Hand Stitched Boro Style Scarf No. 13

Hand Stitched Boro Style Scarf No. 13


Lucky 13….


There is a new slow movement resurgence happening. Things have spun out of control in our modern, affluent societies. There is such a disconnect between what we are buying (and who from) and how we are integrating things into our lives. It’s very hard to be a purist, so I won’t preach; it’s not as though I’ve taken myself off the grid — could you imagine all those tiny stitches done by candlelight? I’m not perfect 1,000 percent of the time, but I do indeed repurpose, reuse, buy local/artisan/handmade, or vintage/antique. I also make whatever I can by hand. I can’t remember the last time I bought an article of ready-to-wear clothing (aside from yoga pants), it has been so long that my 20 year old jeans are all literally turning to dust.

It is my goal to only wear what I have made myself or that whose origins I can discover, my minds eye on makers who produce handmade clothing from ethically sourced textiles. This is slowly manifesting for me, and it’s a satisfying evolution, I must say. It’s along the same vein as my philosophy of only buying organic, and only buying from farmers markets. No bags, cans, packages, chemicals, pesticides, and no edible thing made by a machine. If that’s my food philosophy, then the same should (and does) permeate throughout my life. I was raised by hippies, so it’s fairly easy for me to think and live in this closed circuit way. We grew our own food, so…. Such a rewarding thing to know where (almost) everything in my world is coming from, and in many cases, it’s not very far away.

Slow means so many things to me. You might have images of old ladies sitting round a fire with cups of tea, knitting and crocheting, embroidering things at a snail’s pace (though that sounds terribly appealing to me), but nothing could be further from the truth. Slow is essentially the reacquaintance with our intrinsically artistic nature. It is being at once the observer and the performer. When we take time to observe our movements, it fosters deeper meaning in what we are doing. We connect more fully to the present. In this space, we realize a deep sensation of peace, and hopefully an undeniable sense of purpose.

This boro style scarf is a respite from the last few that I have been making from linen. I felt that I had been neglecting my vintage Japanese textiles and found myself longing to return. What a different tactile sensation, and the arrangement of so many pieces to fill in the holes and marks and blisters in the ancient cloth was the perfect denouement as I transition from scarves to a wholly different subject in the next week.

Comprised entirely of vintage, Japanese, indigo-dyed cotton, these enchanting slips are all hand-dyed and handwoven. Several pieces of shima, the striped bits you see, and a few rectangles of katazome float in an indefatigable sea of blue. This very fine muji (plain cloth) comes replete with original boro (repairs) and hand-stitched joinery, this cotton would have been woven for simple garments and kimono alike at the early part of this century. The fact that it is still completely sound and so vivid is because the culmination of traditional techniques that forged this cloth are some that promise its endurance. This is not fast fashion. This is not to be rushed. This is art alive in cloth and stitching, in the day to day functions that connect us to our own stillness. When you wear such things as this remnant collection of cloth, it would do well to pause and think of all the hands, all the time, all the honor given to traditional practices that went into each piece and collected here.

82.5 L x 13.5” W. Hand stitched by me and, likely, rural housewives long past. Made from vintage, Japanese, handmade, artisan textiles that are undoubtedly organic by nature of its age and the absence of chemicals at the time it came into being. Thank you for choosing this handmade reinvention. You have served to save the planet in your choice. xo.

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