By Yarn and Needlework Contributor Stephanie from the blog Twilly 23
Boro embroidery has its roots in Japan. It involves using a running stitch to secure a patch over an existing piece of fabric in need of repair. As clothes were repeatedly patched, they were transformed into completely embroidered garments. Though intricate design examples can seem intimidating, Boro is essentially a simple stitch repeated over and over. This tutorial will teach you how to repair a piece of fabric using this technique.
I have a beautiful bedspread sheet that recently developed a small hole. Instead of trying to hide my repair I decided to use boro techniques to enhance the fabric. For your repair grab some fabric that pairs nicely with the item you’re patching. Cut a square or rectangle patch large enough to cover the hole.
Fold over the raw edges and pin to fabric or hand sew the edges first before attaching.
If you are a beginner, sewing the edges down first will make patching easier. A running stitch around the edges will hold the folds down.
Choose a thread that contrasts with the patch. Think of Boro patches as a beautiful addition to the item you’re repairing. I used a green thread that coordinated with the background green of my bedspread.
Pin your patch into place. If you haven’t already sewn down the edges, fold them over and pin into place.
Make a running stitch that runs from one side of the patch to the other. Try to make the length of the stitches uniform. Boro is a very organic form of embroidery so if your stitches aren’t all the same length don’t sweat it.
Add repeating lines of the running stitch from the bottom to the top of your patch. Again, try to match the length of stitches with each other and the spaces between.
Once you have covered the patch you can stop here or add additional running stitches.
I added more stitches at a perpendicular angle from my first set. This is the same technique as before but just going in a different direction.
Once you’re finished embroidering, knot off and clip any loose threads.
Boro embroidery beautifies your fabric with a patch instead of trying to conceal the repair. Even the underside looks tidy for a patch.
After finishing, stand back and admire your work. I find that my boro patch compliments the design of my bedspread.