Collection Online

Rag kimono
(Boro kimono ボロ着物)

cotton, indigo
118.7 cm (centre back) 122.0 cm (cuff to cuff)
Place/s of Execution
Accession Number
Asian Art
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 2005
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of The Gordon Darling Foundation
Gallery location
Not on display
Physical description
Boro kimono were made from recycled cotton scraps in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century by impoverished Japanese people out of necessity. This example uses a technique known as sashiko (grid of small stitches) to strengthen the overall garment. In the true spirit of mingei, boro textiles are the creations of unknown craftspeople who never intended them to be viewed as a thing of beauty. However, in a contemporary context they have qualities of random collage and spontaneous design imbued with a life and spirituality of their own.