Antique Japanese Boro Scarves

November 25, 2015

Antique Japanese Boro Scarves

We’ve discussed boro often here on Put This On. Boro is Japanese cotton, used for coats, bedspreads and other utilitarian purposes in pre-industrialized Japan. As it wore, it was repaired and patched. In time, it acquired what the Japanese called wabi-sabi – the beauty of something worn and imperfect. This beautiful antique cloth is now prized by collectors on both sides of the Pacific.

Earlier this year, I acquired a stash of boro from a Japanese textile dealer, along with some very old white and cream Japanese silk. We made a small run of scarves, and they sold out almost immediately. We’ve created a few more, with new fabrics. It’s impossible to know exactly how old the boro is, but a hundred years or more is a good bet. The result is a simple, easy-to-wear but also profoundly luxurious scarf. A showpiece that could become an heirloom. Each is unique (and uniquely patinated, with wear, patches, and age).

You can find the scarves in our shop, along with dozens of newly listed vintage accessories and notions and of course our handmade pocket squares. (And if you love Japanese textiles, be sure not to miss these pocket squares, made from an early 20th Century salesman’s sample silk roll.)

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