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Boro Sack Repair

I’ve been trying this new boro sewing, which is a form of reverse patching. Unlike normal patching, the patch is on the inside of the tear and the stitching on the outside. This exposure of the repair job really appeals to me. Here are my ripped jeans repaired when I decided the rips were getting out of hand.

My ripped jeans repaired by boro
My ripped jeans repaired the boro way

Never one to let an opportunity slip by unappreciated, I next turned to a vintage burlap sack I bought from France when we first moved to New Orleans. I had stuffed the sack with an ordinary bed pillow—large—and used it as a bolster pillow on our sofa. It didn’t last long. The burlap began to shred. I was forced to give it up, though I loved the look of it. Now I saw a chance to save the sack.

Here are my supplies. I chose indigo thread because I liked the indigo with the burlap, and it matched the cut up old jeans I was using as patching. Plus, the indigo seemed kind of French to me, an appropriate companion to the French sack. The boro thread requires a large needle, not pictured. Turned out, the white thread wasn’t needed at all. A boro thimble is optional.You can see the small leather thimble in between the scissors and indigo thread. The thimble is worn on the inside of the middle finger. I love the leather thimble.

I bought the boro thread from an Etsy site on boro stitching
I bought the boro thread from an Etsy site on boro stitching

Here’s a close up of the thimble

Leather thimble worn on the inside of the middle finger
Leather thimble worn on the inside of the middle finger

Here’s the stitching up close

The stitch is a simple running stitch
Boro uses a simple running stitch

Here’s the first patch underway

The project would’ve been easier with straight pins, but I had only safety pins, which are awkward

The sack turned out to have more rips than I remembered. And it was more wrinkled from being packed away. But, what the heck—I needed a project, so I persevered.

My friend who knows about these things said the burlap was probably in dry rot
My friend who knows about these things said the burlap was probably in dry rot

I love the look of the contrast stitchesIMG_3086IMG_3085
The project took longer than I thought. I sewed for a while. Here’s the final product.

The vintage grain sack repaired with indigo thread
The vintage sack repaired with indigo thread

Was it worth it? The sack can’t be actually used; the rips would continue to appear. But I can arrange it high atop a wooden chest in the new beach house. The floors of the house will be blue. And the accent color will be indigo. And I’m kind of into faux French things these days. Here’s my new hair do, which a friend described as a French journalist look.

I thought I looked like a spy
I thought I looked like a spy

So, I’m glad I did it. My sack will be usable until it isn’t. That, to me, is a success.

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