My Sashiko Story _ Cover

My Sashiko Story | 1. Care & Respect to others

It is my great honor that you are reading this article from millions of articles about Sashiko. I decided to write how I think about Sashiko as my Sashiko Story.

In 2017, I started introducing Sashiko in earnest. You may have seen some of my achievements on Youtube, Japanese TV Channel, or other online media including this website. My goal is to share what Sashiko is to pass down the culture of Sashiko to the next generation. As much as I would like to share “how” to do Sashiko, I also would like to introduce “why” we do Sashiko. Here is a series of my Sashiko Story.

 

Caring. The core of My Sashiko Story

 

Sashiko is (was) an ordinary daily work for the ordinary Japanese people.

I believe that the Japanese moved their needles with thinking about their family, especially those who would wear the Jacket outside. Sashiko was developed because of their poverty. The Japanese in the rural village didn’t have enough fabric to make the new Jacket for husbands. Instead of the wives make the clean, strong and neat Jacket for them, they repaired with their needle works, with caring the health and wellbeing of loving one.

 

We still do not have the sold definition for Sashiko (& Boro).

As long as my understanding goes, Sashiko is a form of simple needlework & process of stitching, then Boro is a result of repeating Sashiko. In other words, Sashiko is a process of caring others and appreciating what we have. Boro is a gift from these caring. Even small decorative stitches make me warm since I know someone hand stitch it.

*The Boro facebook Group I joined gave me an opportunity to think about it, and it is the reason I am writing my sashiko story.

 

It is not so much important “how” Sashiko items or Boro were made.

I like Sashiko because I can see the “care” people put into it. They had a good reason to enjoyed, or simply did, Sashiko for someone, or for themselves.

 

Of course, Sashiko is not all about beautiful stories. Above, I cut slice a beautiful part of Sashiko & Boro culture, which is “Appreciate and Care.” In contrast, there are many stories which include human-like feeling such as “greed” “envy” and “shame”, but I understand many cultures have both aspects. I will introduce some of the stories from both aspects accordingly.

 

Regardless, we do not have much “reasons” to “repair” in 2018. It is economically reasonable to purchase new fabric than repairing them. It is much efficient to use a sewing machine than making a hand-stitching. I would like to share the stories of why we enjoy Sashiko stitching as well as how to enjoy Sashiko stitching more.

 

It is all about “mending.”

This is from my Instagram Live Streaming in Japanese.

I talk a lot on many topics, but one of the topics I realized while I was actually saying is what we do throughout Sashiko is all about “mending”.

 

The Japanese used to do Sashiko to fulfill the needs of fabrics. It was to mend their cloth.

We now enjoy Sashiko to fulfill something we are losing. It is to mend our mind.

 

I believe the Japanese in the past also enjoyed Sashiko to fulfill something mindfulness. It is not a discussion of Black or White, which is more Western way of thinking. The Japanese appreciate the thinking of “Gray” which we call “中道{Chu-do- | the middle way)”. The way of thinking without dualism. Therefore, I keep saying there isn’t such a thing as “Right” or “Wrong” in Sashiko.

 

After all, it is all about respect to others.

 

My Sashiko Story _ Respect

 

Alright. There is no Right or Wrong in Sashiko. Well… Then, you may question yourself that:

If there is no Right or Wrong, we can do whatever we want in Sashiko and Boro?

 

The answer is Yes. You may do whatever you would like to by using your creativity and passion.

I respect and appreciate all of the translators, interpreters, and practitioners of Sashiko in many places all over the world. I enjoy some unique interpretation of Sashiko culture. Some of the work inspires me in making my Sashiko arts. As Sashiko wasn’t for anyone, even in 2018, Sashiko is not owned by anyone and we can do whatever we would like to do.

 

One thing, however, I would like to share is that the Sashiko is developed based on the concept of “respect,” especially for those who practiced Sashiko for a long time. In other words, I would like to share how important it is to respect the tradition.

 

A person may interpret however she/he wants to and do Sashiko.

However, the result will be very different if he knows and respects the tradition behind it.

 

It goes to the “Sashiko Industries”, too.

There are many suppliers, manufacturers, and businesses jumping into the Sashiko Market. Every time there is a “hand-craft” trend, they start creating the products line-up. However, when the boom is gone, they also take these items down since it wouldn’t be economically viable. I do not feel the respect from these suppliers.

Instead of those suppliers, I want Sashiko practitioners to be smart customers in purchasing and getting the products. Unfortunately, because of us being so mindless, many good Japanese traditional artisans had to close their operations. It is mainly because they didn’t have enough customers to pass their operation down to next generation.

 

It is an on-going process.

The long-established artisans are getting old, and most of them do not have the next person who takes over their traditions. We, as a Sashiko family business, is one of that. I had thought of closing our business so many times. I am only able to offer the service and products thanks to my family, and a Sashiko genius, my mother Keiko Futatsuya.

 

Sashiko is not only about “how to stitch” but also “how we would like to keep the culture”, I believe.

I respect, and sincerely appreciate the people who are part of our activities in Japan. They are all great in their tradition, and without them, I don’t think I can keep my Sashiko journey. Thread manufacture, Needle manufacture, Textile artisans, Dye artisans, and much more people who respect each other, and most importantly respect themselves.

 

I would like to welcome you to this beautiful, caring community, throughout Sashiko stitching.

My Sashiko Story will continue. Thank you for reading,

 

Link to other my Sashiko Story:

  1. Care & Respect Others

 

A Sashiko Thread Secret | Reward your time

I have been introducing how great our collection of Sashiko Threads are. However, I just realized I haven’t explained well “why” they are so good from the perspective of the actual thread. Here is a secret recipe for you to enjoy Sashiko Stitching more. A Sashiko Thread Secret, presented by Atsushi.

 

A list of articles I wrote about Sashiko Thread.

 

 

Comparison of Sashiko Thread

A Sashiko Thread Secret.

Our Sashiko thread consists of 4 embroidery flosses in unique twist strands.

In a photo, you can see the 4 thin thread after I un-twisted them a bit. This twist creates rich stitches on the fabric after stitching. It is the specialty of Sashiko thread, and here is a Sashiko Thread Secret.

 

Sashiko Thread Secret 33

 

What is different from our Sashiko Thread and regular sewing thread?

Here is a photo of sample stitching we made.

From top to bottom,

  1. Double thread of Coron Sashiko Thread | When we need the strong stitches
  2. Regular thread of Coron | Most common method.
  3. Half thread of Coron | Rarely. When you use the thin, fragile fabric such as vintage silk.
  4. A regular sewing machine thread.

 

Sashiko Thread Secret

 

As you can see, even the half of regular Sashiko thread is thicker than the regular sewing machine thread.

You may use any kinds of thread in Sashiko, but there is a reason why we keep using the great Sashiko thread.

 

 

Color Variations will keep you motivated

Including Natural Dye and synthetic dye, we have more than 50 colors of thread available for you.

Most of the threads are Mono-single colored Sashiko thread, but we have a few Natural Dye variegated Sashiko thread as well as 5 choices of synthetic dyed variegated Sashiko Thread. We believe that these 50 colors of the thread will satisfy the need to be creative in general Sashiko projects.

 

Sashiko Thread Secret Mono

Sashiko Thread Bulk Discount 2

Sashiko Thread Secret Variegated
Kakishibu Dyed Thread Covor 2 First Indigo Dyed Sashiko Thread 1

 

Sashiko Thread Secret = A desire to have good stitches

The Japanese in poverty probably didn’t have the Sashiko thread like the one we had. Sashiko is a culture developed in a poor economy, and they even twisted their thread by themselves. Overtime, some long-lasting thread company invested their time and capital to come up with the great thread for Sashiko purposes. We have been using the Sashiko thread from Coron Manufactures more than 30 years.

In the Sashiko Thread secret, I see a desire and a hope that Japanese wished to have to have good stitches on the results.

 

Therefore, I want you to enjoy the great Sashiko thread, simply because they are available for you with reasonable prices.

Get the good Sashiko thread from the traditional company, then reward the time you invested in Sashiko.

 

 

Blue Natural Sashiko Thread Cover

Purple & Blue Natural Sashiko Thread

Another update of our beautiful “hand-dyed” Natural Sashiko Thread. This time, we are offering purple and blue natural Sashiko Thread.

Keiko Futatsuya, the Sashiko artist as well as Natural Dye artist, successfully continues her Natural Dye with “Logwood” and “Lac Dye.” Including “Tangala,” these 3 requires attentive process to keep offering the similar colors to provide with the same color numbers. We dye about 10 skeins of Sashiko thread every dye pots. Since Sashiko thread are hand-dyed with Natural Dyes, the color outcome is slightly different. However, we succeeded to come up with the “similar-enough” colors to provide as the product.

 

Just stunning Natural Blue and Purple.

 

We are proud of offering so many varieties of natural dyedSashiko Thread including Indigo & Kakishibu. They are just stunning colors.

They are all available on this website.

Blue Natural Sashiko Thread

Blue Natural Sashiko Thread

Blue is one of the most difficult colors to dye. The Japanese blue with Natural Indigo is the most famous and popular color. We try to come up with other blue, which is a bit different from Bold Indigo Blue, with Logwood. This color requires multiple steps to succeed. Enjoy the kind Blue only Nature create.

Blue Natural Sashiko Thread Cover

 

 

Purple Natural Sashiko Thread

Stabilizing the Purple color from Lacdye was one of the biggest challenges in 2017. We had so many shades of Lac Dye (and therefore so many numbers assigned), and then finalize the story with 4 shades available for sale. Enjoy these miracle purple.

 

 

Beige and Gray Natural Sashiko Thread

Besides Purple and Blue, beige and gray are important colors in Sashiko Stitching. Logwood and Tangala happen to create the beautiful beige and gray by using the different catalyst.

Enjoy these natural colors to match your Sashiko project.

 

 

 

Sashiko Workshop Spring 2018

Sashiko Workshop Spring 2018 | Sashiko Stitching!

I am so happy to announce that I offer another Sashiko Workshops in New York City, Manhattan Tribeca Neighboorhood. If you are interested, please register yourself on the detail information page here | Sashiko Workshop Spring 2018 here.

 

 

The best way to start & review Sashiko

 

Sashiko Workshop Spring 2018 _ Cover 1

 

There are several Sashiko books and tutorials available in the market. I also offer some online tutorials on our Youtube Channel.

However, the best way to start and review Sashiko is to see how the Sashiko (repair) artist do Sashiko every day. Sashiko was too ordinary for Japanese people to establish the structure. Therefore, we can see many types of Sashiko from many communities in Japan. The common concept is that the Japanese developed Sashiko to repair, strength, mend, and decorate fabric with appreciation.

 

Since there is no such a thing as “Right” and “Wrong” in Sashiko, it can be confusing to learn.

Atsushi offers what is the best way to keep enjoying Sashiko in terms of its technique, supplies, and tips to increase “enjoyment” in your Sashiko. Unless you are absolutely 100% confident in using Sashiko needle & thimble, the workshop will be a great opportunity to start & review Sashiko.

On our Youtube Channel, you can see how we use the Sashiko Needle & Thimble.

 

 

Sashiko Workshop Spring 2018 | Next is Summer 2018

 

Sashiko Workshop Spring 2018

 

My schedule for May and June is pretty packed already.

The possible Sashiko Workshop in NYC is at the end of July or in August. Since I do not live in NYC, I can offer the workshops only a few times a year. I offer an option to have the private workshop, but joining the workshops in NYC will be the easiest and cheapest option among my offers.

 

It will be nice Spring day (hopefully) in NYC.

If it is a sunny day, stitching time on the balcony may be available. The host of the workshop may be able to offer this beautiful surprise. Please do not miss this great opportunity to enjoy Sashiko Stitching with Atsushi.

 

Please be noted that your registration is required to attend the workshop.

Thank you & I am looking forward to meeting you there.

 

Private Sashiko Workshop Cover

Private Sashiko Workshop | Bring Sashiko to your group.

Are you interested in Sashiko Workshop and cannot find the appropriate the instructor/expert? Atsushi can offer you and your group a customized Private Sashiko Workshop.

 

I offer a regular series of Sashiko Workshops In Manhattan, TriBeCa Neighboorhood, a few times a year.

At the same time, depending on the condition, I can arrange a private Sashiko workshop for your quilting guild, patchwork community, and friends groups. Since I offer the Private Sashiko Workshop for you and your group, I can customize the contents of the workshop with communication to your needs.

 

Please contact Atsushi for your needs with expecting the possible fee referring the “Fee Sample” below.

 

Private Sashiko Workshop

 

Fee Sample of Private Sashiko Workshop

 

 

Base Fee | Standard Rate

Instructor Fee: $100 per hour

Materials Fee: $60.00 per participant

Single Arrangement Fee: $50

If a private Sashiko Workshop is a regular 3 hours length one with 6 participants, the total fee will be $710 USD/About $120 per person ($300 for 3 hours + $60 for a material fee to each participant + $50 arrangement fee). Single Arrangement Fee will be waived if I can offer more than 2 regular 3-hours length workshop or a 6 hours-length workshop.

The Material fee will be waived or discounted if a participant had purchased our Sashiko Starter Kit and bring it to the workshop.

Please prepare the space for the workshop on your responsibility. Also, I would ask you to cover the necessary expense for traveling and accommodations.

 

Case 1 | 2 of regular Sashiko Workshop

 

For regular Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic), I have a workshop size preference.

Workshop Size Preference: 6 Ideal, 4 minimum, 8 Maximum.

Workshop Duration: 3 hours

Workshops in a day: Up to 3 times.

 

This is the standard case for me to offer the best Sashiko Workshop for up to 24 people in a day.

 

Case 2 | 1 Long Sashiko Workshop

Workshop Size Preference: 12 Ideal, 7 minimum, 16 Maximum.

Workshop Duration: 6 hours

Workshops in a day: Up to 2 times.

If a group size is more than 16 and would like to take the workshop all together, 6 hours extended workshop may be the better idea. The contents are the same. I will spend more time focusing on each student throughout the 6 hours.

 

 

Private Sashiko Workshop Bags

 

If you are a single member or a small group.

 

I understand there are many people who are interested in taking my Sashiko workshops, but not in a group of quilting and patchworking to have me at your place. There are a few things you can do to take my Sashiko workshop with reasonable price.

1. Make a plan to visit where Atsushi lives | Lewisburg, PA 17837

I live in the central part of Pensylvania. If you can make a visit to the city of Lewisburg, I can arrange the private Sashiko workshop for you with the price of $135 ~ $250 per person including the materials, depending on your request. The extra fee may apply for the place to offer the workshop. I do not mind offering the Sashiko workshop in your hotel room if you plan to stay overnight. I am open to any suggestion & possibility.

2. Join a local needlework group and propose the idea of having me there.

I can offer the Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core and Basic) regularly in TriBeCa, hugely thanks to my supporters. Please consider to join the local needlework, patchwork, quilting or hand-crafting group and guild and propose them to have me in your city. If your group can be a good supporter of my activity, then I can offer the multiple Sashiko Workshops in your city like I do in Tribeca, NYC.

3. Take the Online Workshop

With many requests from all over the world, I am developing the Online-Sashiko Workshop.

It is very challenging since my workshop style includes actual re-positioning your hands by holding yours. I am a bit uneasy if I can deliver the same quality workshop to the participants over the web. I will update the information once it is ready to offer.

 

Please contact me when you are ready to have me

Private Sashiko Workshop Pin CUSHION

 

I sincerely appreciate the increase of interest in Sashiko Stitching and my Sashiko Workshop.

I used to say, “please feel free to contact me with any small questions!” Although I feel the same, the increase of contacts which ended up with not receiving the reply made me write this. Please contact me when you are ready to have me.

 

It is perfectly fine if the workshop doesn’t work out because of a scheduling conflict. I understand that.

However, not getting a reply after scheduling myself causes troubles and it may negatively affect the possibility of keep offering the workshop. I usually make a reply within a day. Please try to be on the track if you decided to contact me.

 

I have had 3 cases without ANY replies within a week… I am sorry for whining. 

 

 

 

Thank you for your understanding & I am looking forward to offering the “100% satisfaction received” Sashiko Workshop.

 

Buy Sashiko Thread Cover

Why you want to Buy Sashiko Thread from us

I have been feeling a boom in Sashiko stitching recently. Especially in 2018, there are more search in terms of Sashiko, and increase in inquiries and questions. Other retail stores online started offering our Coron Sashiko Thread as well. Although the competition in popular products is a healthy economic activity, let me share the reason why you want to buy Sashiko Thread, or any other Sashiko related materials, from us, Upcycle Stitches.

 

Learn about our Sashiko Thread

 

Buy Sashiko Thread = Be part of our Sashiko Community

 

I am a single member LLC to offer Sashiko tutorials, Sashiko services, and merchandise sales in the United States. As of now, I am able to answer all the questions within a day or so, but when the demands increase, I will have to prioritize in answering the questions and inquiries. Since I do not know anyone who is as knowledgeable as I am regarding Sashiko AND can speak/write English, the process of following up to the Sashiko questions is the job only I can do. It is not a job I can outsource.

 

At the same time, I have a goal of sharing the concept & technique of Sashiko to as many people as possible.

One of the process to achieve these goals is to offer “free online video tutorials” and “Sashiko articles to answer the possible questions. ” Although I have a pile of free information available, it is, of course, assuring to have someone answering the questions. I am here for that, and I probably need to prioritize the questions in future.

 

 

Buy Sashiko Thread | Know Customers

 

I would like to know my customers.

When I receive the order on this website (http://upcyclestitches.com/store), I will know you. That is a very important process for me. I remember who you are, and I will try my best to follow-up with your needs in Sashiko. The customer of our store will be prioritized in receiving my answers. It is fair, right?

 

I have a shop at this website, Etsy, and Amazon.

Either of these is fine to buy Sashiko Thread. This website is the easiest for me to remember you, then Etsy. In order to understand who is buying Sashiko thread on Amazon, you would need to tell me that you had purchased it from our store by confirming with your order number. I believe I am setting the price competitive and reasonable. (Please let me know if you find a store offering the same product with much cheaper price, like 40% cheaper than the price on either store above.)

 

Make sure that YOU know who you are buying Sashiko thread from.

If you understand you buy Sashiko thread from Sashiko professionals or crafting store, then I am not worried. They will answer your questions when you need a help. In this society with the Internet, anyone can be a seller of any kinds of products. I can foresee some sellers joining the Sashiko Thread market when they learn that Sashiko thread is popular. When it happens, please try to understand who you are buying from.

 

Not only you may not get a support after purchase, your action may be discouraging the Sashiko culture.

 

 

Sashiko thread is not only a product for us

It is kind of strange to mention, but we believe that Sashiko thread is a way to connect with the potential Sashiko practitioner. We do not consider it as a mere product to sell. We need to make a living out of Sashiko, so the price is competitive, but again, we believe the pricing is reasonable.

 

We also respect the long-established and traditional manufacturers in Japan, especially those who have been trying to pass down their hand-crafting culture to the next generation. When you purchase our items including Sashiko thread, you are supporting these manufacturers we respect. As a result, my customers are supporting the traditional craft/manufactures in Japan.

 

 

 

Buy Sashiko = Support Sashiko as Culture

Buy Sashiko Thread

 

Again. It may be strange since the goal of “business” is ultimately making a profit.

I have been there and I have done that. If I would like to focus on profit (money), Sashiko is not the best conclusion to work on… all hand-made. How can this be profitable like other capitalistic business?

 

My mother and I talked about it when we “re-start” our Sashiko life.

“When we can make a living with what we like to do, we don’t need millions of dollars to be happy.”

 

We are pretty happy by doing the enjoyable Sashiko we suggest here and there. Now, we would like to protect this beaeutiful culture, including everyone who is in the process of making them. Thread manufactures, textile manufactures, and all the unknown artisans in Japan.

By knowing who you are buying items from, you can support these people instead of spending a 1 penny less on some random sellers.

 

 

Continuous Support & Customer Experience Improvement

 

Asking customers to buy Sashiko thread based on our reasoning is just our side of stories.

We understand it is very important to continuously improve the customer experience. I have been planning to install the “customer loyalty service” so you can get benefit of keep using our store. We are a very small store to share Sashiko items. We remember you as cutomers and we would like to welcome you to our Sashiko Community.

 

Enjoy Sashiko!