If you love cross-stitch, you might love and probably preferred Sashiko sewing to the former once you picked up the skill and techniques of it.
Sashiko is a form of Japanese traditional folk embroidery using a variation of running stitch to create a patterned background. The geometric patterns include straight or curved lines of stitching arranged in a repeated pattern. Interesting, both the front and back of the Sashiko piece will form the same neat pattern with no trace of mess. Sashiko stitching trains and helps the sewist to foster a set of disciplines, consistency and precision, and there are no short cuts to finish it hurriedly with a flippant attitude. In another words, it builds and develops a sewist inner posture and substance in the sewing journey.
Sashiko means “stab stitch” and there are mainly 4 types of stitches and techniques. They are Simple Sashiko; Hitomeizashi; Kogin and Boro, and it has a rich history behind the sewing.
For much of Japan’s Sashiko histor, it was probably developed sometime during the Edo period (1615-1868). By the Meji era (1868-1912), Sashiko has become a well-established technique in Japanese sewing. Hand-stitch Sashiko is the Japanese way of sewing that reflects much of the Japanese culture and history.
A long sharp Sashiko needle is a magic wand, a tool of salvage that produces beauty, beauty and economy. You need the right fabric, thread and needle for a start. With regular stitches and precise use of space in the sewing techniques, Sashiko is very pleasing to the eyes, and definitely a piece of gorgeous art.
Sashiko crafts are good for home or office decor; coasters; cushion covers; pouches, table mats, table runners, and the list goes on. I am having fun exploring Sashiko sewing and crafted them into different handmade items. Below was a Sashiko piece done in Hitomeizashi stitch and crafted into a tote bag.
I love the concluding part mentioned by Susan Fletcher in “A Threaded Needle.” No matter which style you stitch, and no matter how “authentic” or how “creative” you are in your practice of these techniques, when you Sashiko stitch, take a moment to remember that you are sharing a long history of sewing among women in Japan. The thread and needle, and the cloth you hold, they connect you to the Japanese history.
Keen to learn Sashiko Sewing or customised a piece? Drop me a message to find out more.
“Sashiko history” information extracted from Ultimate Sashiko Source Book – Susan Briscoe; Miho Takechui Studio – Studio Aka and Seamwork.