Sashiko/Japanese Boro Jeans for Fourth of July
June 30, 2016
I always seem to be shopping for jeans. I can't seem to keep a pair for more than a year. I'm hard on my jeans. Inevitably, they rip, get worn, and end up covered in paint. Wandering through Pinterest one night, I stumbled into posts sharing Sashiko and Japanes Boro repairs to jeans.
What is Sashiko?
Sashiko (刺し子?, literally "little stabs") is a form of decorative reinforcement stitching (or functional embroidery) from Japan. Traditionally used to reinforce points of wear, or to repair worn places or tears with patches, this running stitch technique is often used for purely decorative purposes in quilting and embroidery. The white cotton thread on the traditional indigo blue cloth gives sashiko its distinctive appearance, though decorative items sometimes use red thread. (source: Wikipedia)
Here are a few examples of Sashiko:
What is Japanese Boro?
Literally translated as rags or scraps of cloth, the term boro is also used to describe clothes and household items which have been patched-up and repaired many times. (source: FurugiStar)
Here are a few pictures of Japanese Boro:
I had stumbled across this kind of stitching when I used to a lot of quilting. There's a woman named Jude Hill, whom I've long admired. Her blog is called "Spirit Cloth" and many years ago I created some small pieces inspired by her approach to stitching. I'll see if I can dig them up for a future blog post. :)
Combine those thoughts with the fact that patchwork denim seems to be all the rage among the fashionable people and the fact that Fourth of July is coming at us, and what you get is an awesome idea! I came up with a super cool way to show off my red white and blue patriotism while saving my beloved jeans from the garbage heap. Take a peek:
In some places I patched the jeans by placing the fabric underneath the hole and adding stitching, as above.
In other places I patched the jeans by placing the fabric over the hole and adding stitching, as below:
For my Fourth of July theme, I was sure to add some stars to my stitching...
And a red stripe too!
I love my "new" jeans!
This was a fairly easy project. Took my an evening to repair all the holes, stitching by hand. I used fabric scraps I had and some white embroidery floss I had sitting around. There is actual Sashiko Thread and there are Sashiko Needles, but I just used what I had on hand. That's the theory behind Boro: to use what you have on hand.
I'd say that this project is more Japanese Boro than beautiful Sashiko. Whatever it is, I love it. I hope you'll consider giving your old jeans a Patriotic makeover!
Thanks for stopping by!