Sewn Together: Gallery One • In-Person and Online

14 September - 21 October 2023

The Converging Worlds of Southern American Quilts And Boro Textiles


Southern, African American quilts, and their distant cousins Japanese Boro textiles have distinct origins, histories, and cultural contexts, but they share some commonalities in terms of their historical significance and artistic expression. Together, they offer fascinating insights into the power of textile art and storytelling.

The cultural background of African American quilts has its roots in the African diaspora and the tradition of textile arts brought to America by enslaved Africans. Quilting became an important means of creative expression and storytelling within African American communities, often serving to document history and preserve cultural heritage. The same holds true for the broader quilting tradition in the American South.

Boro textiles originated in Japan, specifically in rural farming communities during the Edo period (1603-1868) and continued into the early 20th century. Boro refers to patched and mended textiles that were born out of necessity due to limited resources. It was a way for rural Japanese people to reuse and extend the life of worn-out fabrics. Boro quilts were primarily created for functional purposes, such as providing warmth or mending garments. They reflect the practicality and resourcefulness of the Japanese rural population during challenging times.


   Ren Riley (continued below)