Despite becoming a popular trend in menswear in the past few years, the Japanese craft of 'Boro' is an age-old practice with important historical significance within Japanese culture. Born out of austerity and lack of resources, Boro utilizes old garments and scraps of clothing and patches them together to create one-of-a-kind, functional pieces of art. visvim® takes a closer look at this unique act of "ultimate recycling" in their latest Dissertation with the help of folklorist Chuzaburo Tanaka. Read an excerpt from the piece below and find the full Dissertation here.
When garments that were made using this method became frayed or ripped after many uses, they were repatched, resewn, redyed and used over again. It was standard for these types of garments to not only be used for one lifetime, but up to two, three, and even four generations.
Fabrics used to make formal clothing, such as garments worn by brides-to-be, were recycled as workwear, and then re-weaved as rags when they further deteriorated. Ultimately, the fabrics were stuffed into bedding to be used as tow. Every single piece of fabric and yarn was utilized to the utmost limit for many years in the ultimate recycling process.