Dating back to 17th century Japan, Boro is the fruition of the idea "mottainai", or "too good to waste." The peasants wanted to recreate the silk and cotton garments aristocracy were known for, yet did not have access to the materials and substituted it with scrap material and hemp. If they were to attain cotton, they could use it to thread over the scrap and hemp to create a warmer garment for the harsh winters.
Ironically, Boro is no longer congruent to the life of a peasant or used for function and is becoming an extremely coveted and expensive textile amongst the industry. Junya Watanabe's S/S15 is heavily consisting of Boro fabrics paying homage to Japanese heritage. Another great up and comer using the fabric is Hartley Goldstein at Rare Weaves; Creating beautiful pieces he creates from scrap. Some of Hartley's work directly reflect original Japanese garments, while others are completely new silhouettes we don't usually associate Boro with. A good place to actually go get familiar with the material, Sri Threads in Williamsburg is a great start. The price tags are worth every cent considering all the attention to detail reflecting in every stitch that makes these fabrics what they are.
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