PO Box 667 New Hope, PA 18938 215.862.5828

April Sproule: Japanese Boro, Mending in Mind (6 hr WS, Fri, 1/27/23, 12-6 pm EST)

April Sproule: Japanese Boro, Mending in Mind (6 hr WS, Fri, 1/27/23, 12-6 pm EST)
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Price: $100.00
ID Number : SH4-028


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Japanese Boro, Mending in Mind
6-Hour Workshop

12 pm - 6 pm EST, Friday, January 27

In 19th century Japan, textiles were a valued commodity. Japanese Boro Stitching originated then as a way for people to extend the life of their worn-out textiles by repurposing them into things like floor coverings, clothing, and bed coverings. The worn fabrics scraps were held together using small stitches known as Boro Stitching.

Those fabrics or scraps you’ve saved to use for “something special“will be perfect for this project. Now is the perfect time to raid your stash and make something wonderful with those treasures. You will make a small scroll or wall hanging, approximately 9” x 18”.

You will be captivated by the Boro Stitching process as the beauty of your stitches and the feel of the texture magically begin to emerge on your cloth. Becoming immersed in the stitching, you’ll soon discover the calming effect of this lovely practice. All your stitching will be done by hand without an embroidery hoop.

This workshop is suitable for all skill levels.  Click HERE to see what you will learn in thsi workshop! 

We will cover:

  • Color and design options
  • Workflow and construction techniques for hand piecing
  • Finishing ideas for your scroll
  • Hand embroidery without a hoop
  • A variety of mending and decorative stitches
  • Development of different patterns using basic stitches

You will learn:

  • Hand embroidery without a hoop
  • A variety of mending and decorative stitches
  • Development of different patterns using basic stitches
All Levels

Students to Provide (Click here for a printable  pre-workshop prep and student handout.)

A. Fabrics:
1.  Fabric for Stabilizer or Base:

-  11” wide x 20”, cut 1, white silk organza, unwashed,

- 42” wide available at (live link): Dharma Trading Company

-  Or you can use a thin white piece of cotton as a base to work on.

2.  Fabric for Background and Focal Points:

When choosing fabrics, you want your stitching to show up in at least some areas. Solid fabrics work great, but so do some stripes or feature  fabrics with motifs.

-  Your finished piece will be 9” x 18”, so collect about double what you’ll actually need so you have plenty to choose from.

-  Cottons, silks, linens, or woolens are suitable for this project. Prewash fabrics whenever possible.

-  Hand dyes, painted scraps, stenciled, rusted, or sun-printed fabrics are great choices.

-  Vintage fabrics are also great: old linen napkins, kimono scraps, bits of lace, embroidery

-  Muslin or linen pieces to practice stitches on, (2) 8” squares

B.  Papers:

When selecting papers to use, you want to find a mid-weight paper that will hold up to stitching. I use lots of gelli plate papers using regular printer paper and acrylic paints. Things like tissue paper would not hold up and would probably tear when you hand stitch it.

- Hand-made papers with assorted patterns or textures can work really well.

-  Old book pages or text from other sources

-  Little bits of ink work or drawings, tickets, letters, or other ephemera

3. Embroidery Floss and Threads

A. DMC cotton embroidery floss is my favorite, but you can use whatever you have on hand or prefer.

-  have an assortment of colors to go with your color scheme

B. Regular sewing thread, assorted colors for sewing down your shapes

Note on Color: It can be hard pulling together your class supplies when you aren’t sure what you are going to end up doing. Start with one base, or main color, to work around. It could be the thing you choose as your focal point, or the color of your background. You can always change that color once you get started.

II. Tools:
A. Hand embroidery needles: I use assorted packs that are sizes 5-10

B. Fabric marking tools:
this is what I use, but you are welcome to use what you prefer.

-  Stabilo white pencil #8052, water erasable marker (from me or art supply stores)

-  Frixion Pens # 31557, set of 3 colors (from me, Amazon, or office supply stores), heat erasable ink

-  Fine-grit sandpaper, 1 sheet

C.  Basic sewing kit, including:

Sharp small scissors for embroidery, regular scissors for cutting through paper, straight pins, regular hand sewing needles, and regular sewing thread for basting.

  • Beeswax for your threads
  • Ruler, rotary cutter, and cutting mat
  • Color Wheel, available at any art supply store or online

III. Pre-Workshop Prep: Basically, all you need to do is:

A.  Background Prep

-  Watch the Pre-Workshop Prep video when you receive the Student Handouts 2 weeks before class starts

-  Cut your silk organza stabilizer or your cotton backing, 11” x 20”

-  Mark a rectangle 9” x 18” in the center (1” in from the raw edge of your backing)

-  This will be the finished size of your piece.

B. Gather

-  Create a little collection of stuff like scraps of fabric or paper you think might work, but you don’t need to cut anything to size yet.

-  Think about a theme, subject matter, or motifs you might want to use as a focal point.

-  You could scan old photos and print them on paper or fabric, block print on paper, or include text.......

-  Collect any ephemera you like, as it’s better to have lots to choose from than not enough.

-  If you roughly figure you have enough stuff to cover two areas, 9” x 18”, you’ll have plenty of choices.

-  Think of one main color, and one main theme to get started.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, and check out my website for more examples. Contact info is on the first page.