Making Boro-Style Scarves!

Over the last years, I have collected a small stack of gorgeous fabric rolls from South East Asia. These wonderful, handwoven hill tribe textiles have been sharing one of the "creative compartments" on my shelf with denim scraps, waiting to be incorporated into one of my projects. To tell you the truth, I sort of like having them just sitting there and being able to admire them every once in a while.

compartment hill tribe rolls

Some of them are hemp, some cotton, most are indigo-dyed, some feature batik patterns, some needle-point work. I also have a few rolls of gorgeous silk in pinks and browns. They were made by different hill tribes, mostly in Vietnam.

hill tribe fabric rolls

The other day I picked up a few scraps from past projects made with these lovely fabrics and decided to have a go at making a boro-style scarf. The main challenge was not so much aligning the bits and pieces to form a long rectangle, but getting them to stay that way to sew them up somehow! I did use some fabric glue to make that part easier.  

Having mixed them into place, I zigzagged the parts together, using organic and vintage cotton threads, otherwise leaving the edges raw. While I like the initial outcome, I do feel I will have to make some improvements on the stitching technique. On top of the patchwork scarf, I hand-stitched some additional patches to add a little variety and colour here and there. Finally, I put the scarf through a delicate cycle in the washing machine to gently encourage the fraying of the edges and seams. Here's the result, available for now at my etsy store.