Sashiko Pattern Preprinted or Transfer Pattern Yourself

I frequently get a common question when I talk about the process of preparing Sashiko project. “Which is better, to get Sashiko Pattern Preprinted Fabric or to transfer patterns oneself?”

My answer is always on the one with transferring pattern by yourself. Why? It is simply more fun when you have better control on your own Sashiko project. Sashiko isn’t only about stitching. It is about making your own favorite item with stitching your own preferable patterns. Therefore, I recommend learning how to transfer the Sashiko pattern onto your fabric. It isn’t difficult at all.

 

Easiness of Sashiko Pattern Preprinted Fabric

At the same time, however, I understand it seems like easy to just purchase the Sashiko Pattern Preprinted fabric. You can start stitching right after your package arrives.

There are many options available in the market. Especially for those with Japanese semantics patterns are very popular. When we had a shop in Japan, it was one of the best-selling items in the DIY section. Upcycle Stitches LLC carries some Sashiko Pattern Preprinted Fabric, too. Regardless of my preference or recommendation, I would like to follow the customers’ need.

 

Please do not ignore, however, that it is quite simple to transfer the pattern on the fabric. Although it may take a bit of practice to make it neat, the practice will be rewarding in your long journey with Sashiko.

 

Upcycle Stitches provide the tutorials online

Well. Yes. It may be easy for me to say it. I understand your worries.

Therefore, I uploaded a free online tutorial video how to transfer the Sashiko pattern onto the fabric. In the video, I introduce all the necessary materials to process it. Upcycle Stitches even sell the DIY kit for the practice of transferring the pattern with a reasonable budget.

Once you get used to it and keep the essential items in your box, it is completely up to your imagination to have Sashiko pattern on your Sashiko project. I want you to enjoy the freedom and the result with it.

 

 

 

Silk Screen the pattern for the bigger project.

 

The more I introduce Sashiko among my workshop participants, the more we understand the needs for Sashiko Pattern preprinted Fabric. Therefore, Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya and I start considering to invest into silk screen printing. This allows us to prepare a bulk number of pre-printed fabric for customers without adding enormous variable (labor) cost.

 

It is, however, going to be a big investment, and we would sincerely appreciate your support on our Patreon page. You will get the exclusive deals there, too. Also, we would like to know what kind of patterns would suit to the U.S. market. Would you prefer the traditional geometric patterns? Or something I like such as Kamon family patterns? I wouldn’t make the picture based patterns since the customers’ preferences would vary a lot.

 

  • A.Traditional Geometric Pattern

Sashiko Pattern Preprinted 2

  • B.Kamon Japanese Family Pattern

Sashiko Pattern Preprinted 3

 

 

 

Please let us know by leaving the comment. Which do you like better? Geometric or Kamon?

 

 

Sashiko Stitched Fabric Discount 3

Patreon Special Offer| Sashiko Stitched Fabric Discount

Our goal is to introduce what Sashiko is. In order to achieve the goal, we share the sashiko fabric we stitched in the market. At the same time, however, we understand the Sashiko stitched fabric are expensive materials to get for your projects. Although we believe the pricing is reasonable, I decided to offer the special Sashiko Stitched Fabric Discount in order to spread our Sashiko Fabric across the world. I hope you will have a chance to enjoy the combination of Japanese textile (Usually, we use the Japanese vintage fabric) and beautiful our Sashiko stitching (Mostly, we use our Natural Dye Sashiko Thread).

Before the discount. I want to share our situation.

In order to achieve our goal to introduce Sashiko, ideally speaking, I would like us to focus on just Sashiko.

Not only working on our Sashiko projects but also creating more Sashiko tutorials and even writing a book within a good timing manner would be critical to introduce what Sashiko is to the world. However, unfortunately, we are not able to focus on these tasks because of financial situation. Keiko sometimes gets the part-time job for some necessary expense. Atsushi works on other jobs to get some cash.

Then we found this website called Patreon.

 

I would like to offer up to 40% discount on our Sashiko Stitched Fabric Swatches for those who understand what we are trying to achieve. I will enrich the contents of the Patreon page to share our goals and dreams. You can be our supporters (patrons) with $1 per month. Please consider to support us and enjoy the big discount we ever offer.  I sincerely appreciate your consideration, and contribution, in advance.Sashiko Stitched Fabric Discount

 

Details of Sashiko Stitched Fabric Discount

*This discount offer applied to only the supporters on our Patreon Page. The detail of discount is here.

I offer up to 40% discount based on the effort you would make to introduce Sashiko to the world. Please contact me through Patreon so I will issue the coupon directly to you.

 

 

Some of the effort you could do help us is…

  1. Be a patron on our Patreon Page. If you plan to purchase threads from us, we have a great deal for you as well.
  2. Use the fabric you purchased to your project, and share the photo with us. Any kinds of the project are fine such as Denim Mending, Frame the Fabric as the art, and making a small bag or cloth. 
  3. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, & Youtube (if you haven’t done yet)

 

Thank you very very much!!

Sashiko and Animism 1

Sashiko and Animism | Power of thoughts

Well. Don’t freak out by the title of “Sashiko and Animism”. It is still the website to introduce Sashiko.

I do not want to talk about specific religions here. However, the more I try to explain what Sashiko really is in English, the more I feel in need to learn about the Japanese culture on its beliefs. The Japanese believed that Yaoyorozu no Kami (八百万の神 – Eight million deities) reside in Shinrabansho (森羅万象 – all things in nature, the whole of creation). It is a part of Shinto, and I also feel very comfortable with this belief since I was raised in this concept. This Shinto concept is pretty similar to Animism (Not the same, though), so I am writing this article about Sashiko and Animism.

Sashiko isn’t merely a stitching after all

I believe that “Sashiko” is not only a product with hand-stitchings, but it is also the process of appreciating the fabric by mending, repairing, strengthening, and decorating. It is as simple as just lines of hand stitches. However, the people put thoughts into the stitching. In fact, it is almost impossible to NOT to put thoughts into it over several hours, sometimes several days and months of Sashiko stitching.

Have you compared the 2 individual Sashiko works done by hand and machine? They are different by look, but even more, they are completely different by something we cannot explain well. As you can imagine, a Sashiko sewing machine can make more even stitches than hand stitching. If the beauty of Sashiko is defined by the size of stitching, a machine would make the better Sashiko work. However, almost everyone thinks that the Sashiko work made by hand have better look before the explanation.

They are different by look, but even more, they are completely different by something we don’t explain well. As you can imagine, a Sashiko sewing machine can make more even stitches than hand stitching. If the beauty of Sashiko is defined by the size of stitching, a machine would make the better Sashiko work. However, almost everyone thinks that the Sashiko work made by hand have better look before the explanation. The beauty in imperfection? Yes, possible. However, I cannot stop thinking there is more of logics we can think of.

 

Therefore, I would like to link Sashiko to the concept of Animism a little bit. It was a bit challenging to relate Sashiko and Animism. However, the more I research about the link, I feel like I was supposed to write this article before investing my time to promote what Sashiko is. The concept of Sashiko and Animism can be the core of my activities.

Again I am not talking about the specific religion. I am talking about the power of our thoughts. 

 

Sashiko and Animism

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, the Animism’s definition is:

the belief that all natural things, such as plants, animals, rocks, and thunder, have spirits and can influence human events 

(http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/animism) / No formal connection to Sashiko and Animism

 

This definition is very similar to Shinto the Japanese believed in a long time ago.

Sashiko’s origin comes from poverty and poor infrastructure. The Japanese couldn’t get enough materials to make the new clothes, and therefore they used the same fabric over and over. In the process of repairing, however, I do not think the Japanese were miserable about repairing their fabrics. Everyone around them did the same thing. The poor infrastructure means everyone in the area, except those who are exceptionally rich, had to go through the same lifestyle. They shared the same culture and life customs.

 

Instead of feeling miserable, Sashiko stitchers thought of the family or friends who would wear the fabric and clothes like husband and children. A husband working hard outside to provide the family, children keep helping the house chores. I believe the people thought of their family’s happiness when they stitched. These thoughts and love create the better Sashiko pieces. Boro is the ultimate sample of these thoughts. There is a spirit in a Sashiko work after repeatedly stitched, mended, repaired and patchworked.

*Although we value Boro as the art piece in the 21st century, there is a history that the Japanese felt shame on having Boros in their house because Boro & Patchworked indicated the poorness of the family. Regardless, I believed that the people thoughts of their family when they made Sashiko stitching.

 

No matter how poor the human is, the human never gives up on fashion. I believe the clothes and fashion is one of the biggest factors to differentiate human from animals.

Power of Thoughts we have

When I receive a piece of Sashiko work from my mother, Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya, I always feel nostalgia. It could be because I was born in the Sashiko fabric & Sashiko family. At the same time, I feel, it is because she is making Sashiko works to surprise me. She always asks my opinion when she starts the new Sashiko project. I feel like every time she try to complete the project, her goal is to impress me.

Thinking of someone is a strong process in the concept of Animism. If a piece of fabric has a soul in it, the warm thoughts to wish someone’s well-being can make the soul more embraced. In different religion, the thoughts would be renamed to “pray”, “grace”, “worship” and so on. (You may know about this better.)

Sashiko and Animism

Some of my workshop participants left a great comment (kind of as a testimony) after trying our Boro-Jacket on. They said that they feel someone is protecting them by wearing it. I believe it is not exaggerating description of Power of Thoughts.

 

I don’t want you to be scared of me saying Sashiko and Animism. It isn’t about religion at all. It is about the care we can put into the fabric. An appreciation to something we have already.

 

Isn’t it what we need in this world now?

On top of Sashiko and Animism, here is the reason I came to write this article. A bit of my history until today.

 

I wasn’t ready until I experience difficulty in my life

 

When I was a child with Sashiko around me, I simply didn’t like the idea someone can decide my life; that I had to take over the family business. I didn’t like Sashiko.

When my father asked me to join the family business for restructuring the business to somewhat viable for employees and stuff, I focused on numbers. Sashiko was a form of merchandise and the values of Sashiko were purely calculated by the profit margin.

After March 2011, the big earthquake in Northeast Japan, I learned that Sashiko can help people throughout supporting the Sashiko project in Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture. The practice of Sashiko can encourage, motivate, and even energize the people’s life. Ever since I discovered that Sashiko becomes more than a business or family tradition. I strongly believed that passing the culture of Sashiko down to the next generation is my lifetime mission. Until my father, unfortunately, passed away in 2013.

Once other stakeholders of company kicked us out from the company, I understood moving on to my new life without Sashiko would be my fate. I moved to the US, where my wife worked and became a stay at home father (homemaker). Honestly, I am very happy to be a father of beautiful child Leona. As the result, I moved on from Sashiko. I thought I would never see Sashiko. Sashiko brings too many good and bad memories.

In summer 2014, my mother asked me if I would be willing to help her to start a Sashiko project. Unlike me trying to get a new life without Sashiko, my mother couldn’t live a life without Sashiko. She wanted to make Sashiko artworks, but her financial situation didn’t allow her to purchase vintage fabric or invest into Natural Dye Sashiko Thread. As long as we ran a project a business, she could have enough money to keep making what she wants. Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya started as the way to encourage Keiko to enjoy making Sashiko artworks financially and emotionally. She loves doing Sashiko for someone who she cares, and someone who she hopes to meet in future.

A little bit of care is what we need now, isn’t it?

And I believe that it is what we need in this work now. A little bit of care, each other.

 

Speed is very important to be successful in this society. Everything goes very fast. Fast food, fast fashion, everything seems to be, supposed to be Fast. When you wear a cloth, you would not know “who” made it. You would know the brand, but you would not see who designed it. In fast fashion, mass-produced and mass consumption world, the person who tailored your cloth wouldn’t know who would wear.

 

I just want to change it a bit.

You do not have to know who made what you wear. However, I want you to know that the person who made your jacket cared the person who would be wearing it. They put a lot of good thoughts into it. I am not talking about us being positive all the time. We do make Sashiko when we feel grumpy. Even grumpiness is a form of thoughts. The importance here is a soul existing in the fabric and it reacts to these thoughts. Any kinds of reaction would be good because it will make us feel a lot more “being-cared”.

 

I believe the antonym of Love is not Hate. When you hate someone, you put thoughts into him/her. You still care of him/her so you hate. I believe “Ignorance” is the opposite word of Love. When you don’t care for the person, you do not love him/her at all.

 

Sashiko and Animism 3

 

We want to spread the culture to appreciate what you have and what you will have, with forming a little bit of care. And this is the reason I would like to spread Sashiko. Why don’t you spend a little time of 30 minutes to mend, repair, or decorate a fabric that your loving one may use in the future? The 30 minutes you would spend with caring the person is exactly Sashiko and the culture I would like to introduce to the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contemporary Boro 001_5

Contemporary Boro | By Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya

The word of “Contemporary Boro” may confuse you a bit. But let me try to explain.

Boro is a type of Japanese textile that has been mended and/or patched together over and over. The appearance of Boro implies that the textile is old and very used, like a torn rag. Therefore, I initially thought the combination of words, contemporary (current/new) and Boro, might confuse the audience. Boro is the result of repetition of stitching over time found in from the past. The Japanese, who lived in a small village surrounded by mountains, had to repair the fabric by hand-stitching because of limited resources. They didn’t have enough money or logistics to get the new fabric from the market. In other words, they had to repair instead of replacing the fabric. They patch a hole one fabric, then kept using it. When they find another hole, they patched it or mend it. The repetition of hand-stitching repairing made a great art piece, and it is called Boro.

*Boro in Japanese means a completely torn rag textile. Sometimes it means “No Use.”

 

Introducing the word of Contemporary Boro is one of our challenges to share the beauty of Sashiko. We believe that Boro artworks by Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya will wide-open the possibility of Boro Art.

 

Contemporary Boro 001_1
BORO_001US (Keiko Futatsuya)
Contemporary Boro 002_2
BORO_002US
Contemporary Boro 001_2 Contemporary Boro 002_1
Contemporary Boro 001_3 Contemporary Boro 002_5
Contemporary Boro 001_4 Contemporary Boro 004
Contemporary Boro 001_5 Contemporary Boro 002_3
Contemporary Boro 001_6 Contemporary Boro 002_6

 

 

 

Contemporary Boro For Sale

 

These are the Boro Artworks created (mended, repaired, patched and stitched) in 2017 by Keiko Futatsuya’s hands. Keiko mended holes on the big torn Boro fabric, which will not function as textile, and patched the other small swatches of Boros into the big art piece. Since Keiko performs Sashiko on the Boro in 2017, we call it Contemporary Boro. Although there are numbers of beautiful Boros in the antique markets, it is rare to have a Boro art piece repaired in 2017, by hand-stitching as the Japanese used to do in 19 century. Keiko is a Sashiko artist who can recreate the Boro. It is my pleasure to introduce Keiko and her works to the world.

 

Enjoy Clean Boro hand-stitched in 2017

 

Sometimes, a piece of Boro art can be dirty and dusty. It is no wonder because the Boro may have been kept in the storage room for many years. However, there is a problem of cleaning Boro. Since no one touched the boro for many years, some parts of Boro fabric is completely damaged and the washing process, even gentle hand wash, can destroy the Boro piece. From time to time, the dirt function as the adhesive and washing makes the boro into pieces.

 

We know that from experience

We purchased a 100+ years old rain jacket from an antique market. They used to make a rain jacket by inserting water-resistant paper in between fabrics. They made 3 layers of fabric-paper-fabric to make the water resisting cloth. This is the fact we learned after we purchased and washed it. By washing the piece we purchased, the weight become 1/3 of the original fabric. The water-resistant paper and other damaged fabric were washed away with the dirt on the fabric.

 

The Contemporary Boro we introduce is washable. We repeatedly washed the original Boro, then mended and repaired as the Japanese used to do. The fabric may be very fragile, but not dirty or dusty. In fact, we believe the true value of Boro can be found in usage in daily life. We think this boro can be a great wall-decor, but also you may use it as home-decor like a table runner or placemat for flower vase. Again, it is washable. (Please wash gently with hand).

 

We don’t know how many these Contemporary Boros we can make throughout our lives. However, we are working on collecting the boro pieces and mending them to introduce more of these beautiful artwork we are proud of.