Friday, November 9, 2012

Rag of the Day: Fall Digest

August 2012 Cotton summer shorts. Soaked for over a month, laundered, much of it just disintegrated, but two largish pieces left. Flecked with holes. Dramatically faded on one side, a lovely indigo colour on the other. Found them while stealing rocks from a factory that's been closed for 10+years on Bathurst Street.

November 6 2012 Swatches of cotton flannel; part of the lining of a c.1970s cotton sleeping bag. By the river at Weekend Park. No tag.

October 2012 Cotton 'fake' ticking; removable cover of a feather pillow. I say it's fake because I always thought of ticking as having the stripes in the warp of the cloth. This is printed on one side. The tag said "Made in the USA". Probably new. From a pillow abandoned in Greener Pastures with a chenille bedspread, various knit t-shirts and some socks. It's been there since July.

September 2012. A most unusual cotton/polyester blend shirt, Arnold Palmer brand, and I can't remember where the tag said it was made. Found perfectly folded up into a little square. It had been unearthed while somebody (the rail company? the city?) was excavating to remove the shack that folklore tells me covered the entrance to a terrazzo-tiled tunnel under the CN tracks near Clarence and Bathurst. The cloth is translucent except for the thin white stripes. I think the cotton is rotted away, and left the polyester.

A batch of little finds that have been adding up. Some of them are already getting worked into the hybrid boro yogi dragon robe.

The whole garment is getting difficult to photograph, because it is so huge. As you can see below, I have started on the collar. It is just a strip of walnut-dyed cotton (a cover from an ironing board), not even cut on the bias. But the stitching- long running stitches in parallel rows one way, and then perpendicular the other way- has given it the structure of a collar. Or the stitches shape it into a collar.

Someday soon I'll be able to get it set up outside to get a better picture of it. When it's light out, too!

Thanks for stopping by.


  1. gosh,this is building to something totally wonderful ..that red adds some fire and punctuation marks for sure

    1. Thanks, Roz; the red is all too much for me to be honest, and so I'm not completely sure I'm not going to layer cloth on top of it! Especially the red square on the left of the image above. The cloth will still be there, the red will just be hidden, I guess.

      Thank you for stopping by Roz.

    2. funny Grace ..that square i LOVE the best..eye of the beholder and all!

    3. Well, your eyes matter to me, too, and quite a lot, so thank you for sharing what they behold. Grace makes a different kind of plea below; I think you both will have your wishes. It adds yet another layer to this for me. Thank you.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you so much Lynn; it is absorbing found cloth at a great rate now, which I'm starting to think is a manifestation of its 'boro-ness'. If there is such a thing.

  3. This is emerging so beautifully!
    Definitely boro and fabulous.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by Marie, and taking the time to comment. I'm glad you like it. It is becoming its own thing in a lot of ways. I think it will have 'another side' (the inside) as well, so will just, in Jude Hill's terms, keep going.

  4. i love your new finds, gracie...and the yogi is manifesting quite wonderfully!

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by Joe; the neck piece was an important step toward being a yogi; the sleeves, thicker and heavier than they are now, are the next big step. The form is still fascinating me.

  5. Wendy...about the Red, i empathize. BUT, it is a color,
    and a legitimate member of the color world, so, we need
    (do we?) to allow it to participate....
    what i have been finding works sometimes is to stitch
    through the red, with some thread that cuts the redness,
    tones it down, takes off it's edge.
    like maybe running from a nearby piece?, allowing it to
    maintain it's place, but in a way we can make friends with

    1. Dearest Grace! Your appeal on behalf of 'red' is so beautiful; it cuts into a conversation I have with myself about colour all the time. And it's not just that red is legitimate member of the colour world, which it is, and I adore how you said that.

      But it is sometimes just the colour of the cloth out there to be found. And I stand there and think "do I have the _____ to use red cloth?" (fill in the blank with 'courage' or 'need' or 'responsibility' or 'ability', or 'whatever I worry about'). Red just carries so, so much, too much weight; it implies too too much. But it is also there.

      That said. I think that working it in with thread is exactly what I will do; as I said to Roz above, who liked the red best, I'll do this as a way of recording and responding to this conversation you all have entered in to here. This kind of collaboration will be part of this!

      Thank you Grace!

    2. "But it is also there". yes. and like so much
      else that is also just there.

      o i am so full of smiles to read this and so
      look forward to seeing how you do this. Watching
      your sensitivity from the very beginning, i
      know i will be amazed and what
      i await the happening. xoxo

  6. Great Blog! Glad to dicover it :)
    Put to the Reader!

    You have very nice rags - just right for my rag soul :)

    Thank you!