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, upcyclestitches.com. 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.

Alright.
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.

Alright.
Enjoy Sashiko.

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.

Sashiko Guide Cover

Sashiko Guide | List of Information Here

Thank you for visiting Upcycle Stitches Website. We have been adding more blog posts to enrich the contents of Sashiko and Boro. This is a Sashiko Guide to navigate you through the website.

二ツ谷恵子 & 淳 の刺し子ウェブサイトにお越し下さりありがとうございます。この Upcycle Stitches ウェブは、米国にて活動している淳の刺し子の情報ページです。日本語での情報は、日本にて二ツ谷恵子と運営しているウェブサイトにて掲載しております。英語に続いて日本語での記事もご紹介しておりますので、一読頂けましたら幸いです。

 

Sashiko Guide English Sashiko Guide Japanese

 

 

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| Sashiko Guide English

 

 

Sashiko Guide | Learn Sashiko Stitching here

This website, Upcycle Stitches, is a place where Atsushi shares his experience and knowledge regarding Sashiko stitching & other Japanese handcrafting culture. We collaborate with the other Sashiko and other hand-crafting artists in Japan and strive to enrich the contents to share the beauty of Sashiko and needlework (Unshin). We hope this post can walk you through as Sashiko Guide.

 

We provide the best & authentic Sashiko supplies

In order to answer the demand in the market, we provide the Sashiko supplies, such as thread, fabric, needle and thimble, with the great quality. We believe what we introduce on this website is the best in its quality and experience. Everything is made in Japan with respect to the original traditions and the surviving artisans’ comments to maximize the Sashiko Experience. Most of the supplies are available in our Sashiko Store within USA domestic & some international order.

 

Indigo Dye Sashiko Thread variegated
Natural Indigo Dye Sashiko Thread | All hand-dyed by Keiko Futatsuya
Sashiko Needle & Sashiko Thimble. The must have items for the good Sashiko Stitching.

 

Sashiko Workshops to learn the traditions

In order to share the traditional Sashiko technique, we offer the Sashiko Workshop. The best way (the most efficient and confirmed way) is to take part in the on-site, Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic), that we offer in TriBeCa Area, NYC, every 2 months or so.

For the workshop schedule, please check the Sashiko Workshop Schedule 2018.

 

Upon the requests for those who cannot travel to NYC, we have been developing the Sashiko Online Workshop.

We have just offered the first workshop in June 2018 and doing our best to continue offering it. Please check the detail here, and register your seat when you find a good time to join it.

 

Free and Enjoyable opportunity to feel Sashiko

We also offer a Live Streaming on Youtube, every Wednesday at 9 pm in EST (New York Time) to share the actual Sashiko Stitching.

The Live Streaming is for an opportunity to look at how the Sashiko practitioner like Atsushi makes stitching, not a workshop. We would rather talk about the history of Sashiko, Boro and other related things, why we do Sashiko and such rather than how to do Sashiko. You will find some very useful Sashiko Tutorials on our Youtube Channel for those who would teach themselves.

 

Your requests, questions, and feedbacks are very important for us. We may not be able to accomplish everything we receive, but we will try our best to come up with a reaction. We sincerely believe that the reactions with cares are the core of Sashiko stitching and hand-crafting.

 

The main topics we introduce on the Website

 

Sashiko Guide All the main

 

June 2017 Sashiko Workshop in NYC

How to Start Sashiko | A tutorial from Sashiko Artists

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Sashiko Mending Gathering

Mending Jeans and Garments with Sashiko

I started providing Sashiko workshops in NYC in 2016. I was happily surprised so many people were interested in Sashiko ...
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Sashiko Thread | The key of good Sashiko

In order to cook a tasty meal, you would need fresh & quality ingredients. Similarly, in order to complete a ...
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BORO | Textile Art from Ancient Japan

Every time I host a Sashiko workshop in NYC, I hear the word of BORO. The word of "BORO" became ...
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Sashiko Stitched Fabric

Sashiko Stitched Fabric from our acheivement

We have been practicing Sashiko stitching for more than 30 years. The founder of Sashi.Co, Keiko Futatsuya, has 33 years ...
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Sashiko and Animism

Inspiring handmade Sashiko Artwork

Thanks to the customised workshop participants from NYC, we have numbers of great photos of our Sashiko Artwork. It is ...
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| Sashiko Guide Japanese

 

刺し子という文化を残したい

 

岐阜県にて刺し子業を営む家族の長男として生まれ、長い間、刺し子と向き合ってきました。紆余曲折を経て、米国への移住となりましたが、「刺し子という文化」への尊敬は今も変わっていません。どのような日々を過ごすことによって、「刺し子を後世に残すことができるのか」。この問いを常に抱えて、今後も様々な活動をしていきたいと思っています。

 

英語で行っている程の頻度ではございませんが、日本語でも情報を発信しております。母親の個人事業である、「Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya (刺し子でデザインする)」のウェブサイトを通して、刺し子に対する私達の思いを言葉にしております。また、私達が使う刺し子糸や針、指ぬき、ハサミといった道具や材料もオンラインにて販売しております。

「刺し子は何か」と定義をしたり、二元論での「正解」と「間違い」を出すことが私達の目的ではなく、「日常に存在していた刺し子」を、できるだけありのままの形で、紹介していければと思っております。

 

 

また、毎週火曜日と金曜日の夜11時より、インスタグラムにて「刺し子配信」をしております。

 

 

お伝えしたい想いが沢山あります。

言葉にできていないものも多く、上手に言葉にできない部分は配信を通して、試行錯誤をしております。

是非、ウェブサイトと配信を通して、私達と刺し子を知って頂ければ幸いです。

 

Sashiko Guide HandsOn Sashiko Workshops