textile treasures from sri threads

My first encounter with boro textiles was in 2003 in this article in Country Living magazine. I was stunned – instantly in love with them – the color and the composition were perfect.  The mending, the layering, the meandering stitch work all spoke to me in a novel way – I related to them at the time as paintings – as compositions that strike that magic balance, my sewing had been mostly put away for years.  I cut out the pages and stuck them on my refrigerator – my percolating thoughts place.  When I began this blog in 2006 my focus shifted pretty quickly to stitching  and through the magic of happenstance I had the opportunity to visit the Sri Threads showroom. Stephen was an instant friend and ever since packages of intriguing old cloth and garments periodically appear unannounced in my vestibule – it’s a beautiful thing.

sri threads

So much of my inspiration comes from these things I did not choose.  I’ll preserve the hand mending in the pieces below in some new creature. I love that those stitches made so long ago, and that traveled so far through so many thoughtful hands will have  a new place and meaning and the energy that went into them will impart qualities I could not.

sri textiles

I think the piece below ( it’s quite large ) is part of a futon cover – the color combination is stunning – that intense textured brown and smokey blues and purples.

sri textiles

sri textiles

This package also had lots of kimonos in various states of undone -ness.  Intense red and a variety of unexpected melony pink silks. I’ve had an idea for something rolling around for years, one of the back burner ideas I have not gotten off the ground that these are perfect for – the missing piece.

silk from sri

And pale pink, ivory and melancholy lavender –  they will also play a part in my afore mentioned stalled idea and I’ve already started a sheer, whispery and pale ship. Thank you Stephen! For all the inspiration and joy I get from these surprises. The Country Living pages remain on my refrigerator as a daily reminder of the good and unexpected things that are just around the corner.

P. S. If you like this sort of thing Sri has a spectacular instagram feed.


  1. What fun to periodically receive surprise boxes of inspiration! I am drawn to the kimono orange/corals… I was just thinking about redoing colors in my kitchen – new countertops mean my barn red painted cabinets must change, and I’m thinking gray…but I need those “pops of color” and there’s not much room, so curtains, a teapot? An ad that came in the mail blended yellow/deep coral/oranges – YES! just what I need! So now I’m on a quest to figure out how much and how…an excuse to wander through some fabric stores, antique shops, craft stores with an evaluating eye…do I stencil? use leaves for paint stamps? applique? Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  2. Encore merci Ann pour cet article qui nous entraîne au coeur de la création en déclenchant des émotions aussi fortes. Les anciens textiles indigo japonais, les boros, me remplissent d’émotions tant ils sont vivants et racontent une histoire…on peut leur parler !
    J’accumule des chutes de kimonos en soie venant du Japon, j’aime les regarder, les toucher, mais encore maintenant, ces tissus sont trop puissants pour que je réussisse à leur donner une nouvelle vie …

  3. How fun to receive these surprises in the mail. I too find inspiration in piles of fabric scraps and have this same Country Living article saved in a folder full of inspiring articles. Can’t wait to see what you come up with next.

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