Every time I see some board on Pinterest, or some blog post somewhere, fetishizing boro cloths, I wince. The handmade moment was supposed to be about (I thought) using up what we had, minimizing our use of new materials. Getting out of the loop of capital. But instead there’s a pressure to buy more and more (and the effects of our buying are just shifted down the production line—to textile factories instead of garment ones). And buying new fabrics to make a quilt that you call a boro is not a boro. It can’t be (although the deconstructionist in me does not agree with this sharp distinction, and the boro-lover in me would like to make one). The boro as we have it, as an inheritance from a Japan which no longer exists, is the preservation and reuse and continued use of materials which are precious because they have been made oneself (one knows the value of a cloth one has had to make from the very beginning—planting hemp or flax, tending it, harvesting it, spinning it, weaving it, dying it). It is also the reuse and preservation of these materials that make the cloths so beautiful and various. That can’t be forged. Age can’t be forged. The passage of time can’t be hastened so that I can have something beautiful now. The boro takes time, takes use, and takes patience. My impatience, the impatience of capitalism which wants everything now and makes me want everything now can’t change that. Boro = materials + time.