What is Sashiko? | As a Sashiko Artist

As a Sashiko artist, I would need to answer to a fundamental question; “What is Sashiko?”

The answer to this question would require a serious of explanations on its background. Yes, this website “Upcycle Stitches” has the mission to explain and share what Sashiko is. Before establishing the database of its history and culture, I would like to share my conception of Sashiko. F0r the series of article to define Sashiko and answer ‘what is Sashiko ?” please visit our cornerstone page for Sashiko definition and terminology.


conception of Sashiko


Enjoy Sashiko. with thinking less of Right or Wrong

There are many tutorials in form of books, DIY kit, and online materials such as video and websites.

I usually tell my students in the workshop that there are no rules or restrictions for Sashiko. For me, it is much more important that people continue enjoying stitching than giving up continuing because of its regulation and rules. In short, I believe there is no such a thing as “Right or Wrong” in Sashiko.


However, please do not misunderstand my words. I am not saying that the books and tutorials about in the market are “mistaken” because some of them explain the rule, like what to do and what not to do. In fact, I sincerely respect the contribution to this Japanese stitching culture from many people, in and out of Japan. I am happy that I am part of it to embrace this beautiful upcycle and repurposing culture.


Some rules. No restriction. Never Right or Wrong

What I try to share is the most efficient and enjoyable way to embrace Sashiko from my family’s experience. I will share some of the rules to make looks better. Many of books and online tutorials are sharing their perspective to make stitching more beautiful. It is up to you to decide what is beautiful or not. So, I want you to feel free to investigate as many techniques as possible to expand the experience.
There are some rules to make it better, but no restriction you have to follow. There shouldn’t be any “right” or “wrong” in Sashiko art. As long as the art has the purpose of “appreciating the fabric by repairing, stitching, and strengthing.”
what is sashiko? 3


Make it available (Open-Source) for people who wish to enjoy

One of my goal of establishing this website is to make Sashiko open source, available for anyone who would like to enjoy. The best way to learn from me is to join the workshops. However, I understand that not everyone can make a trip to wherever the workshops are available. Also, I would like people to have access to the information so they can continue enjoying Sashiko.


Please visit my tutorials to enjoy the technique and its culture.

Category “Tutorials” in Upcycle Stitches

Youtube Channel for Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya



What I am trying to do is simple. I want to share the joy of Sashiko to as many people as possible. I hope you can be part of the movement, to appreciate the fabric and make what we have to beautiful and wonderful art. Upcycle and Repurpose it.


I am still looking for the answer to “What is Sashiko?”

I am sorry that I didn’t explain clearly what Sashiko is. In summary, I wanted to share the fun of Sashiko by simply enjoying stitching instead of worrying what is Sashiko. At the same time, I understand that there is a need to define what Sashiko is. I used to have the solid definition of Sashiko. However, after learning other types of Sashiko in Japan, I start doubting myself. I am still in a journey of looking for the answer to the question.


I hope I can reach to the definition after research on Sashiko and creating more Sashiko arts.

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