Thursday, December 10, 2009


Pojagi [or bojagi] is the name given to traditional Korean wrapping cloths. They were generally made from scraps or patches of fabric sewn together to form a squarish shape with a long strap stitched to one corner. Items were wrapped in the cloth which was then tied securely with the strap. The fabric used was often 'ramie', the everyday, coarse natural fibre which has been in continuous use for six thousand years, famously used by the Egyptians for mummy wrapping. The cloth, when held to the light, was often translucent due to its coarse weave.

Today, the term 'pojagi' refers to almost all styles of Korean patchwork, and it had become popular world wide, due largely to the efforts of Chunghie Lee, a contemporary Korean fibre artist. Chunghie feels strongly about the suffering and hardships women had to endure in the old Korea and she honours her ancestors by creating wonderful contemporary wearables and installations in the pojage tradition.

I attended a Master Class with Chunghie at the Geelong Textile Fibre Forum last September.
It was a fabulous experience. Chunghie's free, contemporary approach to a traditional craft practice inspired me. Her affinity with wabi sabi, her 'breaking the rules' approach, her modern sense of design and aesthetics all sat well with my artisic sensibilities. I came away from the week long class with new confidence and skills which have been realised in the commission screen which I have just completed.
Thank you, Chunghie.

This is what I made:

My traditional pojagi wrapping cloth, which I now wear as a skirt wrap.

One half made window panel [ 3 more to go].

Me wearing my pojagi dress.

Dangly cubes - what to do with them? They were fun to make. I now finish up on where and why I started blogging - recording the progress of the wabi sabi Japanese screen commission which was really based on the Korean traditional patchwork technique of 'POJAGI'. Hmmm
Just a few more close ups of the pojagi style translucency in the screen,

and the elusive, hard to get right ,'kekki' seam which is a very strong fine seam with a triple row of stitching.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I love the quality of this technique.Thanks
    you for the photos.