Kintsugi: the cloth variation.

Kintsugi (金継ぎ) or  Kintsukuroi (金繕い) – the latter is probably more appropriate in this case but the former is more common – is the rather brilliant practice of repairing broken crockery with a glue containing gold, a practice for which like most things these days, one can purchase a kit. This is, as many people have pointed out, pretty cool. The idea behind it is that as well as preserving a useful item, you are also adding both literal value (the gold in the original resin was actual powdered gold) and metaphorical value (as the pattern of breaks and fixes are unique, making a mass-produced item into a one-of-a-kind artwork).

It has a great deal of potential.

As I tend to shy away from smashing my crockery on purpose and don’t really have beautiful bowls like the above anyway (my cupboards have been filled by a cunning combination of novelty-themed items given as presents and random rubbish salvaged from the Sally Ally shop at £1 for Several), it did occur to me that there is another way to bring this into my life: clothes.

I have a moth problem, because I live in a moth-friendly climate and like to wear natural fibres for some mad reason; while recent measures such as “washing absolutely everything in lavender oil every time I do laundry” have apparently driven away the vile pestilence of mothkind for the time being, previous moth incursions and general wear-and-tear have left their mark.

A Uniqlo hoodie, owned now by The Resident Australian, suffered the ravages of existing on a person, and has been previously patched up with gold Anchor embroidery silks:

hoodie sleeve

Recent moth-like holes have begun appearing and have been summarily dealt with:

hoodie pocket

This may seem like a lot of effort to save a hoodie, particularly an unassuming green one like this, and in truth it probably does smack as much of stubbornness as thrift or inventive, artistic problem-solving. Of course, there are also rather more expensive items that need saving:

Bolongaro Trevor and I have a horrible relationship where I throw them money and they make me clothes which are typically slightly too small for me to justify giving them money.
Bolongaro Trevor and I have a horrible relationship where I throw them money and they make me clothes which are typically slightly too small for me to justify giving them money.

My beloved and not-yet-worn-enough-to-justify-this Bolongaro Trevor jumper came down with a case of MASSIVE HOLES from being in the laundry basket where the EVIL MOTHS have taken to spawning, and, determined to wear it again without damaging the structural integrity of my knitwear or rocking the Joe Dick look, I took to the many holes with embroidery thread and the understanding that making my jumper look like it has been repeatedly wounded in battle will only improve it:

Scar tissue
A combination of red and gold thread together.

As scar tissue makes the body of a person more interesting and storied, so turning my jumper into a fabric recreation of the 27 wounds of Coriolanus should in theory make it a more noble, fascinating, and more of a WARRIOR GARMENT.

'Look, sir, my wounds!  I got them in my country's service, when  Some certain of your brethren roar'd and ran  From the noise of our own drums.'
‘Look, sir, my wounds!
I got them in my country’s service, when
Some certain of your brethren roar’d and ran
From the noise of our own drums.’

… Or I can at least claim no one else has one the same.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Kintsugi: the cloth variation.

  1. I do like the red-gold-gray knotted fissures all over. ALL THE TEXTURES. It seems like if you kept adding to it as it kept getting damaged it’d only get more and more awesome. (also, i want to touch it!).

    1. See on the one hand I don’t want this ludicrously expensive jumper to get any more damaged, but on the other I am vehemently in favour of turning at least one item of clothing into a full torment piece of scar tissues. SO HARD.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s