In regular hand-stitching, people use a knot to hold the thread & stitchings. We usually do not make a knot. Instead, we use “Sashiko Kasane” which is overlay stitches to hold the thread without creating an obvious mark at the beginning and end of stitching. In my workshop, I try my best to translate as many Japanese words as possible, I use “Kasane” to indicate the overlay stitching. Sometimes people call it, double stitching, reverse stitching, return stitching and so on. In order to avoid confusion, when I would like to mention about the overlay stitches I explain here, I say Sashiko Kasane.
Some Sashiko projects require having clean (tidy) results on both front and back side. Sashiko Kasane is a wisdom of keeping the thread and stitching on the fabric without making a knot. By making 2 ~ 3 Kasane, the thread will be secured with good looking, almost the people will not know which is front and back.
Illustration of Sashiko Kasane
This illustration briefly explains the concept of Kasane. There are mainly 3 occasions the stitcher may apply Kasane on their Sashiko stitching.
- At the beginning of Stitching
- In the end, when finishing the stitching
- When continuing the stitching with the new thread.
It is difficult to explain everything in writing. So with the help of illustration above, please try to watch this “Live Streaming Tutorial” regarding Kasane. I explain and demonstrate how to make Kasane. After 15 minutes or so of tutorials, I just kept working on my denim project.
Sashiko Thread is must to have for Kasane
You need to use Sashiko Thread to get the benefit of Kasane.
When you use the embroidery floss, Kasane will not work. If you follow all of my procedure and yet it doesn’t work, then check your thread. If you purchase the thread from me, and if it still doesn’t work, please contact me. However, most cases, when using our Sashiko Thread, the Kasane should work beautifully.
In the current society where we can put lining fabric on the backside (to be hidden side) of the fabric, Kasane is not so important. Kasane was the necessary technique when they had to use both sides as the finished side.
Students ask me if they should or have to use Kasane.
The answer is “No.” There is nothing wrong with Sashiko with making a knot.
As a Sashiko artist who practices Sashiko stitching as traditionally as possible, it is my responsibility to share the technique they used to follow. I hope this article and tutorial help you to understand the technique and concept of Kasane.