Originating from the rural regions of Japan during the 19th and 20th centuries, Boro became popular out of necessity rather than aesthetic. After working long and strenuous shifts on a farm, many garments belonging to farmers became exposed to the elements, causing tears and abrasions due to the intensity of their manual labor. Without the available resources to buy new garments, many of these hard laborers would turn to the family’s women, who would patch up their clothing with small pieces of fabric until they were repaired.
Over extended periods, these garments would acquire more and more patches until they became entirely new garments loaded with scraps of fabric. However, what is now considered an ingenious piece of craftsmanship was once considered embarrassing to the Japanese. As Japan recovered from the tides of war, some returned to the technique of Boro and were reminded of their impoverished past.
Boro would soon fade from the everyday lives of the Japanese as mass production via industrialization lessened the cost of garments. But this technique has been revamped with the likes of Kapital and Koromo embracing tradition and their difficult past.