Mending Holes and Souls


RUDE Girl’s cashmere canvas recreation inspired by the Japanese patching and stitching technique known as boro.  Styled with a recycled black satin and tulle underskirt.



Boro are a class of Japanese textiles that have been mended or patched together. The term is derived from Japanese boroboro, meaning something tattered or repaired. [Wikipedia]


There is not much I have discovered that is more therapeutic for my well-being than dancing and mending.  Both are my favourite heart and soul activities, and they could not be more different to each other.  Dance is active and stitching is passive for starters.

Beauty really does exist in the eye of the beholder, especially when it comes to an XL woollen cardigan fulled to a size S, and then rescued from the piles of discarded textiles at the point of landfill [TIP SHOP]

This cardigan really was worn and treated badly.  Lots of holes, shrunken and pulled out of shape.  But when I spotted it’s sadness in the bottom of the textile bin, it begged to be rescued.

What did I see in this cardigan that was beautiful and/or magic? 

The fact that the cardigan was made of cashmere and was soft to the touch was a winner.  That it had lots of holes made it a piece that could be mended by my contemporary boro style technique.  The metal buttons are unique, as are the metal rings that attaches them to the garment.  I loved the shaggy fringing and exposed seams around the cardigan’s edges.

What did I see in this cardigan that other textile scavenges had not?

That it was a blank canvas for a textile artist to work magic upon.  That it was ripe for rescue.  That it could be worn again a la scavenger style.

What was the main thing required to undertake, to save this cardigan?

It had to be placed in the freezer for a couple of days to kill any moth eggs.  Then it was gently soaked and washed.

What is something else special about this cardigan?

It has been made in the USA, and is the most unique design for a cardigan that I have ever seen.  In an era when many garments are made in China and third world countries, I love rescuing garments, regardless of condition, that have been made in Australia, UK, Italy, USA, France and New Zealand.  And if these garments are made of natural fibres, especially wool, I am driven to save and preserve these limited resources.

Click on all photos for an explanation


Beat the Man and recreate from what is already available.

Photos below:  Some close-up photos of cardigan’s details


7 thoughts on “Mending Holes and Souls

  1. I love this.
    How can I describe what I mean? I like hand decorated pieces, and I try them, but sometimes, because I’m by sewing nature neat and tidy, I don’t manage to capture the “grunge” element! Yes that’s the word to describe this piece. It appears to be accidental and then beautifully saved.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linda, your words have captured what it was I was hoping to achieve with this piece. That dichotomy between grunge and beautiful but when combined a wabi sabi aesthetic. I strive for the artistic play between the two styles. My mother was like you with her sewing [neat and tidy], and used to say to me that the inside must look as good as the outside. I do try and keep some sort of method to honour her message to me. Thank you for your spot on insights.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Maree Maree for your comment. I taught myself to stitch and patch visibly many years ago. I then found sashiko stitch and was inspired to enhance my scavenger style with more stitching. Then I came across boro and realised I had been doing a version of it for years. My point of difference is that I mostly prefer to patch on the inside of the garment and stitch on the outside. Why? Because my husband prefers to wear his Levis without patches on the outside. I am currently patching and stitching his 3rd pair of vintage Levis. It’s a labour of love with at least 1/3rd of the garment being stitched and patched.

      Anyways, if you can do running stitch you can do boro. You can teach yourself. And I notice that you have joined my Facebook group Boro at therefore you will be inspired to give it a go and share with like-minded souls.


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