Sashiko Mending Tutorials

Sashiko Mending Tutorials | Upcycle and Repurpose

This is a summary of Sashiko Mending Tutorials collaborating to Sashiko techniques that I occasionally practice on my Sashiko Mending projects.

[Last Edited on October 2018]


I have offered several “Sashiko Mending Workshop” in 2017. I believe it was a great success to share my ideas, insights, and techniques for Sashiko Mending. However, at the same time, I felt the difficulty of providing the generalized workshop with the theme of Sashiko Stitching. Sashiko Mending is more like the “independent study” rather than the learning and workshop opportunity. I provided the space, the swatches with Sashiko Stitching on, and on-going, face to face, hands-on workshop. I just wanted to have more time for each individual the more I offer the Sashiko Mending Workshop.

Therefore, I stop offering the Sashiko Mending Workshop. I may restart offering it again, but I will not offer it until the day I can be confident to myself that I programmed the workshop so comprehensive and organized as the “Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic)” or “Sashiko Hitomezashi Workshop“.


One of the most challenging aspects of Sashiko Mending Workshop was that we, as the Japanese stitcher, do not understand what the participants in the US expect us to teach in the workshop. It seems that we practice a lot of techniques without realizing that they are special. Some of the ordinary techniques I do not even try to teach is sometimes the things what the students want to have.


Therefore, I do offer the Private Sashiko Mending Workshop by adjusting myself to the student’s expectation.


Please contact me to set up the private workshop after reading this summary of Sashiko Mending Tutorials. You may find the answer you need without having a private session with me. Also, if you find any technique that I use yet has not explained in this blog, please let me know via comments or emails so I can cover them.


Summary of Sashiko Mending Tutorials


Main 2 approaches to the mending

The goal of Sashiko Mending is to prolong the life of your favorite garment by covering the holes and making the fabric stronger by doing Sashiko stitching. I usually start with thinking that which approach would be the best for the mending project.

  1. Patch it over the hole or torn part, and hide the damage.
  2. Patch it from the back side and show the damage yet protecting it


It is, of course, possible to do Sashiko stitching without patching the fabric. However, with considering the original goal of Sashiko stitching of prolonging the life of the garment, I prefer to have the swatch to patch on, either from the front or the back of the garment. The patch is necessary when the garment is too damaged or the hole is relatively big. I enjoy Sashiko stitching without the patch when the garment is still strong (lightly used) so the fabric itself can be strong by performing the Sashiko Stitching.


Preparation | Sashiko Fabric

I usually prepare the swatch with Sashiko stitching before the mending. Here are 2 reasons why I do not use the plain fabric for the Sashiko mending.

  1. To make a piece of swatch more strong and durable: There is a reason the garment get damaged significantly or even a hole. The place you need to mend is the place where a lot of stress (friction, stretch, and external tension) happens. We can foresee that it will get damaged a lot. Therefore, making the swatch strong before the mending is a very logical process.
  2. Simply, the stitched Sashiko fabric is beautiful. Although the primary goal of Sashiko Mending is not decoration, it is always good to have the beautiful swatch either on the top of the hole or showing a part of stitching from the back.



I usually follow these steps for the Sashiko Mending. A simplified list of Sashiko Mending Tutorials.

  1. Trim the edge of the prepared swatch, if necessary or as you wish.
  2. Position and fix the swatch on the garment by using pins or clips
  3. perform Basting
  4. Stitching
    1. Simple Running Sashiko Stitch
    2. Matsuri Nui | blind stitching
    3. Kono-Ji-Toji | Invisible Stitch
    4. And many more

*The part (4) is probably well-known as Sashiko Mending. We simply use the hand-sewing techniques to perform Sashiko Mending. I will try to explain each stitching method on Youtube Channel, one by one. Preparing the fabric is deeply related to Sashiko. Also patching the fabric with the simple running stitch or using Hitomezashi is also associated Sashiko.

I believe Sashiko Mending is not only about learning the technique but also understanding and feeling the concept of how the Japanese people enjoyed the mending itself. It is my goal to create the Sashiko Mending tutorials with technique and the mindset (culture) behind it.



Messages throughout Sashiko Mending Tutorials.


Sashiko is getting popular with other keywords such as “Slow Fashion” or “Slow Stitches.” Yes, it is slow in comparison to purchasing the mass-produced cloth from the store. However, by introducing the Sashiko Mending Tutorials, I would like to share that the Japanese didn’t intend to make it “Slow”. Sashiko is an ordinary stitching culture by the ordinary Japanese people in ordinary days.


So here is my message.

Care about Speed. Think of the result. Keep mending because the part you mend will be stronger and the are around get weaker.


Let’s see if our descendants find it valuable as we do for Boro.



Appendix for Sashiko Mending Tutorials


For those who would like to try some swatch of Japanese Denim and Indigo Fabric for Sashiko stitching, we have a set o 3 Japanese denim and 1 Indigo fabric precut for the mending & fabric preparation.





Top 5 Sashiko Tips Cover R

Top 5 Sashiko Tips | Common Misunderstanding

Sashiko is a form of simple hand stitching developed in Japan. It is relatively easy to start, and we can keep enjoying its meditative stitching in various way. Here is top 5 Sashiko Tips to make your Sashiko experience much more comfortable and your Sashiko stitching results more beautiful.


  1. Get Sashiko Thread | Not a thread even with the same thickness
  2. Get the needle to minimize the stress
  3. Don’t pull the needle. Pull the fabric
  4. Make sure to smooth the fabric after stitching
  5. Push the needle instead of making a stitch | Sashiko isn’t about making a stitch


Top 5 Sashiko Tips Details


These top 5 Sashiko tips are based on our 30+ years of experience in Sashiko stitching. Please understand it is not about being right or wrong, or good or bad. The purpose of this blog is to share the tips, not to judge others or yourself.


I cover every Top 5 Sashiko Tips in the Sashiko Stitching Workshop I offer. You may learn the brief summary of these tips here. Enjoy Sashiko!


1. A reason to call it Sashiko Thread

(Get Sashiko Thread | Not a thread even with the same thickness.)


Sashiko thread isn’t defined as Sashiko Thread only by the thickness. The trick is “how the thread is twisted” to form the yarn. Sashiko has a various and different purpose in comparison to the other hand-sewing project. For example, making Kimono requires a completely different thread so-called sewing thread instead of Sashiko Thread.

Any kinds of the thread may make good stitching. However, when you would like to enjoy the whole benefit (original purpose) of Sashiko stitching, we strongly recommend using the Sashiko Thread even if you have the same thickness thread.


*More information about the Purpose of threads is in this blog post.

Why Sashiko Thread | Compare to the other


2. Needle matters

(Get the needle to minimize the stress.)


The selection for the needle is very huge. The cheapest needle can be found by less than a dollar or even less, and the expensive one can be $3~4 dollar a piece (possibly more). For the purpose of regular hand-sewing, any kinds of the needle would work. However, for the better experience of Sashiko stitching, I strongly recommend getting the needle for Sashiko Stitching.

A few topics to consider are below.

  • The length. My favorite length is 51.5 mm.
  • An appropriate size of the needle eye. The big eye may destroy the fabric.
  • The good snap of the needle

Here is my recommendation for the Sashiko Needle


*I have heard that some people sharpen the needle with the small cushion attach to the pincushion in the market. If you purchase the Sashiko Needle from us, DO NOT sharpen your needle unless you feel the dullness of the needle in stitching. The needle is sharpened nicely by professional in the original condition. The process of sharping the needle by yourself will, in fact, make the needle dull. If you enjoy Sashiko stitching a few hours every day for a few months, you may feel the dullness of the needle, then you may use the needle sharpener. At the same time, it can be a good time to change the needle after using that heavily.


3. Pull the fabric, not the needle

When you make numbers of stitches, it can be challenging to pull the needle through the fabric.

The needle is pretty thin, and the thread is pretty thick. The size of the needle and the thread is to avoid destroying the fabric. However, it is a bit more challenging to pull the needle with the thread. There is an eye-opening hint for this. Don’t pull the needle.


To minimize the difficulty, keep this one thing in your mind.

Pull the fabric instead of pulling the needle.


*It is difficult to explain in writing. Please check the video I made.


4. Smoothe the fabric

After making numbers of stitches and pull the needle through, you must make sure to smoothe the fabric. This process is called “Itokoki (=糸こき)” in Japanese. By Itokoki, the thread and fabric match better and avoid the tension on the fabric. Without this process, the fabric may be tensioned or twisted in an unlikable way.

Even I, as the Sashiko professional, I occasionally experience the insufficient Itokoki. To avoid it, I often make loops when I change the stitching direction to avoid the unlikable mistake (like an insurance). → The article about Why Loops?

Why loops in Sashiko Running Stitching


*It is also difficult to explain Itokoki in writing. Please check the video I made.


5. Learn how to push the needle

Sashiko isn’t about making one stitch. It is a movement of the needle to achieve purpose such as repairing, mending, and strengthening the fabric. It is the core of Sashiko to learning how to push the needle with the thimble.


We found that teaching  (& sharing) how to use the thimble and move the needle is quite difficult even with videos. The goal is to share the appropriate method, posture, and movement of the needle with the thimble with us continuously checking your stitching. We would like to make sure the participants understand and master the movement instead of sharing information and spreading the movement we do not intend to. Please consider taking Atsushi’s workshop in NYC or Online Sashiko Workshop.

*The free tutorials are available on our Youtube Channel for those who prefer that way.





I hope you enjoyed this blog post of Top 5 Sashiko Tips.

As I keep mentioning on this website, I believe there isn’t such a thing as “Right Sashiko” and “Wrong Sashiko”. However, there are numbers of tips, techniques, and wisdom that we would like to share to pass down Sashiko. Please share your questions in Comments so I can follow up with more information.


While writing this article, I realize it is quite difficult to share the points just in writing with considering my English ability as the second language. Please enjoy the quick video I made to explain the Top 5 Sashiko Tips




+++++ The script of Youtube just in case my English is difficult to understand

Hello, this is Atsushi. Thank you for watching the Top 5 Sashiko Tips video.
I am happy that many people would like to learn how to do Sashiko beautifully and efficiently. Here are the Top 5 Sashiko Tips to make your Sashiko experience more enjoyable.

1. Get Sashiko Thread.
You may use any kinds of thread for the Sashiko project. However, if you would like to get the same result as we do, then, using the thread designed for the Sashiko purpose is necessary. I had written several articles about the difference of Sashiko thread and the other threads on our website, The main difference is the twist. The Sashiko Thread has the unique twist to be the part of the fabric. The main purpose of Sashiko thread isn’t connecting a few pieces of fabric together, it is to make the fabric stronger.

2. Sashiko Needle
A good quality Sashiko needle can improve the Sashiko stitching by A LOT. My recommendation is.

A. The length of 51.5 mm
B. The small eye to avoid destroying the fabric, yet big enough to accommodate the Sashiko Thread.

Trust me. It is significant.

3. Pull the fabric, not the needle

After making many stitches, you may experience the difficulty to pull the needle through the fabric with the thread. It is understandable because the Sashiko thread we use is pretty thick and the needle eye is quite small.

Here is a tip.
Do not pull the needle. Yes. It sounds strange. You will pull the needle eventually. However, first, try to pull the fabric to get the needle eye through as the video shows. This is one of the reasons I made this video on top of the actual blog post on my website. I hope you get what I am talking about by watching how I do it.

4, The movement of smoothing the fabric.

In my Sashiko workshop, I always tell them to smooth the fabric.
I came to realize that I am not 100% sure if I translated the meaning of words from Japanese to English. Since I cannot find the exact word for that, I will use the Japanese for this movement. It is called “Itokoki.”

Itokoki is the movement of smoothing the fabric to avoid the tensioned fabric like the video shows. It will make your fabric more smooth and beautiful.

5. Unshin

In my opinion, Sashiko is not about making one stitch. Sashiko is about moving the needle, and as the result, making the numbers of stitches. To follow what the Japanese used to practice, understanding and learning the needle movement is important. In Japanese, we call the needle movement, Unshin.

We do Unshin and make numbers of stitches, then make sure that fabric is smooth by doing Itokoki. We repeat the process and create a simple, yet beautiful pattern.

Let’s review Top 5 Sashiko Tips

Getting good Sashiko thread and needle is pretty critical to have the good Sashiko stitching. As I have shared in another video on this channel, the fabric quality is not as significant as the thread and needle. Of course, I prefer the fabric made in Japan following the traditional way. However, a piece of the swatch from Walmart for a couple of bucks was okay for the Sashiko stitching. When the budget is limited, I would allocate more resources for the thread and needle.

This video is for the 3rd and 4th tips in the list of Top 5 Sashiko Tips. In order to explain what Itokoki and how to pull the fabric, I thought it is the best to film myself.

Interestingly, Sashiko is so natural to me and my mother.
So sometimes, we do not realize that something we do very naturally is the answer to someone who started Sashiko stitching.

In fact, the Japanese have an interesting craftmanship that master does not teach how to do the crafting. The students, pupils, or apprentices are supposed to learn by just looking and observing what the master does. So, I didn’t get a structured “lesson” or “workshop”. What I do is something I learned by doing and looking, and therefore, sometimes I do not realize what I do is special to someone.

So feel free to ask the questions. Your question may teach me what the audience is looking for as the answer.
However, please check this channel and our website first to look for the answers. I have been answering many questions, and the common questions are probably answered already.

Well, I will improve my website so viewers can find the answers more easily. But, let me have more time for that.

Enjoy Sashiko.

Why Sashiko Thread Cover

Why Sashiko Thread | Compare to the other

In the Instagram Sashiko Live-Streaming (in Japanese), we had a great talk about the reasons to use Sashiko thread instead of other types of thread and yarns. There is a reason why Sashiko thread is different from the other thread.

Sashiko was developed in the necessity to survive through the severe winter in Japan. In order to satisfy the Sashiko’s original purpose, the Japanese have been spending a lot of time to create the appropriate Sashiko thread for the project. I hope you enjoy the beauty of its Sashiko Thread.


View a Story of Sashiko Thread by Atsushi


The script of Atsushi’s Story is available at the end of this article.

Shop Sashiko Thread in Upcycle Stitches


Why Sashiko Thread Comparison


The twist is why Sashiko Thread is unique

The Sashiko Thread we carry has the unique twist. Most of our Sashiko threads consists of 4 thin embroidery floss, and they are twisted in a very unique way. This twist makes it thread as the Sashiko Thread, and it is the reason why Sashiko thread can make beautiful Sashiko stitches.


In the market, you may find the similar thread/yarn with the similar thickness. I have read some articles talking about the alternative of Sashiko Thread. Please do not misunderstand that I am NOT saying the alternative is bad or wrong. Based on the type of project, I use the non-Sashiko Thread to maximize the purpose. What I would like to share is the background story of why Sashiko Threads have been used by so many Sashiko practitioners.


Thread as a method to strengthen the fabric

As you may have learned in this website, Sashiko original has (had) a goal to achieve: to strengthen or to mend the fabric.


Usually, the sewing thread is used to “patch” or “connect” 2 or more fabric together. In order to make a dress, the seamstress needs to sew the patterned fabrics together to form the dress. The threads have to be strong enough to hold them together. Therefore, the regular sewing threads have a very tight twist. Regardless of the thickness, most of the non-Sashiko thread has the tight twist to serve its purpose.


The main purpose of Sashiko Thread is NOT to patch or connect the fabric. It is to make the fabric stronger. In other words, the Japanese wanted Sashiko Thread to be the part of fabric eventually. Therefore, Sashiko thread has uniquely designed “soft” twist. By this unique twist, the thread becomes part of the fabric over time, and therefore the fabric gets stronger before the Sashiko Stitching.

Why Sashiko Thread Tickness


It is not about good or bad.

The point is what is the purpose (goal) of using the thread you have. If you would like to follow the original Sashiko & make fabric stronger with beautiful patterns, we strongly recommend using our Sashiko Thread. The tightly twisted thread tend to stay as the thread over time, and sometimes, the tightness may damage the fabric.


Making a Knot of not

The topic either making a know or not in Sashiko stitching can be a pretty big discussion sometimes. I have written the blog post about “How to NOT to make the knot” along to the Youtube Video.

Yes, I share the technique. However, without understanding the reason why Sashiko Thread is so different with its background story, the technique wouldn’t work at all. If you use the tightly twisted sewing thread, you would need the knot. I always make a knot when I use non-Sashiko Thread. It simply doesn’t work because of the character of the thread: which is the purpose of the thread.


I hope this blog post explains the reason why Sashiko Thread is different from the stories behind it.



Sashiko Story Vol.3

Welcome to Sashiko Story Volume 3. Below is the script of the video



Today, I would like to talk about the thread for Sashiko. I know. It is pretty hot topic, especially if you are looking for the “correct answers” for Sashiko stitching.


As you can imagine, this is one of the frequent questions I receive.

“What kind of Sashiko thread is the best for my Sashiko Project?”


The answer is pretty simple. It is about your preferences and the purpose of your project. I am so sorry for disappointing you by not providing the solid answer… but it is really up to your preference.  However, to help you to find the best Sashiko thread, here is a Sashiko Story.


  1. Understanding the purpose of Sashiko.


The main (and original) purpose of Sashiko is a bit different from the other types of hand-stitching. It is to make the fabric stronger and during instead of patching or connecting two fabrics so-called patchworking or tailoring.


Let’s say, in order to make a dress, we need a tightly twisted thread, which tends to be firm and thin. A sewing machine also use this kind of tight and thin thread to make good sewing stitches. For that, We do not want the thread to be frayed or loosen at all when a person wears the dress. Also, when the thread is old and weak enough, it should be easy to be cut off for the repair.


The main purpose of Sashiko thread, instead, is to be the part of the fabric, yet not completely frayed over time. Therefore, the Sashiko thread has the unique twist to keep the stitches beautiful (not frayed) yet soft enough to merge into the fabric over time.


A good Sashiko pieces, including some of the nice Boro pieces, has the pattern as if they are not “stitched”. It is the beauty of Sashiko thread to alter itself to be the part of the fabric.

Also, the tight twist of the thread is sometimes too strong for the vintage fabric. Instead of being a part of the fabric, the thread could just tear the fabric. We avoid using the tight sewing thread for mending Boro like this.


So, you may want to make sure what is your purpose of Sashiko stitching. If you are mending denim with denim patch without caring the pattern, any kinds of threads would be just fine. However, if you would like to have good looking Sashiko stitches to make fabric stronger, then get the thread designed for Sashiko.


  1. How do you want to age your thread?


The color is very much up to your preferences. In our online store,, we have more than 50 colors available to choose from.


I personally prefer the natural dye Sashiko thread because we work on a lot of Japanese vintage fabric. The beauty of vintage fabric is the color created by the time passing, aging. In order to match the color of vintage fabric which the time created, the natural dye is the best choice: the synthetic dye can be too strong in contrast to the soft and aged vintage color. Another great point of using the natural dye is that the thread also changes colors over time. The beauty of fading color together, vintage fabric and natural dye thread, with integrating each other because of the unique twist is the most important concept for our Sashiko project. We believe the beauty of Boro is there as well.


The quality of synthetic dye Sashiko thread is as good as the natural dyes. It is just the difference of colors and dye materials.


All of those said I recommend the thread satisfying these following qualifications.


  1. Cotton 100%. The better cotton it is, the better thread will be.
  2. A unique twist of Sashiko Thread. You gotta find the best twist you would like by experimenting.
  3. How much it gets frayed over stitching. Not too much being frayed. I do not like the frayed thread. However, not too tight to avoid any damage to the fabric as well as enjoying the Sashiko result.


The Sashiko thread we sell to in the USA as well as worldwide is satisfying all of the qualifications I mentioned. We sell them simply because we like them. We use them on a daily basis and we are confident that the customers will be happy with the quality. Also, we can share some techniques and wisdom by providing exactly the same Sashiko thread as we use.


Oh, I almost forgot to mention that.

All of the tutorials I share on Youtube and my website is based on the fact that the viewers are using the same supplies and tools. For example, Kasane (The overlay stitching to not to make the knot) may not work with non-Sashiko Thread. I can assist you if you have a problem with that technique in using our thread, but if you are using other brand thread, the first thing you can try is to switch the supply. It may be the thread not doing the job instead of you doing the overlay stitching in wrong way.


Sashiko Stocklist Cover

Sashiko Stocklist | Shops with Respect to Sashiko

It is one of the biggest pleasure in life to share the similar value. We are happy to introduce some of those friends who understand what Upcycle Stitches is trying to achieve throughout introducing Sashiko. I am merely an individual who is in love with Sashiko & its culture. The support from those friends is the key to make our dream come true. Here is a Sashiko Stocklist, where you can enjoy, feel, and purchase what Upcycle Stitches and Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya offer.


For Online Shopping, we have a good selection in Upcycle Stitches Online Store.


Sashiko Stocklist in the United States

Sashiko item Stocklist | including One of a kind

Yasuko Store is a beautiful boutique where visitors can enjoy the actual Sashiko pieces made by Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya in West Coast of the United States. Please check their website for the Sashiko Stocklist.



Sashiko Thread Stocklist

Yasuko Store carries not only our Sashiko Jackets and bags, but also some Sashiko supplies such as Sashiko Threads. Also, the well-known craft store in NYC, Purl Soho, carry our hand-dyed with Natural Botanical Dyes, Sashiko Thread after collaborating with them for the Sashiko Workshop.





Sashiko Stocklist outside of the United States

It is a fortune to have a good friend all over the world, especially when we can share the similar value regardless of the difference in culture, languages, and values. Here is the list of Sashiko Stocklist with our friends, who had tried to come to Japan (or the USA) to meet one of us to carry our Sashiko Jacket, Bags, and supplies.

It means a lot to us, that someone spends so much money and time to come and understand us. We believe they carry the similar values that we try to respect and pass down to the next generation.


Sashiko Stocklist in Australia

Sashiko THread for Denim Mending

Sashiko Thread for Denim Mending

I learned that many people come across the word “Sashiko” throughout searching for the mending technique. It isn’t quite popular in Japan yet (as long as I know), but I am very happy to share our Sashiko technique and concept through Sashiko Mending. In fact, I fell in love with Sashiko in a process of mending my denim jeans after all of Sashiko years. Besides some techniques, the Sashiko mending with Denim requires some knowledge to have the ideal results. One of the advise I can make it choose “appropriate” Sashiko Thread for Denim Mending. I am not talking about the “Right thread or Wrong thread” here. It requires some “try-and-error” process to find the best color of Sashiko Thread for Denim Mending.

Here, why don’t you save some of your time and “try-and-error” effort by reading my experience?


Sashiko Thread for Denim Mending Sample
Left with Dark Kakishibu Thread and left with Mountain Peach yellow color.


Working on the Denim Mending

I separate Sashiko Stitching on the pair of jeans into 2 categories. One is for Sashiko Stitching on the existing denim fabric, and the other is for Sashiko mending with patching other denim swatches to repair the hole or tear. In either case, I assume that the denim we stitch on is “Used”, hopefully, to extend to the vintage level. Sashiko Stitching on the raw denim without proper time in wearing them is not recommended at all. Trust me. I have tried it. Not only you will waste so many needles, but your hands will also be in pain for a long time. Let the fabric soften a bit, then enjoy the Sashiko stitching and/or Sashiko Mending.


Alright. We use the used/vintage Denim for Sashiko Stitching.

It causes another problem, though. The color from used/vintage denim is already “one-of-a-kind” and no single denim can create the exact same color. Although the color from nature is the closest color you can get, it isn’t still used/vintage enough. Especially if you are working on the Denim Mending, the color of thread can be the most challenging (and enjoyable) choice we have to make because there is no thread which will match that old, used, and vintage denim you already love.


Again, I am afraid that there is no color which is “perfect” for your denim (Unless you have the thread which aged as the denim did). The older & well taken-cared denim you have, the more difficult it is to find the thread. However, do not let you down. The Natural Sashiko thread will look natural after a few weeks of stitching and wearing it in your daily life. It is up to the stitcher’s preference what kind of natural color you may choose for the denim, but they usually match and fit after a few weeks. I have done more than 10 pairs of denim mending & Sashiko stitching on denim. Whichever natural color I used, it ends up with matching and fitting the old, used, and vintage denim.


Avoid using the synthetic dye with bright color (such as Red or Orange) Sashiko Thread.

Some synthetic dye Sashiko thread can be used, and I purposefully enjoy the bright result.


If the goal is to make the denim natural, then I strongly recommend using the Natural dyed Sashiko Thread. Here is a list of tips I have learned from my experience.

  • My favorite is Indigo Dye Sashiko Thread. The dark shade Indigo color will sink into the denim and will show up later on by Denim fabric fading. The light shade Indigo color looks pretty bright on the denim at the first glance. However, it matches the fabric day by day.
  • Yellow Colored Natural Dye is my second favorite, especially when I would like to have the vivid pattern on the denim. The natural yellow end up with the stitching with White thread. I avoid using the white thread because it sometimes gets too strong on the used/vintage denim. Of course, I use the white thread when I have the specific purpose for it.
  • The color of Natural Dyes fades over time. They do not bleed the color out, but the color changes over friction, sunlight (ultra-violet), and other chemical reactions.


Sashiko THread for Denim Mending
Light Indigo makes vivid stitching and dark Indigo will show the stitching when the fabric fade even more. The white thread sometimes shows “Too much” of stitching.



Appropriate Sashiko Thread for Denim Mending

My recommendation of Colors of Sashiko Thread for Denim Mending is above. I usually enjoy Sashiko Stitching with Natural Dye Sashiko Thread.


Then, how about thickness?

I always recommend using the Sashiko Thread manufactured by Coron and Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya. The thread from them have the unique twist, and the result of stitching become not only beautiful but also strong in terms of mending. Although the thread is strong, the unique twist (soft and loose twist in comparison to the other thread) will naturally fit into the used/vintage fabric and will minimize the extra damage by using the new thread. Remember, if you make Sashiko stitching or Sashiko mending, the part around the actual stitched area will get weak in comparison to the mended area. The thread we recommend will reduce the risk of ripping the other parts of denim right after the mending. Well, the more hole we have, the more project we can work on… so it may make you happy, but I would like to enjoy the mended denim, at least for some period of time.


To be honest, the fabric you will stitch to can be anything available.

However, the thread will make a huge difference in Sashiko Stitching and Sashiko Mending. Get the best Sashiko Thread for Denim Mending, and enjoy the result as well as the process.


Sashiko Thread for Denim Mending Appropriate thread


Sashiko Class Cover

Sashiko Class | What you can learn from us

Sashiko is a form of very simple hand-stitching. We believe that anyone can practice, enjoy and even master Sashiko stitching. The technique itself is so simple that our full-length (more than 3 hours) workshop can cover most of the core skills and techniques. Because of its simplicity, it is up to the Sashiko practitioners to apply these basic & core techniques to their own Sashiko projects. It’s not that difficult to be a Sashiko craftsman, yet it is very challenging to make the “beautiful” Sashiko pieces. Throughout our Sashiko Class, we teach the basic & core Sashiko skill and knowledge. In other words, we will share the first step to be the Sashiko craftsman in Sashiko Class. We are very much looking forward to seeing our participants being the Sashiko artists with collaborating to their own field, culture, and experience.


What kind of Sashiko Class?

Upcycle Stitches LLC and Atsushi offer several kinds of classes, but the most important one is the first Sashiko Class everyone needs to take to proceeds other Sashiko related classes. We sometimes call “the class”  as “the workshop”. It is the same thing on this website. We teach the student what Sashiko is (Class) and then we work together to learn how Sashiko is done with our hands (workshops).


Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic)

This is the Sashiko Class Atsushi has been offering for more than 10 times in the last 2 years. If a participant doesn’t know how to use the round thimble and long Sashiko needle (51.5mm), we are pretty confident that we can provide the eye-opening, pleasantly surprising time in this class/workshop. This is our very basic, and this workshop is the prerequisite of every workshop I offer after the “Core & Basic” workshop.

Please find the detail of what you can expect to learn in the workshop description page here.


With collaborating with other organization

When we collaborate with other well-connected organizations, they may use the different name for their Sashiko Class offering.

For example, the other organization may call the workshop:

  • Traditional Sashiko Workshop
  • Japanese Sashiko Workshop
  • Sashiko Stitching

As long as it is offered by Atsushi Futatsuya, with mentioning that he will share how to use the thimble and needle, the contents of the Sashiko class will be very similar to the Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic). I occasionally “add” the contents corresponding to the requests by the organization. For example, one organization want me to talk about Sashiko & mending denim a bit, and the other would like me to talk about Natural Dye and Vintage Fabric.


The pricing for these collaborated classes can differ.

I try to be consistent to the charge I propose, and the organizer and us decide the pricing based on location, duration of the Sashiko Class, the extra materials Atsushi provides, the dextra theme we will cover, and such. Regardless, the Sashiko Workshop/class offered by Atsushi without any prerequisite can be very similar because the ultimate goal for these workshops is to teach students how to use the thimble and needle.


The article regarding my fees for offering the workshop.

Private Sashiko Workshop | Bring Sashiko to your group.


If the student has taken one of Atsushi’s workshop which doesn’t have prerequisites, he/she doesn’t need to take other Sashiko workshops from the different organization even the name is different. The content of the Sashiko Class /Workshop can be very similar, and he/she may be bored. Please do not register the workshop unless you plan to review the same materials you have already covered. If you would like to take it regardless, we are happy to have you there.


Basic & Core Sashiko Class Achievement

Here is a list of person & organizations with great goodwill and respecting concepts. Thanks to these organizations and individuals, I can continue offering the workshop. Sincere appreciation to them.

(In Alphabetical order)

For full-length Sashiko Class/Workshop

  • Curious Corners
  • Eileen Fisher | Making Space Brooklyn
  • Purl Soho | Studio
  • Pioneer Works, Brooklyn
  • Tatter Blue Library


Short length, Introductory Workshop

  • Japan Society | Introductory short workshop


The individuals who support me to have our own Sashiko Workshop

  • Sharon and Frank in TriBeCa



Following Sashiko Class after the basic

We have one following Sashiko Class after the basic & core. It is called “Hitomezashi Sashiko Workshop”. Please refer the article here for more information.



*All of the Sashiko Class is supervised and carefully discussed with the group of Sashiko Artists in Japan, Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya.

Hitomezashi Sashiko Workshop Cover

Hitomezashi Sashiko Workshop

Sashiko is a very simple form of hand stitching. Therefore, the Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic) covers most of the important concepts and technique to enjoy Sashiko Running Stitching. One thing, though, what the “Core and Basic” doesn’t cover is how to enjoy Hitomezashi (一目刺し). We decided to offer Hitomezashi Sashiko Workshop once again in NYC for the November 18th, Sunday morning.


Register Hitomezashi Sashiko Workshop


I had offered several kinds of workshops related to the Sashiko Stitching & its culture. With seeing the increase of the need for Sashiko on Denim, I thought it is my responsibility to accommodate the demand from the people who are interested in Sashiko. Hitomezashi Sashiko Workshop is one of those that I have more confidence after offering several times. It is my pleasure to share this beautiful Hitomezashi.


Hitomezashi Workshop is an opportunity to make “it” happen.

The powerful and vivid beauty of Sashiko stitching, which is a bit different from Sashiko Running Stitches, is mainly from Hitomezashi Sashiko. Over the Hitomezashi Sashiko Workshop, I will share how to prepare the fabric, how to create the pattern, how to move the needle and thimble (A great opportunity to review the first Sashiko Stitching Workshop), and how to use the vintage fabric to collaborate Sashiko.


When people enjoy our Sashiko art, they get so surprised the beauty of Hitomezashi.

Hitomezashi Sashiko Workshop will deliver you the necessary information and technique to make it happen.

Hitomezashi Sashiko Workshop Make it happen

*Hitomezashi Sashiko Workshop has a prerequisite of Full-Length (at least 3 hours of) Sashiko Stitching Workshop provided by Atsushi. Some people use the Hitomezashi Workshop as an opportunity to review the techniques from the Atushi’s Sashiko Workshop (Basic and Core). The participant far from NYC & traveling to NYC can be qualified after taking the full-length Sashiko workshop over the same weekend (Not after the Hitomezashi Workshop.) I will accept the participant without prerequisite if she/he is 100% confident in how to use the round shape thimble and 51.5 mm needle with Sashiko purposed thread. He/She with this confidence is required to send Atsushi a video of his/her stitching for at least a minutes or so prior to the workshop. After confirming the video, Atsushi may give you the permission to move forward.

Please understand. The basic is very important.



Hitomezashi Sashiko Workshop Swatch


By combining (patchworking) these beautiful Hitomezashi Swatches made with Japanese vintage fabric, the beautiful & powerful Sashiko Jacket and bags are created.


What is Hitomezashi?

Sashiko is a general term for the hand-stitching developed in many regions in Japan.

Hitomezashi is one kind of Sashiko stitching. To understand more about Hitomezashi Sashiko, please visit this blog post. I will talk about what Hitomezashi is in the workshop as well.


Hitomezashi Workshop Schedule




Bring the needle & thimble I provided

In the Hitomezashi Workshop, I ask participants to bring the needle & thimble I provided in the standard (full-length) Sashiko Workshop. I understand that it is not convenient for some of the participants to carry sewing tool to the workshop. It isn’t that much trouble for us to prepare the extra needles and thimbles for the participants. However, I would like to sincerely ask you to bring your own needle and thimble.



The Japanese believe (believed) in sort of a form of Animism. Especially those who practiced Sashiko in poverty a few hundreds of years ago, they believed that the Good Spirits exists every material including the needle and thimble. I am not trying to advocate any specific religion here. I just want you to “feel” the core concept of Sashiko, “Reuse instead of Replace.” By providing the materials, which you already have, I feel like I am encouraging the custom of replacing it over appreciating what we already have. The customer satiscation with conveniences is very important in offering the workshop. However, I ask you to think why I have these requests. It is a great part of me sharing what Sashiko is.


Of course, an accident can happen. We all make mistakes.

The thimble and Sashiko needles are available for purchase. However, please bring your own needle and thimble. The more you care about what you use, the better your hand-stitching will be. It is a bit strange to say it, but it is very much true throughout my experience.


*The participants who got the special approval by Atsushi can purchase a set of needles and thimble with $11.00 in the workshop.

*If you are interested in the concept of Animism in Japanese culture, here is a link.




Enjoy Sashiko!


Hitomezashi Poncho