When thinking of suitable materials for armor one would not usually think of soft light silk. The Samurai had an ingenious fabric invention that actually deflected arrows in battle.
“Samurai wearing a horo” by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (Wikipedia)
Horo is a light fabric cape / cloak that inflates like a balloon behind the wearer while riding a horse. Amazingly, the bag of air acts almost like a cushion for the arrow to bounce off of.
Various fabrics were used. Here you can see a very informative example and test run of how this works with a silk horo. (Starts 2min30sec into vid.).
First used in early 1100s this is an ancient and traditional protector. Japanese archery is still practiced today as an art form and horo are still worn ceremoniously.
Perhaps one day I will find one in my antique textile searches. If so, you will be sure to find it in FurugiStar.
For more information on horo check wikipedia.
Neat parcels of fabric with crispy paper labels browned with age.
After opening up a bundle for the first time I discovered it’s hidden secret.
It was a former kimono from a previous life waiting to be rediscovered.
The kanji describes the details of the original garment and the previous owner.
After buying a boro scarf at a Tokyo flea market I wanted to learn more about the scruffy, stylish fabric. This lead to the unravelling of an interesting tale going back hundreds of years.
Boro was born of forgotten values of ‘mottainai’ or ‘too good to waste’. An idea dangerously lacking in the modern consumer lifestyle.
The charm of boro is not only the indigo shades and shabby street chic, or even its eco-friendliness. Sewn together over generations, family sagas are woven through the threads. click below to read on…