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Scrap Happy October

October 14, 2018

“boro” in Japanese means rags

it has become very trendy

authentic Japanese boro sells for shockingly high prices

the Amuse museum in Tokyo specializes in wonderful old pieces

it is one of my all time favorite museums work pants made from scraps clothing made from whatever was available in times of desperate need

even footwear

they have taught me a different kind of respect for scraps

three wonderful books on boro

Riches from Rags by Shin-Ichiro Yoshida and Dai Williams

Mottainai: The Fabric of Life by Gallery Kei and Sri

Boro by Yukiko Koide and Kyoichi

stitching scraps – handwoven, natural dyed and antique Japanese pieces

using thrums for the stitching

to give them new life

the back is my indigo dye shibori piece

not wide enough so a scrap strip was added on each side

the piping was made from scraps – the cording is heavy rug warp yarn

and the filler was taken from of an old cushion

“everything old is new again”

for more information on Scrap Happy

Here are the links for everyone who joins ScrapHappy from time to time (they may not post every time, but their blogs are still worth looking at).

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawn, Gwen and Connie



15 Comments leave one →
  1. Joanne S permalink
    October 16, 2018 2:09 pm

    Very interesting post. I had never heard of “boro.” Definitely puts scrapping into perspective.


  2. October 16, 2018 4:02 am

    I wonder if we need a certain distance from poverty and need, in order to see the beauty and potential in scraps? Whatever–your blog introduced me to boro and I love seeing what you do with it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 16, 2018 10:02 am

      Kerry – at some point our consumer lifestyle will no longer be sustainable and recycling will not be a choice or considered an art form.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. claire93 permalink
    October 15, 2018 2:44 pm

    what a gorgeous cushion!


  4. vdbolyard permalink
    October 15, 2018 6:52 am

    Boro as concept is so beautiful in that it opens our eyes (to both the beauty and the hardship). I have “boro quilts”, locally made, functional and simple, that i bought almost threadbare, and after years of use here, they are entirely so. I wondered when I cleaned out my closet last summer and placed them in the “to become paper” pile why “this boro” isn’t celebrated. Could we look to Japan to learn once again?


    • October 15, 2018 7:42 am

      Velma – boro in any culture signifies poverty and is seldom celebrated. This was true in Japan also and only gained recognition when it became popular in the west as “art”.


  5. October 15, 2018 3:21 am

    I do love this beautiful boro project, and the back fabric is exquisite, like giant frangipani blossoms. A lovely ScrapHappy post!


    • October 15, 2018 7:48 am

      Kate – I love the back too although the overlapping closure changed the pattern a little. I didn’t have a recycled zipper the right length. Thank you for organizing the ScrapHappy group, I am enjoying my participation.


      • October 15, 2018 10:29 am

        I’m so glad you joined us. ScrapHappy started in such a small way, three years ago, and it’s become important to me as a way to tackle waste and create something out of nothing.


  6. October 14, 2018 6:49 pm

    Timely and inspirational post for me! Thank you, this is great.

    I am in the throws of stash busting with zero waste goal so boro, kantha, fabric collage, sakiori, and anything else I think I may be succesfully do to use up all of my scraps is of great interest to me.

    And when I say all of my scraps, if I had the money I would buy a drum carder and spinning wheel and recycle them that way too. As it stands, too tiny for any other purpose is in a bin for pillow stuffing.


    • October 14, 2018 9:56 pm

      Nia – not sure what kind of scraps you would recycle with a drum carder and wheel. If it is fibre/fleece you can use hand carders and a drop spindle. Much less expensive and doesn’t take up much space to store.


      • October 16, 2018 7:29 am

        Thanks. I did look into that but we are talking dressmaking scraps, fine cotton, silk, etc. not roving. I was inspired both by finding exactly zero resources for recycling scraps fabrics and this video

        Also, my introduction into drop spindle spinning was a cluster, but it was in a stressful class situation. I may it up again.

        Your blog is so inspirational!


      • October 16, 2018 10:08 am

        Nia – the video is interesting but not very practical. For a start it is using two cones of good yarn to create a yarn that is not very practical – or usable. The skein used a handful of scraps, what was used on the carder was long strips. It is a dream – or possibly a nightmare. I admire your determination, we can all make a difference.


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