evidenced in the photos. The size may be more practical to display than larger boro items. In any case it is a wonderful piece to study and admire.
Dimensions: 18.5 x 24in; 47 x 61cm