Denim Repair and Boro Workshop with Indigo Works

Join us in our Coal Drops Yard store for a two-hour workshop learning traditional repair techniques from textile designer Liza. Whether you’re looking for practical understanding of repair, are interested in the history of boro and indigo production, or want to spend a couple of hours in a different setting, this course is for you.

Dates available

The first Tuesday evening of every month, 19:00-21:00
February 4th 2020
March 3rd 2020
April 7th 2020
May 5th 2020
June 2nd 2020

Maximum class size

10 people





Course outline

18:45 Arrive for a prompt 19:00 start
19:00 Introduction from Liza with presentation on Boro
19:30 Get stuck in
21:00 Finish

Please arrive early if you would like to make purchases from our shop, including haberdashery and notions.

What you’ll learn:
You’ll learn about the history of Japanese boro and traditional mending. Learn new stitching ‘sashiko’ techniques to repair your garments and spend quality time looking after and giving new life to your clothes. It’ll also give you the basics for any type of mending, exploring the dexterity of your fingers!

‘Boro’ is a type of textiles made of fabric which has been patched many times. Boro is a bit like the Japanese equivalent of the British ‘make do and mend’ mentality. When cloth became tattered and worn out, people would patch up garments using old scraps of cloth.

‘Sashiko’ literally translates as “little stabs”, and is a type of quilting where hemp or cotton thread is sewn in a running stitch to quilt together layers of fabric. It is both functional and decorative.

What’s included

  • Natural indigo-dyed fabric for patching
  • Threads and needles for stitching
  • Refreshments (wine, soft drinks, hot drinks, biscuits)

Indigo Works was founded by Liza Mackenzie in 2015. She studied Indigo, known as Aizome, under a Master Craftsman whilst living in Japan for four years. She is a textile designer and researcher with a specialism in Japanese craft textiles and sustainable dyes. She is currently on residency at Makerversity researching sustainable ways of dyeing and printing fabrics using a mix of lost and forgotten textile techniques and updating them for the modern age.

“Colour inspires and informs my work from looking at how pigments were discovered, traded and used across the globe historically to modern colour inventions and discoveries. Unearthing these mysteries and exploring the worlds paint box endlessly fascinates me.”

The featured image is a kimono that Liza made and sashiko stitched.

Why is it important to extend the life of your jeans in this way?

If we continue to throw away clothing that still has life left in it, not only are we devaluing all of the work that has gone into the production of the garment – including human hands – we are also devaluing the materials. The philosophy behind boro is that you would save any fabric scrap, no matter how small, to use for something else. It ensures that every piece is special, and connects you to the repair and the life of the item through the piece of cloth.

The act of sashiko stitching is a fairly simple one; it’s a running stitch that allows you to quickly sew down a patch. The repetition can be meditative, and with each prick of the needle, allows you to be grateful that the repair is being mended.

Have you bought a pair of jeans from us online? As you’re generally far away, and our in-store customers can pick up offcuts whenever they like or even attend the above workshops, we created cute mending kits to include in your parcels. These should inspire you to repair not only your BLA jeans when they get to that point (though don’t forget about our free repairs policy), we hope it will motivate you to repair other denim garments.

Read about the philosophy of wabi-sabi here from Heddels.

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