My goal is to share the Sashiko that the Japanese have been practicing. This website, Upcycle Stitches, exist to achive the goal. In addition to this goal of “sharing Sashiko”, I have been dreaming to make Sashiko somewhat “Sustainable” to the future. It is not difficult to enjoy Sashiko today. I would like to keep it that way (easy to enjoy) in next 100 years, and possibly more. This is Asanoha Sashiko Pillow, as a first step to make it happen.
*This blog is an edit of original article here.
The Craftmanship as Profession
Sashiko have obtained its popularity as a hobby in Japan as well as in many other coutries. I am happy to see many people enjoying Sashiko as they wish. However, In order to keep the Sashiko practice as a sustainable culture, we would need to think about the foundation of its practice. The mutual understanding of the Sashiko value may be another important concept to consider.
The Mutual Understanding? Sustainable as a culture?
I do not mean to scare people out.
Simply speaking, we would need to advocate the value of Sashiko as a craft “all done by hands” in addition to a fun stitching activity. We would need to keep the “money” circulate so that we can support everyone who contribute to the Sashiko society such as thread manufactures, fabric mills, and Sashiko stitchers/artisans who spends so much time in this practice.
Anyone can enjoy Sashiko as a hobby. However, when the sustainablity in the long term becomes the topic of discussion, “supporting the rising artisan” become quite important priority. I believe the same thing happens in any other crafting culture anywhere in the world.
I have been teaching Sashiko in both English and Japanese since 2017 based on my 30 years of experience. Within Japan, we have completed several projects such as “Unshin Jacket” and “26 of Asanoha Sashiko”. While enjoying our students’ Sashiko, we occasionally offer “commisison work” for them to do Sashiko for us.
*Left Unshin Jacket. Right Asanoha Sashiko. The article in English for both projects are coming soon.
It is my goal to sustain this commission work as continuous project with wider acceptance so that we can offer more opportunities to rising artisans. I would like to keep offering a commission work so that they can shift their Sashiko from a hobby to craft, then artisanship.
I believe, this is how we can contribute to the Sustainable Sashiko.
Made by practitioners with high quality.
We ask our “friends (graduates of Atsushi’s workshop in Japanese)” to perform Sashiko stitching on the Japanese fabric we provided to them. They complete our request of Sashiko Stitching, and we pay a commission to them. Sashi.Co and Keiko Futatsuya will make a “finished item” with keeping the quality high, both Sashiko & construction of the product.
Although we ask a job to the “rising” artisans, we will gurantee the best possible high quality in its capability. The product is hand-stitched by a practitioner of Sashiko with strict supervision of Sashi.Co. We will do our best to offer the high quality products with various character of Sashiko stitching.
*There is no such as thing as “Right” and “Wrong” in Sashiko. Therefore, I believe, there is no such a thing as “Good” or “Bad” Sashiko – there is only a preference. Many people prefer the even stitches, and we value the evenness the most as the “skillful” item. In order to be skillful, a practitioner needs to stitch more. In order to stitch more, a commission work will be a great support for them to keep stitching. This Sashiko Cushion is my challenge to make a foundation of sustainable Sashiko.
Asanoha Sashiko Pillow
We made a Sashiko Pillow Cover with Asanoha pattern, Asanoha Sashiko Pillow, all hand- stitching on. Again, the Sashiko stitches are not done by the member of Sashi.Co or Upcycle Stitches. However, as you can see, the stitches are as even & beautiful as ours. We are so proud of the rising Sashiko artisans, and sincerely happy to be able to offer their work.
We have very limited amount of items in stock as of 2020. Hopefullly, we can keep offering the work to our artisans. Then, we will have more of the items coming along.
- Size: 46cm x 46cm (About 18 inch x 18 inch)
- *A square pillow is NOT included in the price.
- Front fabric: Cotton Fabric (Japanese Woven).
- Back fabric: Indigo Cotton Fabric (Japanese Woven)
- Hand Stitched by a Japanese Sashiko (to-be) Artisan with strict supervision by Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya. Constructed by skilled artisans.
By purchasing this product, you are directly supporting the rising (to be) artisans in Japan. I sincerely appreciate you on behalf of more than 10 people who are part of this journey.
Sashiko is all done by hands. Therefore, the production line can be very flexible to accomodate your preference & need. We are happy to accept the bulk order to come up with lower price. Since all of the process is done by hands, we can accomodate your needs from choosing the fabric to sizing of pillow case.
Your choice will support the future of Sashiko
I sincerely appreciate your support in our Sashiko stitching. In today’s society, a person can get a pillow cover with similar “design” with much less money. Some sell the pillow with “Asano-ha” pattern printed as Sashiko Pillow. Others may call their machine stitched Sashiko as the “authentic (traditional) Sashiko”.
Unfortunately, there is not many things we can do to “regain” the value of Sashiko since they are once already in the trend. Only one strategy I can take to redefine the value of Sashiko is to “share” and “ask to be mindful”. I cannot change someone’s mind. If a person wants to call a mere geometric pattern (without even stitching) Sashiko, I have no power to stop it. It is the beauty of freedom. After all, we can do what we want to do.
Therefore, your caring support & choice will make the future of Sashiko. I hope that the “Sashiko in the future” is something respecting the Japanese culture & many stories that the Japanese had accumurated over years.
We are here to do Sashiko. I am here to share the stories of Sashiko. We appreciate your time to try to understand us, and support our activities.