When seeking to buy antique items made by a Japanese weaver, the three words to remember are Boro, Sakiori and Sashiko. In Japanese, Boro means “repaired”, and the collector will find Boro garments and household items composed of a mass of repaired patches. Each patch declares a separate, historical fact about the item and Boro items are highly collectible and valuable. Sakiori garments and quilts are made of strips of fabric torn from other items and composed into something new. The obvious recycling narrative means that Sakiori items are in high demand.
Sashiko is a method of embroidery or stitching by which old and worn fabrics are strengthened. Once again, decorative Sashiko items are in great demand. The collector should remember that the majority of older woven fabrics are made of linen and hemp. Eventually, the Japanese began to import cotton and later weaves are often made of this thread. Reused and recycled garments are almost never made of silk, which ordinary people did not have access to, a privilege reserved for Emperors.
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