I love my Roland Sands Design Vandal jacket. It’s my winter wear for two-wheeled travel. Anything above 70 degrees, and I’m roasting in it. Yet, for all its warmth, I find myself wanting some extra loft inside the breast when encountering the freshest, friskiest zephyrs.
It seemed this deficiency could be remedied by an item produced by J. Augur Design. Wouldn’t I be warmer, and look better, if the Vandal jacket were topped off by an antique Japanese indigo boro patchwork scarf? One of the windowpane-check variety, in particular?
So arrangements were made.
Meanwhile, I contemplated the J. Augur Design credo:
This is a one-of-a-kind scarf. It is made from antique (early 20th century Taisho period) Japanese indigo-dyed cotton fabric, referred to as ‘boro’.
BORO translated from Japanese variously means: ragged, tattered, worn to shreds or pieces…. fundamentally it is ‘rag’. This peasant fabric was created, used, salvaged and reused by country folk over a century ago. Before ‘recycling’ became an environmental movement; hardship and impoverishment necessitated frugality, and every scrap of fabric found a purpose…again and again.
In this spirit of conservation and thrift, we have collected textiles from Japan for many years and transformed futon covers, kimono robes, and furoshiki wrapping cloths into scarves. Our scarves are repaired, patched, laundered and restored for a multitude of uses: warding off a chill, enlivening a table or dresser top, decorating a wall, shading a window, making a fashion statement, lending a room texture and color… and celebrating the industry and artistry of those who came before us.
No surprise, the scarf has proved highly functional on a 1250-mile trip in four states. It’s January, mind you, and even though I was in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts, it was cool out there. Sometimes, on the summits at 4500 feet above sea level, it was blatantly chilly. Did I ever turn blue, with teeth chattering? Not at all.
The scarf came through with only one small grease spot.
Now home for 48 hours, I’ve done some washing, and while ironing in the afternoon sun I found myself wondering about those who had worn the fabric before me. What had their lives been like?
No such thoughts would have occurred to me concerning the scarf I might have bought at the dollar store.
Today’s temperature in Palm Springs was 77 degrees, so I hardly needed to swaddle my neck in indigo boro.
But cooler weather may lie ahead. I have the Harley for a while longer. Another momentous pairing could happen.