Sashiko, meaning “little stabs”, is a perfect way to describe this needlework. This embroidery technique is functional, acting to reinforce torn fabric or make repairs, but also elegant. Traditionally the embroidery design is a geometric pattern with white cotton thread on indigo blue fabric. Sashiko embroidery has been used in Japan for centuries, developed in poor communities starting in the Edo era of the 1600s to the 1800s.
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"I am the past. You are the future”. ☆ In #QuiltCon2020, while workshop, when I talk to some quilters, this phrase came out naturally. I am the past. You are the future. I do NOT mean that I am old-dated or unimportant. The past is the foundation of the future. As I keep saying, I encourage people to call their stitching Sashiko as long as they respect the tradition – the tradition is the “past”. ☆ I met a lot of “futures” in these 4 days. I am in the box of “Sashiko”. I keep speaking out for Sashiko. Someone gotta do that, right? Don’t be scared. However, please keep learning so I would do the same. One culture can be as deep as generations of someone’s life. Books may not be "whole” enough to understand one culture. I enjoyed #QuiltCon very much, and seeing many rising stars. Hope to come back sometime soon. ☆ – – – ☆ 沢山のキルターに会い、ふと出てきた言葉が、「僕は過去で、貴方は未来だね」という言葉。これは決して、僕が過去に生きていて古くて重要じゃないという訳ではありません。未来を作る為に、過去を丁寧に知ることはとても大切です。過去を知らずに未来を語るのは危険です。だからこそ、過去でである僕は情報を発信し続ける必要があるし、未来のスターの制作過程のどこかに刺し子を取り入れて貰って一緒に未来を作れることは、何より光栄なことだと思うのです。 ☆ 書籍も過去の”情報”です。しかも、大凡一方通行。「生きている過去との会話を楽しんでほしい」と伝えたら爆笑されました。でも、本音です。過去を未来に繋げるのが僕の役目なのかもしれません。 ☆ #Sashiko #Upcycle #SashikoWorkshop #SashikoDenim #SashikoMastery #MQG #SashikoClass #SashikoStitching #Unshin #RunningStitch #JapaneseSashiko #TraditionalSashiko #Iamthepast #Youarethefuture #刺し子 #運針 #刺し子ワークショップ #キルトコン
By the 18th and 19th centuries, cotton fabric became more accessible and sashiko began to be used for decorative purposes. Patterns changed from using only traditional Japanese patterns to including popular motifs. All sashiko patterns are distinctive due to their use of space and stitch consistency. The negative space is as important as the overall design.
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Many understand that we advocate the traditional Sashiko. In fact, it isn’t true. Keiko and I are quite off the “traditional” route. As much as I love the tradition of Sashiko, what I do (Sashiko Denim) and what Keiko does (combination of many colors & types of fabric) are NOT traditional. The Sashiko artisans in my family would not consider them “traditional”. ☆ Keiko’s iconic Jacket, Hitomezashi Jacket, is one example. This is a mixture of her interpretation of Sashiko in 40 years & her artisanship in tradition. Vintage Mud-dye Silk with Sashiko due to the weakness of vintage silk. Her natural dye Sashiko thread will alter its color with the fabric’s history. I can talk about this jacket hours and hours… If one thinks that they know Sashiko by reading a blog article, then it is so sad that they are missing many beautiful aspects of Sashiko. The Japanese rarely call themselves “a master”… A master is a title from someone – not a marketing tool from an artisan themselves. ☆ This 1-year-making Jacket often gets sold out immediately. Or, recent years, She makes one as a backorder. It was my dream to share this in the U.S… so I ordered & will be in the U.S. (when the logistics are better, to avoid lost packages). Sashiko is more than just stitching – it is a culture in a form of simple & mere stitching. (Please do not ask “What is traditional Sashiko, then?”. A tradition cannot be (shouldn’t be) described so easily with words and a few photos). ☆ – – – ☆ 配信でも時々話題に出してた、大島紬（絹）の古布と一目刺しから成る刺し子ジャケット。約12年前、本格的に刺し子に向き合うようになって、「ふぁっ？何やってんの！？」と声が出てしまった作品です。「大島の古布に刺し子をして切るなんて……（コスト考えてる？）」と思ったものです（笑）それでも、同一コンセプトの作品を沢山の方にご覧頂き、在庫は一つも残っておらず、また作ってもすぐにお嫁に行く優秀な子達です。年に1着作れれば良いくらいのスピードではありますが。「刺し子の伝統」からは、実は外れていると思っています。繰り返しますが、絹に刺し子……ですから。でも、伝統を大切にという僕でさえ、伝統の殻は破りたいと思っています。英語で刺し子を見ていて戸惑うのは基礎が全くできていない応用。あぁ、配信がしたいです（愚痴は微妙にTwitterで行っております。 ☆ #Sashiko #Upcycle #SashikoStitching #Hitomezashi #SashikoJacket #NaturalDye #KeikoFutatsuya #JapaneseSilk #SashikoWorkshop #OshimaSilk #RunningStitch #JapaneseSashiko #TraditionalSashiko #刺し子 #一目刺し #刺し子ジャケット
I first discovered sashiko in the United States. Here there is growing popularity and interest in this technique. You can find workshops all over the country, quilting/craft stores are carrying sashiko kits and popular Instagram accounts continue to share and inspire. People are embracing this unique way to mend fabric. You can make mistakes beautiful! The growing trend is sashiko repair on denim. This type of visible mending is a great way to show self-expression while also leading a more sustainable lifestyle.