Support Sashiko Cover

Support Sashiko | Not only technique but Mindset

Sashiko is a form of simple stitching developed in Japan. The technique itself is pretty simple. Sashiko become popular because of its simplicity. However, what I want to share as a Sashiko Artist, who is native Japanese born in the surviving Sashiko family, is not only the stitching of Sashiko, but it is the mindset of Japanese people so-called “Japanese culture”. While I was talking to the supporters who keep encouraging me, we came up with one word I wouldn’t come up with by myself. “I would like to educate the society by sharing the culture of Sashiko”. We offer Sashiko art, supplies, workshop, and much more. Thanks to the many Support, Sashiko can be alive in 2018. This is a blog post, asking for your “Support Sashiko” contribution to our activities.

 

I moved to the USA in 2014. In 2017, I started a business named Upcycle Stitches and started sharing Sashiko.

Upcycle Stitches LLC is here thanks to many people who supported me. The business activities hugely depend on the people’s goodwill of “Support Sashiko & Atsushi”. The company is a for-profit legal entity to provide Sashiko art, items, supplies, workshops, and much more, but the support would be very much appreciated to continue our activities.

For example, the Sashiko Workshops we offer in NYC, we wouldn’t be able to offer the workshops with the same pricing & the small class sizing (About 6 participants for each 3+α workshop) without a support from our dear friend, Sharon & her family. I live far from NYC and I would like to share the top quality supplies from Japan. In order to achieve our dream in NYC, the support I get from her was the necessary piece of the puzzle.

 

There are many ways you may support Sashiko & our activities as Upcycle Stitches. Please let me share the methods you may support Sashiko by. We would like to focus on creating more Sashiko items (Arts & Crafts) to inspire the world. The education is another part we would like to focus. We would like to teach and share the technique and culture of beautiful Sashiko. When we need to focus on “Creation and Education”, there are not much left for business activities such as price negotiation or dispute resolution… When I offer the workshop, I always focus on the participants’ satisfaction, yet some people prefer the price over the contents they get.

 

One day, when we have enough support, I would like to disclose everything we do online. It hugely depends on the wish of supporters, but to make Sashiko “open-source” is another dream I have. Your support moves us toward the goals. I sincerely appreciate your time and your goodwill.

 

 

Share articles (videos) and tell people about us.

This is the most important support that I would ask. Please share our activities via Upcycle Stitches & Keiko’s work, Sashi.Co.

You can share the blog posts you liked on SNS. Or you may share the video with your quilting guild where people share the similar passion. You may talk about Sashiko & our activities when you are stitching with your friends. Our goal is to share the beauty & mindset of Sashiko. The more people know about what we do, the closer we are reaching our dream.

 

Please feel free to use the logo to introduce us.

 

 

Purchase Sashiko Supply & Art from us

Sashiko is getting popular in the world. When something becomes popular, many “dealers” jump into the market and start providing the related products. As I wrote a blog post before, I want you to be a “Smart Customer | Know who you are buying from” to support Sashiko. Most of the shops & stores respect Sashiko and I respect them. However, I see the number increasing those who sell just Sashiko item without the deep understanding of Sashiko and its culture.

We carefully choose the suppliers in Japan, which hugely contribute to the Sashiko culture. The quality of our supplies and items are the supreme. We guarantee the best and good satisfaction. When you have a choice, please consider using our stores or parter’s websites.

 

[In the USA | Domestic Shipping]

Upcycle Stitches Online Store

Upcycle Stitches Etsy Store

 

[Respected Partners for Non-USA orders]

Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya

Indigo Niche Australia

 

 

Provide Atsushi a place to do the Workshop or talking

to Meeting the new friends with a passion for Sashiko is the best way to share what Sashiko is.

Please consider providing me and Upcycle Stitches a place to have Sashiko Workshops and/or Sashiko talking. When you offer me a place to do so for a free of charge, Upcycle Stitches will take care of arranging the workshop & creating the registration pages. We may ask you for helping us by advertising mouth to mouth or newsletters, but we will take care of most of the part. It would be so great if you could provide me with a place to stay if the location is far from the Central PA. A room under a roof would be just enough.

 

If you or your organization would like to have me for your business. meetings, events, and other commercial activities, please read the article regarding the fees and condition here. I am happy to adjust my workshop to your need. However, please respect the Sashiko culture.

 

Some individuals and organizations have provided me a place to do so for free of charge, like Sharon I introduced above. If sharing your goodwill to the public help to increase your brand name, I am happy to spend some of my time. I would like to return the support to the precious support I received.

 

Private Sashiko Workshop | Bring Sashiko to your group.

 

 

Be a Patron via Patreon Website

As you know, Sashiko is a hand-stitching craft.

Yes. Everything is hand-stitched and it takes so much time. As much as we would like to spend all of the time stitching & educating, we sometimes need to work for the instant cash to pay the bills. Our first goal is to spend all of our available time in Sashiko instead of working at the part-time job to go through the life.

We would like to make more Sashiko arts & craft, film ourselves in the camera to share more stories about Sashiko, establish the tutorial materials to share & educate people. Your support, as low as $1.00 per month, can help us out to spend more time in Sashiko.

 

https://www.patreon.com/sashiko

 

Send Upcycle Stitches a Donation

Although it isn’t my intention to ask this in the first place, a money (or fabric when we are in need) Donation to our business, Upcycle Stitches, would be very much appreciated. Any form of one-time and/or recurrent donation (Paypal, Check, anything) will be used toward the donator’s will. For example, If a person would like me to use the money toward live-streaming in English, I would purchase the better Webcam for the better video filming and such.

 

Please contact me for the donation here.

 


 

Support Sashiko as the Art

Because of a few reasons, mainly the concept of “Sashiko was an ordinary technique for the ordinary Japanese”, I didn’t consider Sashiko as the Art. Therefore, asking for the support (including donation) was very challenging for me. Recently, I start realizing Sashiko as the Art, especially in the current society. I would need to write another blog post how I “define” Art. It may not be Art, maybe Art.

My point is that there are people who get influenced by what we make, what we talk, and what we do. I would probably call it “Art” and if so, I would like to continue focusing on the people (wealth in emotion) rather than money (wealth in tangible good). Please help us out to balance it. This society isn’t easy to focus on just one part, especially on the Art side.

 

I sincerely believe, by Your Support Sashiko, we can positively impact the society.

Thank you for your time to read this blog post of Support Sashiko.

 

Support Sashiko Keiko

 

Upcycle Stitches LLC

Atsushi Futatsuya

Sashi.Co

Keiko Futatsuya

Sashiko Asanoha Fukin Cover

Sashiko Asanoha Fukin | How to Sashiko in Order

Sashiko Fukin (刺し子ふきん)is one of the most popular Sashiko items in Japan. Fukin means a sampler or a dish-cloth. The Japanese use this square piece of white cloth to cover the food, wipe the dishes, and other many kitchen activities. Here is a sample of How to Sashiko Asanoha Fukin with video of me stitching and the photos of each step. There is no “right” way to proceed the stitching. It is merely a sample but would be useful when you work on the Sashiko Stitching with Asano-ha pattern.

 

 

Preparation |  Sashiko Asanoha Fukin

Sarashi (晒)is a Japanese thin cotton fabric. (I plan to have them in stock soon).

We prefer to make Sashiko with the double layers. After drawing (transferring) the pattern, secure the two layers with safety pins or such.

 

Sashiko Asanoha Fukin 1

 

Steps of How to Sashiko Asanoha Fukin

The core concept of making a good Sashiko Fukin is to have the “one-stroke” stitching. The optimal (the most efficient) way to stitch vary from a pattern to pattern.

 

Step.1 | Around of Sashiko Asanoha Fukin

Stitch around the corner. Then, the safety pins can be removed.

Sashiko Asanoha Fukin 0

 

Step.2 | Diagonal Lines

Find the longest line, which happens to be the diagonal lines. Enjoy running stitch without cutting the thread until the thread runs out.

 

Sashiko Asanoha Fukin 2

 

Use “Kasane” to continue.

 

Sashiko Asanoha Fukin 4

 

Step.3 | Small Zigzag Lines

After enjoying the long diagonal lines, then move to the small zigzag lines.

 

Step.4 | In-between Lines

Fill the leftovers with using Kasane.

Sashiko Asanoha Fukin 6

Sashiko Asanoha Fukin 5

 

Step Extra | Enjoy addition

The Fukin Project complete with the step.4

However, I decided to continue the process by adding another color to make the double stitches to enjoy the difference between dark Indigo & Light Indigo.

 

Sashiko Asanoha Fukin 7    

 

 

Join our community by taking our Workshops

Sashiko is a process of simple stitching. However, without proper basics, it could be confusing and difficult to enjoy. Upcycle Stitches LLC & Atsushi offer the Sashiko Workshop in NYC and Online. Please consider joining our community where you can learn not only how to stitch these beautiful Japanese geometric pattern but also connect to a community where people share the same great passion to Sashiko.

 

  1. Sashiko Stitching Workshops in NYC
  2. Sashiko Online Workshops 

 

Sashiko Workshops September 2018

 

Some of the tutorials are available online, Youtube.

Difference Sashiko and Boro

Difference Sashiko and Boro | Sashiko Story Vol 2

I am happy to continue this journey of making the Video Log with Sashiko Stories. Here is Sashiko Video Log Story Vol 2 | I am talking about the Difference Sashiko and Boro.

 

Below, you can find the script I used for this video. Please leave your comment if you have any questions.

 

Personal Opinion | What Difference Sashiko and Boro

The word of Boro became so famous among those who enjoy Japanese vintage fabrics in the last few years. Some art dealers found the beauty of Sashiko, and it is getting the name value on them. The authentic Japanese Boro, especially the large pieces, acquired many recognitions and frequently got good pricing.

 

At the same time, hand-stitchers like us enjoy the beauty of Sashiko and Boro as the creators (makers). One of the most frequent questions I get in the Sashiko workshop I offer is today’s topic. What is the Boro? What is Sashiko? And What is the difference Sashiko and Boro?

 

It is a bit of challenging to clearly define what Sashiko and Boro are because they were for the ordinary Japanese people and they didn’t leave many documents. It was too ordinary to make it official. Therefore, not many valid documents are found to make the universal definition. I have tried to explain the meaning, understandings, and stories regarding Sashiko and Boro on my website as the blog post. (Please check them when you have time. Upcycle Stitches .com)

Here, let me share my basic understanding of Sashiko and Boro. Again, since there are no official documents found regarding the definition, it is merely my understanding of the words based on our experience in Sashiko.

My understanding is.

Sashiko is a form of stitching, a process of needlework. The Boro is the result of continuous & ultimate repetition of Sashiko.

In other words, Sashiko can be a verb in Japanese. We occasionally say that we “do Sashiko”. In contrast, Boro doesn’t become a verb in the Japanese language. We do not say that we do Boro. Boro in Japanese originally means merely the piece of torn & dirty fabric.

Does it make sense? It is more like a terminology explanation.

 

Stories of Difference Sashiko and Boro

 

Let me share some of the stories about Boro.

As you may have learned already, Sashiko and Boro are developed in poverty, a poor community in Japan.

Here is a story.
One farmer wears a Jacket every day. When it gets a hole or tear, his wife mends the jacket with hand-stitching “so-called Sashiko”. They did not have a choice. They had to repair it with the fabric they kept from the past because they didn’t have enough money or asset to purchase the new fabric. The man’s wife kept repeating the mending throughout his entire life, and when his son is old enough to take over the man’s job, the jacket was passed down to the next generation. The result of this repetition became a Boro Jacket, in which you may be able to see in a museum or a gallery.

It was, therefore, purely for the practical purposes for retaining the warmth, protecting the skin from the sun-shine or scratch from farming work and pretty much for surviving.

Because of this “purpose oriented beauty”, some people call Boro as the random beauty. It could be true. It is not the same as the patchwork or decorative stitching in which the artist (or creator or stitcher) can choose the materials from a variety of choices.

I respect those who implement the concept of Japanese Sashiko and Boro and make the patchworks looks like that. I also respect those who mend denim or Jacket with a hint of Boro’s design. You may wonder if I call them Boro or even authentic Boro?

Well, with the sincere respect, I would call them either “Boro-inspired Art” or “Boro Inspired Mending.” Please do not get me wrong. I respect them as much as I respect to the Boro from the past, but there is a bit of difference. It is not right or wrong, or better or worse. They are just a bit different.

 

Is it really Random?

 

So, let me talk about the “Randomness” of Boro.
Is it really at Random? I do not believe so. It is true that they didn’t have enough materials to be artistic. They didn’t have enough materials to choose from.

 

 

 

However, I feel that they had a pride… or basic human desire to make things more beautiful. The Boro pieces I admire have their emotions, including joy, anger, sadness, and happiness from their ordinary days. Because of this emotion behind the Boro, they look so beautiful and artistic, I believe.
It is our nature to be fashionable and pursue the beauty, even when we are in the severe condition like not being able to get the new fabric.

 

We, Sashi.Co & Keiko, and also my project, Upcycle Stitches, try to follow the route of this Boro. Interestingly, it is kind of difficult to find the vintage fabric from the same era. It is very similar to the Japanese in the past who couldn’t get enough fabric.

When we collect the enough “Boro-to-be-fabric” we try to be as creative as possible. We also try to synchronize our “feeling” to the Japanese who probably did Sashiko as we do now.

Most importantly, we try to “think of” others when we make the Boro. The Boro has a story, and even when we make a piece of Boro, we add the stories to the fabric. The process of stitching, by adding the stories (so-called emotion) to the fabric is called Sashiko, and the result of “caring” someone, including ourselves, is called Boro.

I hope my understanding of Boro and Sashiko help you to understand yours. This is a very big topic to cover. I will come back with other stories to share.

 

Related Articles for Difference Sashiko and Boro

Introduction of Sashiko

How to Start Sashiko | A tutorial from Sashiko Artists

BORO | Textile Art from Ancient Japan

Sashiko and Boro | Translation from Sashi.Co Article

Sashiko Video Log Story Vol 1

Sashiko Video Log Story Vol 1 | What is Sashiko

I am happy to start the Video Log with Sashiko Stories. I write many articles on this website, but it is much easier for Sashiko learners to watch the video regarding what I think. Here is Sashiko Video Log Story Vol 1 | What is Sashiko and What is NOT Sashiko.

 

 

Below, you may refer to the script I used in case my English has the too thick accent in Sashiko Video Log Story Vol 1.

 

Script of Sashiko Video Log Story Vol 1

Thank you for subscribing the Sashi.Co ChannelThis is my first “Story” which I plan to share my experience, opinion, and most importantly my passion.

 

Today’s Topic is What is Sashiko and What is not Sashiko

As you may have found this video (article) by searching with a keyword of Sashiko, Japanese Sashiko Stitching is getting popular.

As a Sashiko professional, I occasionally search for the keyword of Sashiko and learn what people are talking about it. Then, I came to realize, there are a lot of discussions out there in defining Sashiko; simply what is Sashiko & What is NOT Sashiko.

In order to be part of this discussion as a Japanese, as well as a Sashiko practitioner, I would need to explain the origin of Sashiko. Then, I will share my “opinion” of What is Sashiko and What is NOT Sashiko.

Well. Long Story Short.
There is no such a thing as Right and Wrong in Sashiko in my opinion.

 

Origin of Sashiko

Let’s talk about the origin.
Sashiko was developed in a poor, undeveloped community in Japan. Those Japanese, who mainly lived in the rural areas, didn’t have enough asset to purchase the new textile. Also, those Japanese didn’t have access to the fine cotton fabric to warm them up.

To overcome the situation like that, they used needle and thread. Sashiko was developed for the purpose of surviving through days, especially in winters, by repairing, mending, strengthening the fabric. It is the deep down origin of Sashiko.

Later on the history, in some regions of Japan, where they had a bit more mind economy, people enjoyed Sashiko for the decorative purpose. However, the Japanese with wealth mainly enjoyed the beautiful Kimonos, so Sashiko was for ordinary people, and there was a purpose of mending, repairing and strengthening the fabric.
Those who enjoyed Sashiko with patterns also didn’t have enough skill to dye out patterns. They used the plain Indigo Fabric, simply because it was the most common fabric available, then stitched the pattern out with the purpose to make fabric stronger with white thread. This is the combination as known as the traditional Sashiko: Indigo & White thread.

Regardless of when in the history, Sashiko existed for the purpose of their life.

Therefore, when I see a handstitched culture with purpose, which can be any purpose, I would be happy to call them Sashiko. In a different culture, in a different location in the world, it may be called differently.

Each community & each location had developed its own culture. Therefore it is a bit thoughtless to say that one type of Sashiko is “right” and the other is “wrong”.

If it is stitched by hand for the purpose, especially with appreciation to what we have, I would definitely call it Sashiko even if the stitches are not even.

 

About Slow Stitch

 

Let’s talk about the interesting word, slow-stitch.

I occasionally hear that the people understand there are some rules in Sashiko. Let’s say, the stitch size should be always equal, and the space in between the stitches have to be the certain percentage of the actual stitches. Well, I don’t follow much of these rules.

Because of these rules, the stitching tends to be slow. If I have to be careful with each stitch for the length and spaces in between, yes, I would need to make a stitch one by one. Is this the slow stitch?

Sashiko is SLOW stitch because of it is hand stitched. If I use a sewing machine, I can sew up the things much faster. However, I want to mention that the stitching speed was (and is) a great part of Sashiko.
If the stitching was too slow, the Japanese would have suffered more in the severely cold winter.

Therefore, I advocate that Unshin (運針)needlework is one of the core techniques of Sashiko stitching.

To be honest, for that matter, I would say, the speed was much more important than the actual size of each stitch. Yes, a size of rice grain looks perfect and they say it is the size we aim for, but it is a matter of “result” of running stitch, not measuring stitch by stitch.

So, what is Sashiko?

In my opinion, if you hand-stitch the fabric with a purpose, it is Sashiko. I do not believe that there is the universal rule or regulation for Sashiko. There are, of course, Sashiko techniques and wisdom to make the result more beautiful and attractive. It is your “choice and preference” to learn and choose on, not the rule by someone.

Sashiko is a form (and process) of stitching to appreciate the fabric, and what we have. The purpose of stitching can be anything. Upcycle, Repurpose, Recycle, decorate, and what you can think of your mind.

It was an ordinary needlework for the Japanese. I would like to keep it that way instead of regulating it strictly by implementing the rules.

To learn more about Sashiko, please visit our website, UpcycleStitches.Com. I write stories about Sashiko, introduce the technique and supplies, and much more. Our goal is to share this beautiful technique Sashiko as well as the Japanese mindset behind Sashiko.

Enjoy the Sashiko Video Log Story Vol 1.

 

++++++

Above Sashiko Video Log Story Vol 1. I will work on the following Video Logs.

Sashiko Alumni Interview Caroline Cover

Sashiko Alumni Interview Caroline | Sashiko on Ordinary Cloth

We are very happy to introduce Caroline, an amazing Sashiko (and more) artist working with ordinary fashion and creative Sashiko Stitching. Here is a beautiful Sashiko Alumni Interview Caroline.

Many participants in my Sashiko Workshop mention that it is impossible to get the stitching speed as I do. I always reply to them that if they practice properly for some time, they all will get the similar speed within 2 years or so, probably much sooner. She is a great example of learning the appropriate technique and keep “producing” many Sashiko arts. I am so proud of her.

 

We sincerely thank Caroline to be the first alumni to answer the interviews. Please enjoy “Sashiko Alumni Interview Caroline”. (This is a part of Sashiko Alumni Interview Series.)

 

Sashiko Alumni Interview Caroline

Sashiko Alumni Interview Caroline

 

 

When did you start being interested in Sashiko?

I don’t remember exactly! At some point in the last few years, I started seeing various classes being offered in sashiko, and it looks so beautiful that I decided I wanted to learn.

 

What is your passion for Sashiko?

I find the stitching to be meditative – I am a knitter, and doing sashiko puts me in a similar mind space, one I find to be very beneficial for my state of mind. I also like the planning of a sashiko project, which can be quite mathematical and precise (depending on what pattern I am stitching). I don’t think it’s an accident that I’m drawn to sashiko because of both the precision and the meditation aspects, as I find both are important to all the craft work I do.

 

In addition, I love vintage fabrics and vintage clothing, and I love indigo, and I love natural fibers, so those things combine to bring new life to old garments and fabrics.

 

The recycling of old fabrics and clothing is especially important to me; lately, I’ve been buying old shirts at the thrift store and doing sashiko stitching on them, thus making a generic item of clothing into a one-of-a-kind piece. Falling in love with our clothing and customizing our clothing and realizing the importance of handwork is the way to get beyond fast, cheap fashion.

 

I also like the traditions inherent in sashiko, stitching patterns that have been in use for centuries, creating “boro” as the Japanese have been doing for centuries.

 

What did you think of Atsushi’s Workshop?

Atsushi is a great teacher, not only in how to do sashiko but also in the excitement he has for ideas and projects. He’s so open-minded about what sashiko can be and how it can be used. He knows the tradition and teaches the tradition, and yet he gets inspired by how sashiko can be pushed to go beyond the tradition.

 

Plus it’s amazing to say that I learned sashiko from a member of a family that has been doing it for generations!

 

What inspires you when you work on your Sashiko Project?

I get inspired by seeing my project develop slowly, learning little things along the way, improving my technique. Stitching gives me time to ruminate on the next part of the project, or maybe on my next project, or on other creative ideas.

 

What is Sashiko for you?

My simple definition of sashiko is making running stitches with cotton thread – and what I like about this definition is its openness, its ability to encompass traditional stitching patterns, the making of boro, and lots of things beyond. My goal is to incorporate sashiko into other projects, figuring out how to mix sashiko with sewing, quilting, embroidery, knitting, and other crafts in a way that is new and beautiful.

 

 

[ End of Sashiko Alumni Interview Caroline ]

 

Photo Gallery of Caroline’s Achievement

Sashiko Alumni Interviews

Sashiko Alumni Interviews | Great Sashiko from our Alumni

It has been almost 2 years since I had offered the first Sashiko Workshop in NYC. It is my pleasure to meet all of the participants with a great passion for Sashiko. I always wanted to make a community where we can get together and share the on-going Sashiko Project. The community I dreamed of is getting formed a little by little. In 2018, I had chances to see some Sashiko Alumni and get so impressed by their achievement. Sashiko Alumni Interviews. This is one of my biggest project & achievements in 2018.

 

Outside of my “Traditional” Box

I keep mentioning there is no such a thing as “Right” or “Wrong” Sashiko. Sashiko was too ordinary needlework for the ordinary Japanese before the industrial revolution. I try to be as creative as I can when I enjoy the Sashiko Stitching. Sashiko & Denim is one of my conclusion for the non-traditional Sashiko Stitching.

 

Regardless of my willingness to be open-minded, the tradition I was “forced” to follow restrict my imagination and creativity. Our Sashiko Alumni do not have the limitation of what I have subconsciously. They learn the basic & core & traditional Sashiko from me and collaborate to what they are passionate about. Their achievements always inspire me. Ever since I enjoyed the Sashiko Alumni Sashiko work, I sincerely wanted to share their work on this website.

 

There we go as Sashiko Alumni Interviews. I plan to introduce their views with many photos.

 

Sashiko Alumni Interview Sharon

Contents of Sashiko Alumni Interviews

 

We send a list of brief questions regarding Sashiko and Sashiko Workshop experience with us. It is our biggest happiness to see the Alumni’s Sashiko achievement. In the advanced workshop (Hitomezashi Workshop) or Sashiko Gathering after the initial Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic), some alumni bring their own Sashiko achievements. They are all unique and beautifully done.

 

I encourage the students to be open-minded. In the workshop, I teach the traditional technique with many stories based on the tradition. It is welcomed to practice the traditional stitching as you progress your project. At the same time, I am very interested in a “Sashiko’s possibility” by the Sashiko Alumni integrating their own culture and what they learned from me.

 

In Sashiko Alumni Interviews, I ask 5 questions below:

  1. When did you start being interested in Sashiko?
  2. What is your passion for Sashiko?
  3. What did you think of Atsushi’s Workshop?
  4. What inspires you when you work on your Sashiko project?
  5. What is Sashiko for you?

 

With our Sashiko Alumni interviews on these questions, I believe we can introduce what Sashiko really is. I am very excited about sharing these.

 

The Sashiko Alumni who interviewed

 

Please find a link to the individual interview. You may find your own favorite style. They are all different, and they are all fantastic.

  • Caroline Green  (Coming Soon)

 

Sashiko Almuni Interview

 

 

 

I am asking the Sashiko Alumni to spare their precious time to answer the interviews. Please wait for the updates. The articles will be a good benchmark for you to understand what you potentially can do after taking our Sashiko Workshops. I will teach you the basic & tradition. After the workshop, it is up to you to create completely “one-of-a-kind” Sashiko work.

 

Amazing! Enjoy Sashiko!!

Sashiko Workshop July 2018

After-Workshop Celebration | Sashiko Workshop July 2018

It was another great weekend in NYC with Sashiko Workshop July 2018.

Smiles, excitement, and good feedbacks always encourage me to keep offering the Sashiko Workshop. As of the end of July 2018, we do not have a plan for the future workshop. However, we sincerely hope to offer the Sashiko Workshop in TriBeCa, NYC, toward the end of 2018. If you are interested in learning Sashiko from Atsushi, please check the detail of the workshop here, and contact me with your passion & possibly preferable date. I will do my best to accommodate your preferences and will let you know even before the newsletter I send.

Contact Atsushi

Sashiko Workshop July 2018

 

For Graduates of Sashiko Workshop July 2018

 

I hope you had a chance to continue the Sashiko stitching you have learned over the last weekend.

You should have received several follow-up emails from me. It includes all the supporting materials as well as favors from me such as answering our questionnaires. When you come across a question or trouble in your Sashiko Stitching journey, please do not hesitate in contacting me. We are happy to help you out. If you haven’t received any follow-up email, please let me know, too.

 

 

Sashiko Workshop July 2018 Sample

 

Sashiko Continues | Join a Sashiko Gathering

 

We offer several opportunities to encourage you to keep enjoying Sashiko. One of the workshops you may consider in taking is Hitomezashi Workshop. It requires a bit of different technique, yet the fundamental (Core & Basic) are the same as our Sashiko Stitching Workshop. It would be nice to see you there whenever I can offer in the future.

 

Another possibility is to join our Sashiko gathering.

One of our goals in introducing Sashiko is to form a community where people can enjoy Sashiko Stitching together. I have been trying to create it online, and being successful. However, it is always better to have it where you can get together physically.

 

When I offer the Sashiko gathering, please check it out & hope to meet you there.

It is always nice to see the graduates with smiles and their tremendous achievements.

 

 

 

Enjoy Sashiko!

Sashiko Thread 2018 Summer Maru

Sashiko Thread 2018 Summer | Quick Update of Sashiko Thread

Happy Summer! Here is a quick update of our availability of Sashiko Thread 2018 Summer.

We have added several new colors from another long-established Japanese thread manufacture. Of course, our well-known and stunning “Natural Dye Sashiko Thread” by Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya are available, and new colors from her latest updates are also available. We don’t have many threads in stock because of our storage space. Check them out before they get sold out.

 

New Indigo Dye Sashiko Thread | Uneven Beauty

 

Indigo Dye Sashiko Thread variegated

 

It happens from the failure as if it was like a miracle.

We didn’t know how we did get the color. Therefore, we categorized them as a failure since we believe the “continuously” and “reproductivity” are the necessity as a professional. Yet, our customer wanted to have the thread regardless of its character that we may not be able to reproduce.

 

After several months of tries and errors, we finally come up with reproducible uneven Natural Dye Sashiko Thread. This time, with Natural Indigo Dye. Since they are dyed unevenly, every skein is one-of-a-kind. However, we can create very similar colors and differentiate “uneven Dye” and “Variegated Dye”

 

Pastel Color & Unique Variegated Color

 

Our goal is to introduce Sashiko to the world. Then, hopefully, we all can pass down this beautiful culture to the next generation. It includes the process of supporting the current thread manufactures. We have been happy with our current selections, but at the same time, we decided to offer other Sashiko thread from the different manufacture with their interesting unique color selection.

We are building a good relationship with the manufacturer of similar Sashiko thread with good quality and unique Pastel Color. Very excited to introduce the new selection for the Sashiko Thread.

 

Look at these unique Variegated Color

We have 3 choices available now with these beautiful colors.

  • Aqua Blue Variegation
  • Spring Green Variegation
  • Moca Bworn Variegation

Check the detail of Unique Variegated in the item page here.

 

Sashiko Thread 2018 Summer Cover

 

Looks like Natural, yet reasonable Pastel Colors

Natural-like, soft Pastel Colored Sashiko Threads are available in reasonable prices. They are dyed with synthetic dyes, yet create soft and kind colors.

 

Pastel Color Sashiko Thread

 

Check the detail of Pastel Color in the item page here.

 

 

More and more in Sashiko Thread 2018 Summer

 

We have launched several “special offers” as a promotion of Sashiko Thread 2018 Summer.

 

No numbered Sashiko Thread…?

Thanks to many supporters who understand the process & value of “hand-made”, we now invest a lot in creating new colors with new dyes. We would rather be an artist than manufactures of natural colors. In a process of try & error, we get many “un-reproducable” Sashiko thread. They are as beautiful as the other regular Natural dye Sashiko thread. The issue is that I cannot provide them online because we don’t know if we can reproduce them.


So, we decided to offer them as “No Numbered Sashiko Thread” instead of numbered regular thread such as #002 Japanese Nutgal and such.

Check the detail here for that. Very limited stock available (well, every package will be one of a kind anyway).

 

A great package deal

This is the first time we try this. We now have an offer to discount as a package.

The more you enjoy Sashiko, the more thread you would need. We would like to support that!

 

 

If you haven’t used the coupon as “new customer”, you can get the 10% discount even after the package deal. Check the detail here for the great value Sashiko Thread (Mono Color & Variegated Color in stock only).

 

 

Check all the Sashiko Thread we offer

 

On top of all the new collection I introduced, we have our regular Sashiko thread available. They are in “Sashiko Thread 2018 Summer” sale and we have several deals for those who would like to spend beautiful days in Sashiko. Check out our DEAL page for more information!

 

All the Sashiko Thread
Check all the Sashiko Thread 2018 Summer in our Sashiko Store.
Sashiko Running Stitch

Why our Workshop to learn Sashiko Running Stitch?

Another great opportunity to learn Sashiko in Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic) is coming up within 3 weeks. I have received many positive reviews, and I come to realize that this is the best way to start & review your Sashiko knowledge and Sashiko Running Stitch. The size of the workshop is very small. You will get enough attention throughout the workshop to learn the “Core and Basic” of Sashiko. The small workshop size means that the seats are very limited. Don’t miss this great opportunity.

 

The reason to learn Sashiko from me

Sometimes, I receive inquiries regarding the level of Sashiko Workshop. For example, a question like “Can I take the intermediate workshop since I have ☆☆ years of experience in Sashiko.” I always suggest taking the Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic) to learn the basic posture of Sashiko. The only exception would be sending me the Sashiko Running Stitch to let me confirm that the participant masters what I teach in the workshop.

I have taught how to do Sashiko Running Stitch to more than 100 students. None of them handled the Sashiko needle as we do. The years of experience in Sashiko is wonderful, and I respect that. However, for the Sashiko Running Stitch, I want to share what we are proud of in the needle movement.

 

Yes. I will also share a list of great information and technique with you.

  • I was born in the surviving Sashiko family, so I can share the authentic Sashiko items with you and our history.
  • As long as I know, I am a very few Japanese Natives who practice Sashiko & speak English. What I tell you isn’t someone’s translation or interpretation. It is the real voice of the Sashiko family.
  • Our Sashiko items (Created by me, my mother Keiko, and our friends) are shared on Instagram and other SNS. Although we sell supreme quality Sashiko supplies, we are not the Sashiko supply dealer. We are a group of Sashiko artisans after all.

 

Although there are more reasons that you would like to learn Sashiko from me, the core is my passion that I want you to learn how to use the thimble and needle so-called Unshin (運針 = Needle movement).

 

Why Sashiko Running Stitch?

 

So then, why is Sashiko Running Stitch so important?

It is because the regular hand-sewing is too slow for some Sashiko project. Please take at the speed of our Sashiko Running Stitch. Absolutely no edit for the video.

 

 

 

I often say that Sashiko is not all about stitching. The practitioner would need to how to pick the fabric and materials, how to prepare them, how to make beautiful stitches, and how to finish them as the item such as Jackets, bags, and coasters. However, without proper stitching, it isn’t Sashiko any longer (At least, I do not call the item without stitching “Sashiko“). Sashiko merely a form of stitching, but the stitching itself can be masterful. I want you to be one of the masters.

 

Okay. Mastering the Hand-stitching is Important. Then, why Sashiko Running Stitch?

The answer is very simple. The other hand-stitching techniques are sometimes too slow. Sashiko became famous in a culture of sustainability and “slow-fashion”. The process of slow-stitch has the same result of meditation. I feel the same calming function and I love the slow & caring process of Sashiko.

 

However, wouldn’t you think it is better if you can finish the stitching like this in a day (It took about 7 hours or so to get to here in several days) instead of a month? The speed and accuracy of mere simple Sashiko stitching is the core of our Sashiko. The Japanese developed Sashiko for the purpose of “Survival”. At the very origin of Sashiko, it was the method to fill the space of rough poor hemp fabric.

 

 

Sashiko Running Stitch Atsushi's work
The Jacket with Asano-ha Pattern & Sashiko Running Stitch. You can see the actual stitching process on Sashi.Co Youtube Channel. Atsushi perform there.

 

The more the person can make stitches, the more cloth we can repair. I believe that the speed after proper technique and repetitive practice is extremely valuable in hand-crafting culture. Not only Sashiko, but also many kinds of professions such as fruit cutting, dim-sum making, you name it.

 

*Please understand that I respect other embroidery techniques and hand-sewing culture. I see many people apply their own technique to Sashiko, too. They are very inspiring and I learn a lot from them. Unlike the other embroidery culture, Sashiko started as the “practical hand-stitching” rather than decorating purpose. I respect that, too.

 

Many Various Unshin Masters in Japan

 

As I keep mentioning here and there, there isn’t such a thing as “right” or “wrong” in Sashiko culture. If you can stitch as fast & accurate as (or faster & more accurate than) we can, the workshop may not be beneficial for you.

I know many Unshin Masters in Japan, and they stitch faster than I do. Some of them have the same or very similar posture of our Sashiko. Some of them have a somewhat different way to hold the needle and push the thimble, yet very speedy. The appropriate posture can be modified by 10 years, 20 years and more years of experience. My mother & Sashiko Artists, Keiko, has a bit different posture than what I teach.

 

The posture I teach is the one I started with in my childhood.

Throughout teaching many students with the different background and the different size of hand & finger, I brush up this “entry” technique so everyone who joined the workshop can start the Sashiko stitching as we do with less struggle and issues. Some of the graduates stitch as fast as I do, and that is my goal for the Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic).

 

I am looking forward to seeing you there!

 

Video of Sashiko Running Stitch in a big Sashiko Project

 

Videos are from our Sashi.Co Youtube Channel | Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya in Japanese

Stitched Sashiko and Woven Sashiko

Stitched Sashiko and Woven Sashiko in History

I received a question regarding “Aikido Gi (合気道着 = Uniform for Martial Art called Aikido)” with Sashiko. The famous fashion website, Heddles.com, released the article below, and I understand why I received a question about what we do in Sashiko. Although I don’t find it much value in categorizing many forms of Sashiko, I have been trying to “define” what Sashiko is. I thought it may be a good opportunity to introduce my understanding of the difference between “Stitched Sashiko and Woven Sashiko.” There is one basic distinction there.

 

The History of Sashiko – Repair, Decoration, and Martial Arts

 

Stitched Sashiko and Woven Sashiko 3

 

 

 

As the article says, “Sashiko Style” it is.

First of all, please understand that I am NOT making any criticism of the article. The article is very well-written and accurate in my understandings. A few “wording” could confuse the readers, and I believe the question I received is because of “good editing (The article didn’t fully explain to make the article compact and improve the readability)”

 

As the article says,

The martial arts Gi worn in Aikido has been, for quite some time, woven in the sashiko style.

 

This pretty much answers to the question. The martial arts Gi were “woven” in the Sashiko “Style”, not Sashiko stitched. In order to clarify what Sashiko is, I define Sashiko is the “Stitched” items. Therefore, I do not categorize Woven Sashiko as the authentic Sashiko.

Woven Sashiko is often called “Sashiko-Ori” or “SashiOri”. It creates the Sashiko-like looking with the unique technique to make the textile. It is not the matter of which is better or not. It is the matter of preference and the difference of origin & its purpose.

 

Regardless, please understand that I have sincere respect for those who continue producing the woven Sashiko. It requires a lot of skill & techniques, and only honorable artisans can do that.

 

History of Martial Arts and Sashiko

I just wanted to make sure if I appropriately understand the timeline (history) of Sashiko and martial arts. This is a result of quick research.

*Please kindly let me know if I made a mistake in the description below. I do not mean to disgrace the history or someone’s culture.

 

Many Japanese Martial Arts formed “Do (道 = Way)” after Edo period after Japanese opened the country over the national isolation. Sashiko was largely performed in many areas in Japan over the national isolation, which is before the martial arts start forming their own way. The most popular martial arts in Edo period was with a sword, which leads to Kendo later on (剣道 = sword fighting). We can find the hand-stitched Kendo Gi (Uniform) in the history. Also, the firefighter in Edo period wore the jackets with hand-stitched Sashiko.

After the Meiji period, the weaving and textile manufacture started producing the textile inspired by Sashiko stitching. They used the unique technique to weave the stitched patterned textile. Because of its thickness and durability, people started using the textile to make their Dogi (道着 = martial arts uniform). We can see it in Aikido, Judo, and Kendo.

 

I believe the hand-stitched martial art uniform still exist. However, it is not the mainstream because of its price. Instead, the Dogi, which requires a type of mass-production use the weave Sashiko textile. That’s the hisotry behind the sentence of Haddels, “Sashiko Style.”

 

 

The difference between Stitched Sashiko and Woven Sashiko

My intention to write this article is to share my understanding of what is the difference between Stitched Sashiko and Woven Sashiko. Please understand that I am not comparing and ranking these two cultures. Both of them have a great history, and both of them are great Japanese culture. After all, it is about your preferences and availability in the society.

Here, I would like to mention a few points that differentiate Stitched Sashiko and Woven Sashiko significantly.

 

Stitched Sashiko and Woven Sashiko 5

 

Sashiko stitching for the ordinary people. Anyone can do that

I believe Sashiko was (is) an ordinary needlework that the ordinary Japanese practiced in the necessity. The people performed Sashiko for the purpose of mending, repairing, strengthening, and decorating the fabric. Anyone could do that in their household, and anyone can enjoy Sashiko without much preparation now. This simplicity is one of the key point of Sashiko; that one person can make stitches for their need.

 

I call the process, “Caring”, that the person is thinking of someone by making Sashiko stitch. It was a culture within a household for a long time. In contrast, Woven Sashiko requires machines and investment. It is a culture of industrialization, I would say.

 

Stitching for Caring. Woven for Spreading

 

Again, there is nothing wrong with industrialization. The woven Sashiko requires a lot of skill and experience to produce. Woven Sashiko spread the Sashiko Style Textile in martial arts uniform and it created its name, “Sashiko Ori”. They are beautiful, and I have some items with Woven Sashiko.

Hand-stitched Sashiko wouldn’t be able to spread that much since it takes so much time to make one Jacket. If a Dojo (道場 = a training hall) has 30 students, let’s say, hand-stitched Sashiko wouldn’t satisfy their need so efficiently.

 

One of the beautiful Japanese mindset that I like is Chudo (中道 = Middle way).

In other words, we (the Japanese) sometimes do not make the final decision of black or white and keep it in gray color. In modern society where the solid answer and solutions are required, it won’t lead the person to the success if he/she doesn’t have the logical and clear conclusion.  However, when we care someone, it is good to have this non-dualism mindset. So, please understand that I am not saying which is better or not, either Stitched Sashiko and Woven Sashiko.