Japanese Boro Garments

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Japanese Boro Garments
Object date Edo period 1603-1868
Place of Origin Countryside of Japan
Designer the wearer/family of the wearer
Manufacturer the wearer/family of the wearer
Materials self-made and hand-woven in linen, cotton and hemp

by student Anna Poikonen

Boro Garments originated in the 17th century in the Japanese countryside, where peasant farmers would mend their self-made garments with leftover pieces of fabric and yarn. These clothes were mended for generations, usually leading to multi-layered garments with different materials and textures. Over time, these garments would grow to portray the family by interlocking memories and moments inside their structures, they would grow with their owners.

The importance of mending and caring for garments needs to be rediscovered today. The mentality of “making do from what you have” could inspire new ways of consumption. Using local know-how and materials should become a global phenomenon. The core focus of design should be on people and everyday life, yet these kinds of everyday objects made with skill and affection stay in the shadows. I think it is a beautiful idea that garments can generate stories and memories over generations and thus grow in attachment to the user. The Boro garments are at their core about designing from human to human and modifying garments to fit your own use for years to come.






Museum fur Ostasiatische Kunst, Köln. https://museum-fuer-ostasiatische-kunst.de/BORO

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