photo of pojagi by unasu (click photo to go to unasus photostream)
photo of pojagi by unasu (click photo to go to unasu's photostream)

Pojagi is Korean patchwork, and it’s usually made of ramie and a perfect square, like below

More of Unagis pojagi
More of Unagi's pojagi

These patchwork squares were used to wrap special things in bundles, by tying the four corners together, like this:

this is from a blog on Japanese textiles, click on photo for link
this is from the sri threads blog on Japanese textiles, click on photo for link

Koreans still wrap things like this – usually not in something as precious as pojagi, (which is more likely to be framed and hung on the wall) but in a large silk scarf.  It’s always a double take for me when I see a Korean boy in uniform, carrying a big silk-wrapped bundle down the hallway…

In fact, you see vestiges of traditional Korean carrying and wrapping a lot.  Adjummas are often carrying things on their heads.  Not heavy things, or pots, so they don’t need the cushion for their heads anymore, but carrying on their head nonetheless, or sometimes behind the back, like a baby.

I guess Pojagi is huge in Japan as a crafty thing to do.

It’s also quite the fiber art form now, and made into all kinds of really beautiful pieces.

The references on-line say the seams are all whip-stitched down, so perhaps they are flat-fell seams.  I need to look at one up close next time I see one.  Must try to make one, but I think I should wait until I get my bi-focal prescription filled, as I can’t even paint my own nails up close now.  (getting old is so fun!)  I wonder if it is done in an embroidery hoop?  There are classes, but I think I only need to answer the embroidery hoop question…

Continuing on with the fiber arts theme, this thing was used as an iron.  The fabric would be wrapped around that wooden pin, and then they would beat the cloth.  I don’t know how they didn’t just end up accidentally beating in permanent creases in the wrong places, but that’s what they did.  From what I’ve seen in the movies, they did it right left right left, etc., as if drumming.  Underneath that wooden pin is a stone, and that’s what they ironed over.  They ironed seams down flat with what looked like a spoon or spatula, the end heated in the brazier.

7 thoughts on “Pojagi

  1. Once my father’s work was selling cigaretts to country people and that’s exactly how he wrapped the cartons of cigaretts. I just wrote about it yesterday with the details how he tied the four corner of a large scarf.

  2. Yes! I saw a salesman on the subway had wrapped his goods like that. (not typical)

    btw, to those reading, that is another phenomenon here – barkers selling small items on the subway, that I mean to capture on film, as well as the traffic attendants at the department stores, who are like traffic directors on aircraft carriers with their light sticks at night, combined with the twirling skills of bartenders from the movie “Cocktail.”

    Supposedly there was a documentary on the subway salespeople, and they are very territorial and belong to an unofficial union, which must pay fees to the yakuza…

  3. Wonderful. I had never heard of that.

    Will be causing some wear and tear on the Pfaff here.

  4. >>>>envy<<<<

    I had to leave my Pfaff behind in Seattle. (sniff, sniff) An old semi-industrial one, the kind that can sew through silk or leather…wah!!!

    Do look up pojagi on flickr as well. There are some really beautiful curtains, window hangings, and door dressings if you want something more functional that isn't limited to wrapping gifts or behind glass.

    It's really like stained glass, only made of fabric.

  5. Pingback: Snood Scarf

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