Tuesday, November 27, 2012

how one thing leads to another

While searching the internet for more information about the Indigo dyed blue jeans, I found lots of pictures and information on Japanese Indigo dyed fabrics. I have collected these fabrics for some years and never made anything out of them really.

The Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook by Susan Briscoe
My google search also lead me to the Sashiko technique. In Susan Briscoe’s book she explains that Sashiko stitching was not only a way to decorate fabric but was also used on Indigo dyed workmens’ clothes to make the fabric more sturdy at places that were likely to be worn sooner.

David Sorgato’s book about Boro
Susan also referred to Boro, Japanese (rag) textiles and then I discovered this website.
Boro was made in the 19th century by recycling remnants of indigo dyed cotton and joining them together. I had seen some beautiful pieces of new made Boro by Victoria of the SillyBooDilly. Victoria’s work is always an inspiration.

Blue jeans (the word jeans comes from Genoa, Italy - more about that later...!) was also used as workmens’ clothes. They discovered archeological ‘jeans’ pieces in the gold mines in California, likely to be about a 150 years old, which look really worn and weathered. These old jeans as well as the old Boro textiles have become collector’s items now.

I may have found the ingredients for my Blue quilt!



  1. I have been making handbags and journal covers out of jeans for years. I did not know there was such a glorious Japanese tradition. Thanks for all this wonderful information.

  2. Thank you for the research Nicolette. I followed the links in your article and like "JB" was astounded at the wealth of information out there. Who knew that such a tradition existed. Thank you for this.

  3. Another book which I've almost bought a few times is "Indigo: Egyptian Mummies to Blue Jeans". You have me wanting to get an indigo vat going!

  4. Wow, you have been doing lots of research. Interesting about the word 'jeans' too. I love indigo fabric and sashiko too, but I don't know if it will ever be something I'm any good at, lol Sorry I have been absent for a few days - big storm and no internet! I did a sketch today that I think I will have a go at for the challenge - more later.