Boro & sashiko patchwork
What is boro & sashiko? Boro & sashiko are a combination of traditional Japanese styles of patchworking. Boro (ぼろ) refers to different pieces of textile that have been stitched or re-woven together to create new items of clothing. The term comes from the Japanese word “boroboro”, meaning something tattered or ripped. Sashiko (刺し子), literally meaning “little stabs”, is a type of traditional Japanese embroidery or stitching used as both a functional and decorative way to reinforce clothing.
Although these techniques may be centuries old, they are making a comeback with the current uprise in vintage, second-hand and upcycled fashion. Modern-day boro & sashiko items are comprised of bright, colourful patches and contrasting stitching to create new, fashionable clothing.
This step-by-step plan is heavily inspired by the combination of these two Japanese patchwork techniques. Though the term refers to sewing textile together, why not try something like this with old drawings? By using old drawings in a patchwork technique, all the different parts become one new artwork. To add the sashiko, or stitching part of boro & sashiko, and to make your work more cohesive, you can “embroider” your patchwork of drawings using Gelly Roll or other pens. This is an incredibly fun and relaxing thing to do, so let’s get into it!
Find some old drawings you aren’t scared of cutting up. Cut your drawings into geometric shapes of different sizes, these will be the patches of your patchwork!
Glue your first piece to the centre of the larger piece of paper. Work around this first piece like you are creating a blooming flower. If you still want to be able to move around the pieces while you work, don’t glue them down just yet.
Try to alternate colours and shapes to create an interesting pattern that isn’t too predictable. Let the pieces fit together like a mis-matched puzzle.
Once you’re happy with your newly created mosaic, glue everything down to the paper. Now grab your Gelly Rolls and other pens in different colours and start stitching your work together by drawing short lines all over your collage.
Let your imagination run wild! Traditionally, stitches should go from top to bottom or left to right, but since we’re creating a work of art here, there are no rules!
This completes your upcycled artwork! We hope this tutorial inspires you to use those drawings you don’t think are worth looking at and create something new. If you do, don’t forget to share your results using #RoyalTalens! We would love to see what you create.