Happy New Year! I know it is a late greeting on January 18th. I apologize for slow update on this website. I have so much to share. I make myself to write a story about Sashiko every single day on Sashi.Co’s Instagram and SNS (Also company’s Instagram & Facebook), and therefore, I put this website in later priority. In order to improve it this year, I will make a monthly update from January! This is an update of our Sashiko January 2021.
Update of our Sashiko January 2021
Please follow our SNS account (Instagram & Facebook) to get a daily story about our Sashiko. I will keep sharing the stories there – honest stories including all of the emotions: happy & angry & sad & appreciative stories.
You may be surprized how people react to what we share on SNS.
List of updates
Japanese Sashiko/Boro Facebook group
Sashiko Live Streaming
Sashiko Online Class
Sashiko Zoom Gathering
Following the previous 2 years, we are cerebrating the new year with offering the special deal, Sashiko Fukubukuro. Please take a look & try to catch this opportunity (the Fukubukuro will end on January 24th).
In addition to our daily update on SNS, I made an unique Facebook Group for Japanese Sashiko and Boro. This group is NOT a place to be an artist to showcase their Sashiko, nor a place to ask a quick questions. It is a place to learn what Sashiko/Boro is for the Japanese people with welcoming some Japanese Sashiko stitchers into the group. Anyone can make a post with their Sashiko. However, the group require the mindful understanding of the Group Guideline. If you are interested in learning more, please join the group.
Before Covid-19 pandemic, I had offered Sashiko Live Streaming twice in every weeks around 9~10 am on Friday in Eastern Time Zone. After Covid-19, with having my child in our house, I moved the Sashiko Live Streaming at night in EST. I try my best to offer the Live Streaming as often as I can. However, at this point, I cannot make a specific schedule.
Please subscribe our Sashiko channel so that you can get the latest update for our Sashiko Live Streaming.
Sashiko Online Class
It is my sincere pleasure to offer the Sashiko Online Class in 2021 as well. The goal of Sashiko Online Class is to offer the necessary technique & knowledge to keep enjoying Sashiko. Sashiko Online Class is not the end of the learning: It is the starting point of the learning to find your own Sashiko.
From my experience of “failure” before, I am trying my best to operate the business by myself. Once I “hire” someone, I would start concentrating on making money to support the partner. Therefore, what I do is very slow in comparison to my ideal. However, I share it one by one, slowly but surely.
Your support for our activity on Patreon would be very much appreciated to expedite my journey. Once I have secured the monthly income, I may be able to hire someone to help me out. Well… probably an office & child-care (while I work) may be the priority before hiring someone.
The year of 2020 became such a strange, difficult, and challenging year. I am happy and relieved to write this article after all of challenges we had gone through. Thanks to your support, we are here today. We would like to welcome the new year of 2021 with the same way as we always did – with Sashiko Fukubukuro 2021.
The Japanese cerebrates new year’s business with offering the Fukubukuro (Fortune Bag – Lucky Bag). It is our pleasure to offer the great Fukubukuro again. Please read other articles about Sashiko Fukubukuro to understand what it means to us, in 2020 and 2019.
Sashiko Fukubukuro 2021
Some business use the opportunity of Fukubukuro to clear the excessive inventories (some even say that “Clear inventory Sale (在庫一掃)”. For us, Fukubukuro is an opportunity to offer a bit of discount at the beginning of year to enjoy Sashiko. We rarely offer the discount on our items in our store, so please enjoy this opportunity to get the great deal for Sashiko thread & other items.
*In Sashiko items/supplies/tools we carry, there aren‘t any “trend” and “expiration date”. Also, most of them are not mass-produced. So, we do not have hundreds of inventory to clear and there are no worries for items to be wasted. Fukubukuro is a way to share our appreciation.
Each Fukubukuro has a theme. For example, in 2021, A.Keiko Bag is for the “thread lovers (Only threads, but many various kinds of thread)” and B,Azu Bag is for the “Sashiko Practitioners (thread, fabric, and some patterns to enjoy Sashiko)”. Please read this article as well as the product page carefully to find the best match for you (You are welcome to purchase several of Fukubukuro).
How to get Sashiko Fukubukuro 2021
All of the Sashiko Fukubukuro will be available for sale starting on January 2nd around 8~9 pm EST on our Store. The all sales ends on January 24th at midnight or all of the materials I had prepared are sold out. The shipment will be made accordingly, but please expect 3 ~ 14 business days for us to complete the shipping. (The regular order will have the priority.)
The price includes the US Domestic Shipping (either USPS priority or USPS First Class with tracking). If you are ordering it to the Non-US Address, please expect a follow-up email from Atsushi for the shipping fee adjustment. Based on the shipping address & type of Fukubukuro, I will suggest you the possible secured shipping options in Covid-19. Depending on the availability of international shipping, the package may be shipped from Japan.
*The contents & Price of the Fukubukuro may be different from today’s plan (Dec.31st). Please check the final product page for the final contents of the Fukubukuro.
The theme for A. Keiko Bag is “Sashiko Supreme Thread“.
We keep saying. “Thread Does Matter” in Sashiko. I receive many feedbacks from customers/friends with saying, “Yes, I got the reasons you are talking about” after they actually try our Sashiko thread. Thread is the biggest consumption in Sashiko. In order to enjoy Sashiko, we have to use thread (needless to say). Therefore, a Fukubukuro with a lot of threads are our ordinary offer in every year’s Fukubukuro.
This year, A thread bag (so called”A Keiko Bag“) will have a choice of its sizes.
Nami – Compact Size (Est. $40.00)
Dai – Big Size (Est. $140.00)
Tokudai – Super Size (Est. $250.00)
Nami – Compact Size
At least 4 skeins of Sashiko threads from the list below (3 regular Sashiko thread + small Sashiko thread). No Natural Dye Sashiko Thread will be included.
Dai – Big Size
At least 9 skeins of Sashiko threads from the list below, including at least 3 Natural Dye Sashiko Thread from our regular Natural Dye Collections. The bag includes some small Sashiko thread as well (the 9 skeins I promise will include a few small skeins).
Tokudai – Super Size
At least 12 skeins of Sashiko thread from the list below, including at least 7 Natural Dye Sashiko Thread. Some Natural Dye will be one-of-a-kind that is already discontinued (Not even listed on the website). A package of needle & thimble will come with the bag. If you enjoy Sashiko with 10 skeins of thread, 3 extra needle may be good to have. (If you do not need a thimble, please introduce the Sashiko we practice to your family & friends with gifting it).
All of the Sashiko threads are the one we use in every day, both small (40m) skeins/cards to regular (145m) skeins. I will make sure that contents will exceed the retail value of our Sashiko Store. Natural Dye Sashiko Threads are hand-dyed by Keiko Futatsuya
This is a list of thread that I would pick up the colors. The possible colors you will get are the following (but not limited to):
I am happy to accept your preference in colors. If you have any preference (ex. I like pinks), please write your preference when you check out the cart as a comment to me. I cannot promise I can pick up the color exactly as you wish. However, I will do my best to make it happen. If your preference is “Earth Color” and “Soft Color”, please consider choosing the bag which contains the Natural Dye Sashiko Thread.
*A set of Needle & thimble will be available as “add-on” with the special price.
The theme for B. Azu Bag is “(A lot of) Fabric & Thread & Some pattterns (Mylar Sheets) for Sashiko Practitioners.”
The more I continue the journey of “Sharing Sashiko”, the more “Sashiko beginners” I meet. I feel the “trend” of Sashiko more than ever. For the Sashiko Fukubukuro 2021, in “Azu Bag”, I decided to offer some choices in selection.
Azu Bag for Sashiko Beginner (Est. $50.00)
Azu Bag for Sashiko Stitcher (Est. $150.00)
Azu Bag for Sashiko Artisans (Est. $250.00)
Azu Bag for Sashiko Beginner
This bag is for a beginner who has never tried our thread, needles, a thimlble, and fabric. It is a compact package of everything you need to “try” our Sashiko stitching with a reasonable price. Most of the tutorials to enjoy our Sashiko are already on Youtube. You may need to spend a bit of time to learn – but I believe it is a good start to learn how to prepare the fabric as well. I plan to make a designated tutorial as well (toward the end of January).
Azu Bag for Sashiko Stitcher
We have several patterns that we had enjoyed stitching in 2020. We will send you “all supplies you would need” to enjoy several of new patterns with good amount of fabrics & threads.
Azu Bag for Sashiko Artisans
A lot of fabric + some vintage/rare fabrics that I have been collecting. I may contact you to understand the preference if you are the returning customer.
My wish for this years’ “B. Azu Bag” is to encourage a Sashiko lovers in continuing(starting) Sashiko stitching. The bag will have an essential items – as much fabric & thread as possible (toward the bigger bags). I will also make some tutorials to encourage you to enjoy Sashiko (For those who follow me, it may be a repetitive information. I hope it will be a good refreshment).
A list of items the Be.Azu bag “may” include…
Our Supreme Sashiko Thread
Fabric(s) made in Japan – good fabric for Sashiko stitching.
Supplies to prepare the fabric with patterns.
Other Sashiko related items.
*Please be noted that the thread clipper on the sample photo may not be included.
In each bags, I will try my best to meet your expectations and exceed the item’s value (above the retail price on our website). My goal is always to encourage people to start & continue enjoying Sashiko. If you are a beginner, please mention it in the comment box at the checkout. If you are a returning customer (You are my friend), please let me know your preference. I am here to encourage you to enjoy Sashiko. Please contact me if you have any questions before the purchase.
As I mentioned above, many tutorials are already on Youtube for you to learn how to prepare the fabric & how to avoid making knots. I plan to make a webpage designated to the Fukubukuro customer as well. After receiving the Fukubukuro, if you would like to learn the Core of Sashiko (how to stitch like we do), please consider taking the Online Sashiko Class.
The special Bags I am still wondering…
Last year, I made one gigantic Fukubukuro with a pile of thread, fabric & supplies/tools in it. I received many good reviews & several requests – which were “More fabric”, “More Natural Dye”, and “Vintage fabric enough to make ‘To-Be-Boro’ piece”. I have been trying to collect fabric & thread, but I do not know if this “huge” bags are good option to offer in Covid-19 (since it is a bit more difficult to get supplies from Japan).
Therefore, I am still wondering if I can/will offer a special Fukubukuro for both Keiko Bag & Atsushi Bag with following the same theme. I have a few packages of “project materials to make Boro-to-be bag or placemat” that I am (was) planning to offer in 2021 with limited amount (Photo is coming – available upon request). Also, for those who wish to have A LOT of thread and fabric… These are the biggest Fukubukuros for 2021.
I think I can only prepare a few of this bag. I will offer them. However, I may take it down while watching what I have in my storage room.
Terms and Conditions for Sashiko Fukubukuro
Please read the terms of “Sashiko Fukubukuro” service before you complete the order. Fukubukuro is based on the concept of “a blind bag” and “a lucky bag”. Therefore, we do not accept any returns of the contents you receive. We will do our best to exceed your expectations, and promise that the value of the contents will be above the total of retail value on our webstore.
The Bags will be sold between January 2nd around 8~9 pm in EST to January 24th. The sales continue while the supply last, and it may be ended before the final date.
The shipping will be made accordingly. However, unlike the other regular orders which we usually ship in 1~2 business day, the Sashiko Fukubukuro order will take longer than that (Please expect a few days to 2 weeks to be shipped). I will do my best to complete the shipping as soon as possible.
We will not accept any return or cancel after the shipment. If you would like to cancel the order, please let us know as soon as possible.
The Sashiko Fukubukuro Bag may contain an item without original packaging. We will re-package and will send them in a nice condition.
The item may be an item that was “returned” as the sellable condition. No second-hand item will be included (besides the vintage fabric).
The price of Sashiko Fukubukuro (2021) include the US Domestic shipping fee. If your shipping address is outside of the U.S., you may purchase one with agreeing the extra shipping fee will be applied (I will contact you with the estimate with reasonable & safe pricing to deliver under the Covid-19). Depends on the shipping address, the package may be shipped from Japan.
*All the photos are the sample contents. Colors and items insides are subject to change, but the photo explains what you can expect to get.
*Keiko maybe preparing for the Sashiko Fukubukuro – international version. Please consider one when if it becomes available.(Keiko’s English shop).
It has been a great fun to share the Sashiko we practice on Youtube in form of “Sashiko Live Streaming”. The purpose of this Sashiko Live Streaming is to offer a real view of unedited Sashiko Stitching. I understand the great need for me to talk in English in the Live Streaming. However, since English is my second language, I often end up with talking in Japanese especially when I do not have a specific topic to talk about. As much as I will do my best to prepare the English Sashiko Live streamig, I would like to try other methods to deliver the similar message. One idea I came up with is the “Sashiko Zoom Lecture“
What is Sashiko Zoom Lecture?
First, please understand that Sashiko Zoom Lecture is not a workshop or a class that I teach some Sashiko techniques. If you are interested in learning the Sashiko technique and posture, please consider taking the Sashiko Online Class. I am confident that the learning in Online Sashiko Class will enrich the experience in Sashiko Zoom Lecture.
Second, please be advised that this is not “Sashiko Gathering” that I occasionally offer. In “Sashiko Gathering”, anyone can speak up anything about Sashiko in a Zoom Meeting. I do not record the gathering, and I do not insist the copyright of any contents. I do not control who talks about what. I even leave the meeting with asking someone to be in charge from time to time. Sashiko Gathering is more like a “friend gathering”, and therefore, as of 2020, I only invite people who I know from Sashiko Workshop & Online Sashiko Class.
The Sashiko Zoom Lecture is an opportunity for me to answer your questions over a Zoom meeting. In the Youtube Sashiko Live Streaming, I just would read out the comments and offer the answers to the question as I talk & stitch. Since I often receive the same question, I end up with talking the same thing. There is nothing wrong with repeating the same answers (and I probably should do so to increase the subscribers), but I would prefer to talk about something new everytime I am doing. Sashiko Zoom Lecture enable me to choose the question first, and then I can have a conversation partner who has a question about.
I will invite those who wish to join the Sashiko Zoom Lecture with mute on. When you have a question about Sashiko, you may share it via “DM/Comment” on Zoom Platform. When I confirm the question is not so repetitive, I will ask the person to be my conversation partner for the question. You do not have to bring any questions, but please agree with the rules & guideline of Sashiko Zoom Lecture below
Guideline for the Sashiko Zoom Lecture
The whole lecture will be recorded. We shall obtain all of the copyright, and will upload the video to Youtube as an archive. The participants agree to allow me to upload the video which may contain the visual and/or audio contents. Although it is okay to not to share the image (joining with no videos), it is the participant’s responsibility to control the On/Off of the video.
The purpose of this Lecture/Discussion is to have a good discussion about Sashiko in English. A good question will be very much appreciated to enrich the discussion.
Please keep the microphone muted until I direct to unmute. When you are invited to the discussion, please engage in the discussion. It will be our dialogue. (It is more like a remote school that many children are experiencing now under Covid-19.)
This is a trial and free of charge to join. There is a capacity of 100 participants at once.
This is not a workshop or class to teach techniques of Sashiko. So, I will probably not answer the question about “How to”. Please consider taking the Online Class for the specific techniques.
Please be advised that I may not answer the questions regarding the techniques and patterns to be fair with the participants of Online Sashiko Class / In-person Sashiko workshops. A question about Sashiko history & mindset would be very much appreciated. (The summary of many questions I have received so far is available on Patreon.)
I welcome a question. However, please do not “challenge” me. Upcycle Stitches LLC will have the right to remove a participant from the meeting.
All the questions & comments has to be somewhat related to Sashiko and/or Boro.
(Update: December, 2020)
How to proceed it
Please fill out the Google form to register the Sashiko Zoom Lecture after reading & agreeing the guildline above.
Please expect an email from Atsushi for the Link to join the Sashiko Zoom Lecture. As of now, the dates are very irregular. If meetings go well, I try to make it more periodical.
Once you join the Zoom meeeting, please make sure that your microphone is muted.
Please comment on the Zoom Meeting for your question. When I find a question non-repetitive, I will invite you to a discussion about Sashiko. (When you do not have any questions, you may just enjoy watching us talk.)
I will direct you to unmute the microphone. I will answer your question as if I have you as my conversation partner.
Once the question is answered & no more questions are appeared, I will move on to the next question.
In order to secure the privacy of the Lecture, I will NOT share the zoom link (meeting ID) in public. If you are interested in joining, please fill out the form (Please edit your answers if you have filled out before for Online Sashiko Gathering). I will send out the email with link when we are ready.
Why Do I offer the Sashiko Live Streaming
I have reasons why I offer the Sashiko Live Streaming on top of everything.
“I want you to learn the Sashiko as the Japanese would have learned” is one of the reasons here. Many Japanese crafts were(are) passed down in learning by just looking. There is no caricurum. There is no textbook. The apprentice observe what the master does, and then learn by themselves without specific teaching. In fact, that’s how I learned the Sashiko I am teaching today. I am just summarizing my decades into 3 hours.
Anyone can learn Sashiko as they wish. For me, sharing the Live Streaming in which no one can “edit” and “hide” is the best thing I can contribute to the Sashiko we would like to pass down.
Please watch the Sashiko Live Streaming. There may be something you can learn even if I only talk in Japanese. Then, please join this new adventure, Sashiko Zoom Lecture, where I may be a bit more precise help to you.
Upcycle Stitches & Sashi.Co are both online based business / a group of Sashiko artisans. We offer an option to visit us to look at our Sashiko items and supplies, but they are only available by appointment (all of the plans are canceled due to Covid-19 pandemic). We do not have a physical store where a customer can stop by casually (I sincerely wish to have one as a studio one day). As a result, I made 3 storefronts to provide the better service as well as create the sustainable business operation. Here is one of reasons why we have several Sashiko Storefront.
The website you are reading now is accompany with the official web store. It is the best place to receive the best supply & best service including various kinds of follow-up such as Q&A. Your information will be registered to the Shopping-Store System (We use Ecwid), and securely stored there for the future support.
I make the website as D.I.Y project (simply because I don’t have a budget for that.) Therefore, unfortunately, it may not be the most comfortable interface. However, I keep improving the system, and products availability here. Your choice & reviews on the products are very much appreciated. It means a lot for me so that I can continue this business to support the Sashiko.
Upcycle Stitches on Etsy is as equally important as the official website. I try to list the same item with almost the same price, and I try my best to offer the same service as well. (I separate the inventory for Official Store & Etsy, so sometimes there is a mismatch in quantity and pricing).
I started Etsy Store way before I made the Official Site. It has been a great experience with them, and I wanted to keep the Etsy store as the “back-up” market place as well as a place where I share “one-of-a-kind” items.
Your review on Etsy would be very much appreciated as well.
We also have a storefront in Amazon.com to sustain our business. It is impossible to deny the impact on our society by Amazon & how our mindset had changed due to their new standard – free 2-days shipping (I am not judging. I am one of them). However, as a service provider, no matter how hard I try, I cannot beat that service (I ship the item fairly quick, but not as fast as Amazon does).
Also, in order to establish a healthy business structure, a storefront in Amazon plays a great role. So, there is fair reasons to have the Amazon storefront, and I appreciate Amazon for providing me an option to survive. From here, it is more like a “business topic”, so please skip until the next paragraph if you do not wish to read this. The paragraphs with Italic Style are about the business (a bit of peek).
In order to have the better purchase price (wholesale price) from the manufacture, the quantity is(was) important until we establish the trust each other. Therefore, when I had a change, I purchased a lot of skeins of thread. As much as I would like to make a profit, reducing the inventory was the priority for the size of my business – so small to focus on the cash-flow instead of the actual profit-loss point. Amazon.com, where I did not need to spend much time in fulfilling the order, was a great solution for me to make it happen. Therefore,
In Amazon, a customer will get the same product as I offer on the official store. However, the customer will not receive the same attention from me for picking & packaging the item. Please choose what is more important for you – either 2-days free shipping or caring packages with praying for you to enjoy Sashiko from me. Please do not get me wrong. It is not about which is good or bad. It is all about the needs & choice. I enjoy Amazon & therefore I offer the choices from there. If you do not mind waiting extra day or so, I will be the one who make the package with the most sincere care I can think of.
Priority Support for your Sashiko
Sashiko is getting very popular in the world. I receive many questions & requests for my opinion & support for Sashiko. As much as I would like to answer/reply all of them, I am alone here as a normal human being. I cannot answer all of the questions I receive.
So, here is the priority for the support for your Sashiko.
(1) In-person Workshop graduate & Online Sashiko Class Students > (2) Customers via the Official Web Store = (3) Etsy Customer.
I will try my best to answer the questions & requests from our Sashiko friends (I consider students & customers as friends) in the category of (1)~(3) in a few business day.
Then, the priority continues as follow:
(1)~(3) > (4) Customer with leaving the review on Amazon > (5) Regular Amazon Customer > (6) Anyone else.
In principal, I will try my best to answer any questions from anyone. However, please understand that the people in the category of (5) and (6) may not receive a reply from me. I will prioritize the customer who left their generous review on Amazon to answer the questions, so it would be great if you could leave the review there. Please be advised.Since I use the Amazon Fulfillment Center to complete the order, any issue with the order will be resolved via Amazon Customer Service.
Again, I will try my best to answer all of the questions I receive. If you have a specific question that you would need to have my answer, please try to join the Online Sashiko Class. I will reply the email within a day or so (sometimes within 30 minutes).
Your review means a lot to sustain our business
As a small business owner, reviews from customers (friends) are very critical in our business operation. Although I will not be an apple-polisher to get the great review, I sincerely appreciate the review on your experience in the products/service.
I am not an easy person on SNS – where anyone can say anything. I get pretty aggressive to those who does not respect the Japanese culture (I assume all of my customers/friends are somewhat interested in Sashiko). However, as long as a person is caring & respectful what we do, I will try my very best to be a supportive, nice, and encouraging one to navigate you to your own Sashiko.
One of the most frequent question I receive is about the thread. “Do we have to use the specific thread for Sashiko?” and “What is the difference between Sashiko thread and other regular threads?” are 2 most popular questions that I encounter very often. I have already answered these questions on this website, and I will introduce the link at the end of this article. Long Story short, the Thread Does Matter. Using the appropriate Sashiko thread makes a significant difference. This is a Sashiko Thread Update 2020, the best thread for the Sashiko Stitching.
Sashiko Thread Update 2020
As of March 2020, we offer 3 kinds of Sashiko threads.
If you wonder what to get, this is the thread I recommend.
*I occasionally receive a comment saying that the technique I share on Youtube does not “work”. Often, those who experience the difficulty in learning Sashiko are not using this thread. I can follow up better when you use this thread for your Sashiko stitching.
Whilte & Pastel Collection
CRN Sashiko thread is manufactured by a small thread manufacture (very strict artisan) in Japan. Due to their capacity, we often experience the shortage of supply. Good things takes time to get in hands.
At the same time, I wanted to keep offering a good Sashiko thread to keep encouraging our Sashiko friends. In 2018, I invested a lot to try many kinds of Sashiko thread. This thread is one of those I felt “very similar” to the CRN Sashiko thread. After using the W&P collection for over a year, I came to conclusion that the difference is so subtle that it is “almost the same” thread. W&P Collection have a very unique color offer, which is more “artistic (colorful)”.
The colors are not tradition much, but I believe it is a good addition to enjoy the Sashiko.
Sashiko is popular all over the world. Our recommendation is easily accessible for those who live in the U.S. since we will take care of the shipping very carefully & speedy. Although I offer the International Shipping, it can be challenging to get the thread we recommend depends where you live.
… I do not like the restriction. I want everyone to enjoy Sashiko regardless where they live. I hope you would be able to order the thread we recommend internationally, but it can be expensive & challenging.
So, I decided to try the thread from a big thread manufacture, Yokota Thread. After using their thread for a year or so, I came to a conclusion that they are very good thread. Please check the article about their thread.
About Yokota Sashiko Thread (Wait for an update)
*The Yokota Thread is available in many countries through many market places. It will be very helpful to purchase from us (Upcycle Stitches) when you have a choice. Your careful choice help me to invest more in searching & testing the better thread for the Sashiko.
What is the best Sashiko thread?
CRN Sashiko Thread and W&P Collection are very similar to each other. In order to tell a difference, one has to stitch quite a lot. Otherwise, the difference is so subtle that one will not realize. Plus, there is no better or worse. They are both good. It is depends on the preference of color & availability.
Yokota Sashiko thread is as good as the other 2 Sashiko thread. They are just different & comes in a smaller skeins & different thickness. The “Thick” option is thinner than CRN and W&P Collection.
Stitching Sample for our Sashiko thread
The photo above is my Sashiko stitching samples for each Sashiko thread with the same Asano-ha pattern.
There are many more good Sashiko thread. However, I only recommend the thread, and offer them only after I use them heavily. I would like to make sure that I am offering something I enjoy using/stitching.
Again, the thread (Sashiko Thread) I did not mention here may be a good thread. It is the matter of preference after all. However, choosing the “appropriate Sashiko thread based on 30+ years of expertise” will enrich your Sashiko experience.
As much as it is scary, frustrating, and sad to experience the pandemic of COVID-19, I support the Federal/State government decision to combat the virus via temporary closing some business. I understand that we live in a freedom of “opinions”. However, I believe, it is just best to stay at home and keep the appropriate social distance. Staying at home for 2 weeks or even more sounds quite scary. I would like to offer the special deal for the Sashiko Online Class special for you to utilize this time to learn & stitch Sashiko. I will do the same. I will stay home and Sashiko stitch, hopefully with my daughter.
*This special offers (Stay Home & Sashiko Special with Store Credit) has ended at the end of June 2020 with accepting the state of PA moving its phase to “Green”, which is a process to reopen. Although we “may” be able to offer another special offer in the future, the detail and timeline is unknown and unexpected. It wasn’t easy to offer something like that big – and it was a contribution I thought I could do for the world under Covid-19. Your understanding is very much appreciated.
(Update on 7/19)
Stay Home & Sashiko Special
This Special Offer ended on June 30th. Thank you very much!!
I would like to offer $110.00 store credit for a new participant of Sashiko Online Class 2020. After your registration, I will send you the coupon of $110.00 that you can use on anything in our web store (*1). You will receive exactly the same materials, lectures, and follow-up from Atsushi to learn the core & basic of Sashiko. This time, I am offering the store credit so you may be able to get more thread, fabric, and other tools to continue your stitching for your time of stay home & Sashiko.
*1 – “anything” only applies to the US shipping address. The non-US shipping address can receive the same store credit of $110.00. However, please read the note below that some of the items are not eligible to use in coupon.
To the best use of coupon, I am planning to make a special “bag” to maximize your Sashiko experience including Sashiko thread and Japanese fabric. (Update: 3/20 – I did prepare the Special Bag here.) It is similar to the “Fukubukuro” I had prepared at the beginning of 2020. It is very rare to offer the similar deal… but, I guess it is an understandable offer in such a situation.
This offer ends when the shutdown/pandemic ends. The store credit will be effective for 365 days from the day you receive the coupon code.
Before the registration, please read the article of “Sashiko Online Class” to understand what you can expect from this class & how to proceed it.
Anyone in the world (where USPS or Japan Post makes a shipment) is eligible for this offer. However, if you live outside of the USA, the coupon will be used in the regular thread/supplies category. Some special dye Sashiko threads, new Sashiko thread (YOKOTA) & one-of-a-kind items will be outside of the coupon since they are only stocked in the USA.
This offer may be altered without any further notice. However, the credit will not be more than $110.00 (You are getting the most as of now).
I plan to offer the “Online Sashiko Gathering” via Zoom when my daughter’s school restart. This will be available to anyone who have taken Atsushi’s workshop, either Online or In-person.
Talk to oneself, instead of reacting in fear.
I learned that we feel fear mostly by “unknown”. When I experienced the earthquake in Japan, it was very scary and sad, but I feel the different kind of fear – unknown and unpredictable.
In these cases, we tend to “react”. React to the news. React to the numbers (of positive cases & ratios). React to frustration, and then reaction ends up panic.
Please do not get me wrong. It is natural to react. However, “reacting” to the news & opinions often exhaust us more than we can carry on. In those case, “shutting down the information for a period of time” could protect us from unnecessary reacting. In order to stop reacting, Sashiko and other hand-crafting is a great way to make our hands busy & empty our brain. It is a precious way to talk to friends, family and ourselves throughout the process of making, sewing, stitching, crafting and caring, instead of reacting in fear and frustration.
I hope to share the core of Sashiko & encourage anyone to enjoy Sashiko stitching as the ordinary Japanese had practiced.
It has been almost 3 years since the day I had offered the first Sashiko workshop in the United States. I cannot believe how fast time fly. Here, I would like to share what I am feeling as of now toward the year 2020. It is not a plan, just my feeling. So, your feedback would be appreciated to reform what I plan to do in 2020. My hope is to make 2020 for the year of “Sashiko Creation Year”.
1. Workshop Continue, but less in NYC
I continue offering Sashiko Workshops. The Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic) is the best way to share the Sashiko we practice. I had met many Sashiko friends there, and it is the biggest activity I do throughout the year. In 2020, however, I plan to offer fewer workshops in NYC. Instead, I will be more open to an individuals/organization who can arrange the workshop on behalf of me anywhere in the U.S.
As the year of 2019, the same workshop in Lewisburg (PA) and Online Sashiko Class will be available throughout the year of 2020. The contents are the same, just different locations and different media.
The Online Sashiko Class is one of the biggest achievements I have accomplished in 2019. I will keep improving the content in 2020. The special coupon for the Online Sashiko Class will be expired at the end of 2019, so please register your course before the end of 2019.
2. Focusing on Creation & Story-telling
Another big shift I made in 2019 (besides offering the workshop online) is the online platform where I can feel safe in sharing my honest insights. I publish fewer articles here on upcyclestitches.com as well as on SNS account. Instead, I make myself to publish at least 10 articles every month on Patreon Platform.
Sashiko is not only about the stitching techniques. There are hundreds (thousands) of stories I would like to share. I would continue this “story-telling” activities in 2020, and hopefully, I can summarize them into one book or something at the end of 2020, with more than 100 articles on Patreon. Your support there would be very much appreciated.
And, I wouldn’t want to forget about “Creation”.
I decided to take time off from “teaching & offering workshop” over the summer of 2019. (Although I end up spending time on replying over Social Media posts), it was fun to focus on creation again. As much as I love sharing Sashiko, I would like to have a certain amount of time for my personal creation. I will try to balance my work as well as actual creativity.
3. Following up the current followers rather than expanding
Many people advise me that it is time (the year) to take a risk. Sashiko is getting very popular, and many people would like to learn what I share. I could probably arrange a tour to visit cities all over the world with teaching Sashiko.
Some advise me that I should hire someone to accerate what I do. A famous proverb says: “strike while the iron is hot (Make use of an opportunity immediately)”
I agree with their advice. Their advice is very articulate and precise.
If my goal is to make a good wealth (being rich) by sharing Sashiko and expanding a community of Sashiko, then it is my time to accept any offers I would receive from anyone. Sashiko is now in the trend. While many other hand-crafting suffers from its lack of trend, I may be too fool to not to ride on this trend.
However, I would choose to focus on the “follow-up” to the current followers (friends who took my workshops) rather than expanding to the new audience. Please do not misunderstand what I am saying here though. I would LOVE to meet the new people who can share the passion for Sashiko. What I am saying here is that I would like to focus on what I can do instead of jumping high to “try” to catch something.
I will be available for the workshop in Lewisburg (PA) or Online Sashiko Class. The gate for the newcomers, who wish to come across to meet me now, is always open. It would be great if you could understand like this: that I feel a priority of supporting the people in current community. You are welcome to join there anytime you are willing to.
*My point is “willingness”. I do not want to “sell” what I am proud of for those who would like to ride “a quick trend” with less interest in the cultural perspective. By taking the risk, the priority needs to change. I probably won’t do that in 2020.
Toward the Sashiko Creation Year
Believe or not, I (Atsushi) am in charge of pretty much everything that we offer. Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya (Weblink in Japanese) is my mother’s project, and Keiko and I are the 2 main individuals to keep things moving forward with a lot of help from our friends in Japan.
Keiko and her friends in Japan are in charge of main production. What we share online with photos is mainly what they make. My job is to introduce them to rich stories as possible.
The solution would be asking someone to do part of what I do. However, Sharing Sashiko-stories is something only I can do. For the orders, I would like to make a package by myself with sincere appreciation for choosing us. I would need to train someone to the level of “caring”.
So, as a result, in order to keep the standard of what we do, we will not change the situation. Instead, I will slow-down myself to have some time for the creation time. It may be a crazy idea to slow down a project when the need is high… yet I would like to make sure the quality of what I deliver.
Money is merely a tool for us. It is very important to gain the profit to achieve what we want to do. However, if we have to change our values (mindset) to gain only money (be greedy to money more than we need), then I am putting the cart before the horse (misplacing one’s priorities).
I will do everything I can to share the Sashiko better, wider and more mindfully. The year 2020 will be a beautiful year for me and you with many Sashiko creations. The year of Sashiko Creation Year.
In 2019, I experienced the steep increase of inquiries asking me to write my insight, opinion, or understanding of Sashiko in the form of the contribution to an article to magazines, brochures, and books. As much as I would like to be their help, I have very limited capacity in 2019. So here is the policy for Sashiko Contribution that I can offer.
Sashiko Contribution for Academic Purpose
If you would like to have my writing for your research in the academic organization such as a university, please contact me with your academic background, the name of the institution, and possibly the thesis statement for your research.
I am happy to contribute to the development of Sashiko in the academic setting. The Sashiko contribution will be free of charge, and I will do my best to share what I have.
Although it is free of charge to write, it would be very much appreciated if you could take the workshop Atsushi offers (In-person and/or Online).
Sashiko Contribution for Commercial Purpose
If you would like to have my writing for the commercial purpose, such as publishing a book, a brochure for your organization (including the one with Non-Profit Organization), and your business, I will ask for the fee based on your requests and the purpose for the writing. When you contact me, please offer the fee you are thinking of. I will consider your inquiry attentively and get back to you. If you are not willing to pay for my writing yet would like to have them on your media, please try to follow the basic procedure below.
Please do not handle this lightly. A page of me writing about Sashiko may sound an easy job. However, if I am the one who writes, there will be a responsibility to what I write.
I am not a professional writer. English is my second language. However (therefore), I have to be very careful in writing what I would like to communicate. I cannot just write up without careful.
Free Sashiko Contribution?
I no longer accept the Probono work. I learned that people will handle the “free stuff” very lightly and less mindfully.
However, I also understand that it is unusual to pay compensation for just simply writing. So, here is my boundary. Please follow the list below, and I will be happy to be part of your work.
provide me a few copies of publications when it is in the market
For the Probono (No fee) work, please understand that the writing itself is my property, and you will just use them as the reference on your book.
Other than Sashiko Contribution
For non-native English amateur writer like me, “Writing (leaving the solid documents)” on something deeply related to Japanese culture is very challenging and scary. There is a huge risk of misunderstanding when I do not write the paragraph attentively and carefully.
The fee is for my time to be careful and thorough to what I write. If it is a matter of you writing based on what I write (Interpretation of what I have written), then I wouldn’t ask for the fee. Again, I am not a professional writer.
In those cases, please kindly inform me that you are referring my writing (when, where and about what). Please apply the appropriate citation standard as well. I will give you permission to use as the reference, but I will not give up the copyright.
Interview as the Alternative
Phone or Video-chat interview would be a good alternative to save the fee. Although at this point, I am not sure if I should do the interview for free of charge, I would like to see how it goes. Since it will be my merely talking about Sashiko, and you summarizing what I say as your interpretation, then I wouldn’t probably need that much return in this process.
If you are interested in interviewing me, please provide the list of information below.
The media that you would use the interview on.
The list of question in advance to the actual interview
Why you would like to have my comments on your media.
I had been sharing many stories about the Sashiko we practice on Instagram with many photos. With some unfortunate events, I decided to stop writing so many contents on Instagram – where anyone can see and say what they want out of their mind. Instead, I will keep the journey of sharing the Sashiko insights on the Patreon, where I ask a monthly contribution so I can spend a good amount of time to share & discuss if there is any conflict.
When you are interested in the Sashiko we practice to the level of asking me to write about the Sashiko we practice, it would be so much helpful to be a supporter and read through what I have been sharing first.
I am a human after all. As much as I respect the policy I implemented here, I have a preference in who I will be working together. When you ask me questions indicating you have not read my words mindfully before, then I will be discouraged to work with you. When I can tell you read and respect what I write, then I will be happy to work with. I may accept the offer even without the fee and specific purpose on the media.
I believe what I am asking here is reasonable. When you ask for someone to spend their time, you would either need to compensate for their time, or you spend the same amount of time in knowing who you are asking for.
Thank you very much for your understanding. Enjoy Sashiko Stitching and also reading my writing on Patreon. Remember, though. The truth exists in practice (stitching).
Keiko (from Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya) visited Otsuchi to share the workshop with members of Otsuchi Recover Sashiko Project on June 13th in 2019. The administrative group in Otsuchi Sashiko updated their blog with her visit, so here is a translated version for their writing. I appreciate their time to share the previous time with Keiko. It is the translation from their article part.1.
*The Original blog in Japanese, as well as the other articles about Otsuchi Sashiko, is available at the end of this article.
Keiko visits Otsuchi Sashiko
(Tried direct translation)
We offered a Sashiko Workshop by Keiko-san to our project members. Keiko told us that she would like to see us again and stitched together, then she drove more than 10 hours (one-way!) to make this workshop happened.
The members (they call them Sashiko-san) enjoyed the workshop with passion with longing to see Keiko for a long time. It is a lot of writing to summarize in one article, so we will write the series of articles.
Keiko arrived from Takayama (in Gifu Prefecture) to Otsuchi (in Iwate Prefecture) a day before the workshop with bringing many Sashiko samples, supplies and a mountain of hand-dyed Sashiko thread (This is one reason she prefer driving over flying). Look at her smile after so much driving. The photo is with the administrative staff of the project and Keiko in the project office.
The day of Keiko Sashiko Workshop
The entrance with Sashiko-san visiting the workshop space with Kanako san at the desk.
Sashiko-san were so happy to see Keiko after so many days. They all enjoyed the conversation with Keiko.
Keiko brought many Sashiko Jackets and bags (what Keiko made) for sharing the Sashiko ideas. Keiko even wears one of them. Look at the smiles.
17 members in the project participated in this workshop. With sharing the photos of excited Sashiko-san’s photos, we will conclude the article here. We will write more about the actual workshop.
I just wanted to share this article as soon as possible. I will summarize them later on with more information (like link to our philosophy to make the article easier to understand. This is one of the biggest reasons I continue Sashiko. I am very happy with this opportunity, and more importantly, their smiles (& serious faces).
I used to stick to only one type of Sashiko Thread. After opening the online store in the USA, I spent some time and investment to provide the more variety of the great thread for Sashiko. Here is a quick update for the Sashiko Thread Spring 2019.
4 Choices | Sashiko Thread Spring 2019
We carry several types of Sashiko thread. Please check the numbers to understand our preference and standard.
Ideally speaking, the Sashiko thread we carry need to fulfill the standard we expect: to be the part of the fabric. I am sure that the Sashiko Thread (1) will do the job we set as the standard. After all, it is our regular Sashiko thread. The thread (2) is also sufficient for all of the characteristic of Sashiko. It has been about a year since I start using the Sashiko Thread (2), and it is always a pleasure to work with.
The Sashiko Thread (3), Yokota thread, and the thread (4) from Fujix are very good quality thread manufactured by a long-established & big thread company. I use both of them occasionally and enjoy the stitching. The overlay stitches perform its function. However, I cannot declare that it is 100% satisfactory to our standard as of now because it has been only a few months since I started using it. The Yokota thread in “thin” thickness may be our least preference for Kasane & denim stitching, but great for the smaller projects.
Regardless of my honest confess above, I believe all of 4 threads are fulfilling the expectation to be a good Sashiko thread.
How about the other Thread?
I am aware that there are many other Sashiko threads available in the market. As I always say, you can use any kind of thread you would like. There is no such thing as right or wrong Sashiko. You don’t need to purchase the new thread for the Sashiko purpose if you have other thread.
However, please understand that the technique and wisdom I introduce “may” not work with the thread I do not carry. Also, in order to our Sashiko – which focus on the appreciation to the fabric, and as the thread to support the fabric, I strongly recommend using in the thread above.
I tried some of the thread and didn’t like some of them. For the others, I simply do not feel the needs of trying it. There are reasons why we have limited kinds of Sashiko threads, and I want you to have the best out of the best since you would spend so much time in Sashiko.
Enjoy One of a Kind
I am so proud of the Natural Dye & Hand-dye Sashiko thread produced by Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya. It is all “one of a kind” because they are hand-dyed with natural dyes. However, those with “gradient color” are the significant one of a kind color. Enjoy the Murazome while supplies last. We try our best to keep offering the similar threads, but it requires “luck” to make it happen as well.