Boro lab: japanese patchwork workshop

Saturday, June 15, 2019, 15:00 ÷ 18:30
Paraventi Giapponesi - Galleria Nobili
Via Marsala, 4
20121 Milano (MI)

Boro lab
Japanese patchwork workshop
realization of an artifact with remnants of fabric
assembled with the sashiko 刺 し 子 embroidery
held by Leila Magrini

How boro ぼろwas born

In pre-industrial Japan, the availability of fabric was limited and the life of clothing had to be prolonged by a period of time to ensure passage between generations. As a result, clothing was a vital resource to be preserved with care; in an agricultural society based on the self-subsistence of the family nucleus also the difference had value as it recalls the ethics underlying the term mottainai (literal 'regret for the waste').

The traditional Japanese boro is born out of necessity among the poorest social classes, farmers and fishermen, and in areas affected by difficult climatic conditions.

Surviving garments evoke a sense of unrefined harmony conferred by the "roughness" itself of lived and imperfect fabrics. More oriented towards the recovery and strengthening process than to the aesthetic result, the main objective was the reuse of the recovered remnants. More than having a predefined view of the garment, it was left to the outline of the damaged fabric to indicate the procedure for the repair intervention. The work of mending, through various cycles, allowed the many assembled layers to develop a natural cohesion and often a sense of unexpected beauty.

The contemporary boro is a versatile technique that allows you to repair and intervene creatively on clothes of various kinds: jeans, skirts, dresses, shirts, shoes, scarves but also cushions and blankets.

Boro: japanese patchwork

Boro laboratory programme

Introduction to the world of Japanese boro
  • historical notes on boro, sashiko and their use

Workshop programme
  • assembly of fabric scraps
  • sashiko embroidery technique
  • embroidery on the prototype prepared

Materials needed
  • sashiko needle (long and sturdy needle with small eyelet)
  • sashiko yarn or twisted cotton
  • ruler, chalk or fabric pencil
  • pattern for realization
  • remnants of recovered cotton fabric of various colors, possibly in the range of blue

Boro patchwork made with sashiko embroidery


  • Max 8 students
  • Cost € 70
  • All materials are included
  • Bulk offer: you can register for both Sashiko workshop and Boro Lab at the discounted price of 130.00 euros per person
  • If possible, bring duffle garments or scrap remnants to customize your item
  • The manufactured piece remains the property of the student
  • For subscriptions please write to:

Cancellation and non-attendance

If the cancellation occurs:
  • 10 or more days before the course: we will refund 85% of the amount
  • 7,8,9 days before: 50% refund
  • less than 7 days or non-attendance: no refund

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