Oxford Summer School

Boro Inspired Patchwork

Thursday 8th August 2024 for 2 days — Cost: £120

Tutor: Christine Green

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Inspired by Japanese Boro work, Christine has developed a style of hand and machine stitching that is very accessible and rewarding, ‘borrowing’ from Boro. Boro refers to the practice of patching and repairing domestic textiles, primarily clothing and bedding, in order to extend their domestic use for many years.

Christine will bring lots of examples to inspire students. Students will patch and machine and hand stitch onto a backing and build up layers of patches and stitches The workshop will include an introduction to Boro followed by a demonstration as to how to create a unique piece of Boro influenced textile that will be made into a useful glasses or phone case. Day two you will create a larger panel which could be developed in to a bag, hanging quilt , you decide. If you have some jeans that you would like to patch using this method then do bring them in.

Skills and techniques covered

  • The use of scraps to create something unique and practical
  • Use of hand and machine stitching to add interest and texture - Combining different fabrics
  • Developing a design

Please bring with you

  • A sewing machine
  • A selection of preloved 100% cotton fabrics, scraps are perfect. Authentic Boro work features indigo, browns, blacks, greys and blues but you can use any colours.
    Check out pinterest.co.uk/craftingcottage/boro/
  • Fabric for the backing, I recommend a bit of 100% cotton sheeting or pillowcase. You won’t see any of it when you have finished stitching
  • Enough fabric for lining a phone case, a bag, or backing a table runner or mat,you will see this!


  • Thread for machine stitching
  • Thread for hand stitching - embroidery, sashimi, cotton perle
  • Box of pins
  • Needle for hand stitching
  • Small beads for embellishing the seam of the glasses case
  • A small amount of thin wadding, approx A4 to pad your glasses/phone case
  • A piece of tape, webbing or grosgrain approx 2.5cms wide and 150cms long depending on your height (useful if you want to wear your case)

Materials Costs to Students

Christine will bring additional reasonably priced fabrics.