Reasons why we have several Sashiko

Reasons why we have several Sashiko Storefront.

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.

This is a edited version of post on Feb. 2019


Official Web Store

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.


Etsy Store // Upcycle Stitches

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.


Amazon Storefront of Upcycle Stitches

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.

Thank you very much for your time, in advance.

Sashiko Thread Update 2020

Sashiko Thread Update 2020 | The best for 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.

  1. Our favorite & most trusted Sashiko Thread – CRN Sashiko Thread
  2. Similar thread to (1). Experimented in 2017~2018 – White & Pastel Collection
  3. New Thread experimented in 2019 – Yokota

In order to make sure that the Sashiko thread we offer satisfy the need of our tradition, techniques & stories, I make myself try to use the thread for more than a year or so – with stitching & using.

CRN Sashiko Thread

All time our favorite. This is the best Sashiko thread we recommend all the time. We also use the thread from the same manufacture to create the Natural Dye, Indigo Dye, Kakishibu Dye, and other Natural Dye collection we offer (Such as Murazome Collection and Fall Deer Collection).

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.

Yokota Sashiko Thread

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.


Thread Does Matter

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.


Reference on Sashiko Thread Update 2020

Stay Home and Sashiko Cover

Stay home and Sashiko | Sashiko Online Class Special

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) will be ending at the end of June 2020 with accepting the state of PA moving its phase to “Green”, which is a process to reopen. It is still available, so if you are interested in taking the Online Class, please act before the end of June. Thank you!

(Update on 6/15)


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.


Register Sashiko Online Class


[Notes]
  • If you have taken the Sashiko Online Class in 2019 or 2020 with full regular price (about $300.00), you are also eligible to receive the $110.00 store credit. Please contact me with your email that registered to the Google Group.
  • If you have taken the discounted (trial) priced workshop in 2019, I am sorry that this credit will not apply to you. However, I am thinking to send you the discount coupon (probably one-time 10% off) throughout the Google Group.
  • 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.

I am looking forward to meeting you online.

Atsushi Futatsuya / Sashi.Co / Upcycle Stitches

Sashiko Creation Year Cover

Sashiko Creation Year | Toward 2020

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.

Sashiko Creation Year Dag

Sashiko Contribution

Sashiko Contribution | when you need Atsushi to write

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.

  1. Take the Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core and Basic), either In-person or Online Sashiko Class.

That’s it. I want the writer (author) to know what I am sharing with the Sashiko we practice. The best way is to take the well-structured workshop I offer.

Other favors to ask to have a better mutual understanding and respect would be:

  1. Support us via Patreon and read my stories
  2. 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.

Using the current media as References

We have many media where I share the insight, understanding, and wisdom of the Sashiko we practice. Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, and this website.

A lot of your questions and interests are already discussed on either media. It would be very respectful of you to look for the topic first on those media first.

Instagram to Patreon

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 Visits Otsuchi Sashiko

Keiko visits Otsuchi Sashiko.1

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)

Hello.

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.


[Editor’s note]

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).


Original Blog in Japanese

General introduction of Otsuchi Recovery Sashiko Project
https://upcyclestitches.com/otsuchi-recovery-sashiko-project/

An announcement for the exhibition of Otsuchi with Keiko & Sashi.co

 

 

Sashiko Thread Spring 2019 Cover

Sashiko Thread Spring 2019 | Update

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.

  1. Keiko’s Hand-Dye & Coron Synthetic Dye Sashiko Thread
  2. White Collection & Unique Color Maru Sashiko Thread
  3. Variety of Yokota Sashiko Thread
  4. Kakishibu Fujix Thread

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.


Sashiko Workshop in Japan

Sashiko Workshop in Japan

We appreciate the interest in our Sashiko Workshop opportunity in Japan. As of 2019, we only offer the Sashiko/Boro Workshop in Japan for those who completed Atsushi’s Sashiko Workshop (In-person or Online). If you are able to speak/understand the Japanese fluently, please check Keiko’s Japanese website for more details.

If you would like to have a privately arranged workshop in Japan while your trip to Japan, please check the below and follow the procedure, after taking the Atsushi’s Sashiko Workshop.

Keiko lives in Takayama city, Gifu Prefecture. Her schedule is usually tight, but we will do our best to arrange the workshop when the condition meets.



Boro making Workshops in Japan

We had offered several “Boro Making” Workshops in Japan. Before we developed the Online Sashiko Class, we did our best to communicate the basic & core of Sashiko by using the translating App. Since we are now ready with the Online Sashiko Class, we would like you to take this workshop first, then plan the workshop in Japan.

We are a group of a mother (Keiko in Japan) and son (Atsushi in the USA). Keiko is a genius artist but not a good teacher. In order to share the Sashiko we are enjoying, it is necessary for you to go through the basic & core of Sashiko.

In other words, if you have taken the workshop with Atsushi, please feel free to contact me for arranging the possible (Boro-making) workshop in Japan.

Archive of Boro-Making Sashiko Workshop in Japan


Recommendation for Sashiko Workshop in Japan

As one of the frequently asked questions regarding the Sashiko Workshop in Japan, I am often asked if I have any recommendations for Sashiko.

As you may have learned throughout this website & Youtube, Sashiko was a form of hand-stitching developed in each household, each region, and in each community. Therefore, regardless of the numbers of great looking Sashiko groups in many places in Japan, I cannot make the recommendation to represent the Sashiko we practice. There are many ramifications in Sashiko, and we are merely one of the branches.

Please be advised that I will not provide the recommendation for the Sashiko Workshop in Japan.


Atsushi’s Friends (students) may be available

Alternatively, I have (and can ask to) my friends who took my Sashiko Class & experienced in Sashiko to offer you the workshop. As of Spring 2019, the workshop “may” be available in cities below.

  • Sapporo – Hokkaido

This is a list of my friends offering the workshop with my “kind of” supervision. They do not speak English, so you may need to prepare the translator on your side.


Not a “Flash Experience” of Sashiko

We understand that the “need” is the Sashiko experience available in Japan. However, I would like to make sure that we can deliver the “rich experience of Sashiko” instead of “A flash & temporary experience” with Sashiko.

Once you take our workshops, we promise you will be part of our activities and will open our door to your requests. We sincerely hope to meet you there.

Sashiko Shopping Experience Cover

Sashiko Shopping Experience by Keiko & Atsushi

It is our goal to provide “everything” you need to enjoy Japanese Sashiko. We are still a group of Keiko and Atsushi (A mother and her son), and therefore we do not have enough capital to open a storefront or a physical store. However, we strive to do our best to deliver the best quality and well-thought products & tools for your Sashiko. For you as a customer, the Sashiko Shopping Experience through our website is very important. I hope you would spare some of your time to read this article for better understanding of what we provide. Since more than half of our products and items have “one-of-a-kind” character, such as hand-made and hand-dyed, we are not the same as other mass-produced, big brand, manufacture online store. However it is, our goal is to provide the best Sashiko Shopping Experience available. Enjoy Sashiko!

A choice of Sashiko Shopping Experience

Here is a list of places (websites) where you can get out products and items.

Each media has pros and cons. To provide as many options as possible is my intention to improve the Sashiko Shopping Experience.


Official Site | Upcyclestitches.Com

This is our official website and store is attached to it with using the Ecwid Shopping cart. You can use the credit card and/or Paypal to purchase our Sashiko thread, fabric, tools, and registration for the Sashiko workshop.

Since it is the official website, Atsushi will be on top of the customer service. If you have no preferences of “where” to purchase, please consider using this website for you and for me (in terms of supporting me for Sashiko activity.)

The order usually will be shipped the next business day with the shipping method you choose, and the package should be delivered within 2 to 5 days within the USA. When the order is made during the morning time, the package may be shipped on the same day. USPS pick up the packages around noon on weekday and Saturday.

Upcyclestitches.com is also a great place to purchase the special deal, such as Fukubukuro, which I offered at the beginning of 2019. We believe that the website is informative, and we intend to make the website more informative by adding many articles. Our goal is to motivate you enjoy shopping while you learn about Sashiko without any stress, so any feedback for the website would be appreciated.

I am confident with what I do, Sashiko, but not a good engineer or designer who can make the great website… I gotta learn more and more.

*Since I don’t have option to control the inventory by option via Ecwid, sometimes, it is not so convenient to use the website. For “one-of-a-kind” product (besides the Sashiko Jackets), Etsy Store below may be the better place to shop.


Etsy – Upcycle Stitches Store

We started Etsy store before I established Upcycle Stitches LLC. It was a place where Keiko and I sell something we made, as a craft-creator. In 2019, we provide a wide range of items we use in our Sashiko production.

Since Etsy is a great place to communicate to the other artists, we sell our threads, fabric, tools, and some of our Sashiko items, including “one of a kind” products. Sashiko stitched fabric, Sashiko bags, Boro & Boro inspired patchworks. It is my goal to add more items on Etsy, please follow me there to get the updates.

Atsushi in the USA will be in charge of shipping. Therefore, the same policy will be applied as the official website, upcyclestitches.com. If you make an international order, the order may be shipped from Japan. Either way, I will make sure the customer receive the 100% satisfaction.

Pop-Up Store in East Coast

Very occasionally, Upcycle Stitches offer a Pop-Up Store in NYC or in PA. In 2018, we had a great time with “75-Collective.” in TriBeCa. Please subscribe our newsletter or follow Instagram so we can send the latest information to you.

If you plan to participate one of our Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic), we usually bring most of the Sashiko supplies and tools. Please let us know when you have specific items you would like to see in the workshop you attend.

Amazon Store, Upcycle Stitches

We also have a storefront on “Amazon.com”.

As of now, it is impossible to ignore the impact Amazon brought to this society. Not only the customers who can get the order within 2 days with Amazon-prime, the retail-shop like us can also receive a benefit that we do not need to make the individual package.

It is our responsibility to offer the options, to receive the items within the time frame the customer requirements. Therefore, I hope you can enjoy the shopping some of the Sashiko items on our Amazon Store Page. There is, however, one favor to ask. When you purchase Sashiko supply, tool, or actually anything you would need, please be attentive to “who is selling the items” before just simply clicking the “Buy” bottun.

Since “anyone” can be a seller in the Amazon, there are many “dealers” who sell Sashiko items without proper knowledge or understanding to the culture. If you find the cheaper price by a lot, it is rational reasoning to purchase it from whomever available. However, if the price is not that much different, please care “who” is the seller.

One of my goal throughout our activities is to save Sashiko industry, which include purchasing the thread, fabric, tools and other supplies from the good manufactures in Japan. When Sashiko is in the trend, many dealers join to the market. Once the trend is over, those dealers will dump the price to clear the inventory and then move onto something else. Can you guess what happen when the dealers dump the price? It could destroy the manufactures, and it lead to the loss of its culture. I have seen it before, and I would like to protect them happening. One thing you can do as a customer is to be attentive who you are purchasing items from, as we used to do in a local store when we purchase an item (pretty much anything from grocery to even a refrigerator). If you see the lower price, please let me know. It is “our” responsibility to be competitive in pricing, and it is “customer’s” responsibility to support the culture.

*Although we are still working on the limited inventory only related to Sashiko, my big picture is to introduce all kinds of Japanese hand-craft to the world. Therefore, I am providing merchandise outside of Sashiko field. The concept is all “Enjoyable Japanese Hand-Craft”. Thank you for your understanding.


Each Media may have different stock of items.

As I mentioned above, more than half of items we sell are sort of “one of a kind”. For example, the Indigo Dye Sashiko Thread (A1) we sell on our Website may NOT the same as the one on Amazon. We try our best to keep the product page & photos updated, and please use these photos for each medium. Please do not cross shop over the mediums, especially when you would like to get the specific color (or stitches) from Natural dye (or Hand-stitching). We do not take returns based on the color difference, simply because it is impossible to provide the exact same color as the photo shows. It is the beauty of hand-dyed with natural ingredients. I appreciate your understanding.

We follow this color chart for the Sashiko thread we provide throughout the Official Website. However, on Amazon, I would like you to refer to the photos which is
on each product page.

For international customers

If you live outside of the USA, the order may be shipped out from (within) Japan. Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya has their own website, and you may purchase items from there.

We try our best to match the colors on the web and the thread we deliver to you, with improving our commitment to the better Sashiko Shopping Experience.

Enjoy Sashiko in Happy Holidays

Enjoy Sashiko in Happy Holidays

Leaves on trees get colored then fall down. We expect the snow soon and we kind of stay inside more in North East of the USA. It is the best time to sit and stitch. I am happy to announce that the great Fashion designer, Indi Kids, will have me for their wonderful event in December. The Sashiko Stitching Workshop (Core & Basic) will be available on December 8th and 9th. I hope you can find the time for your busy yet fun season. Enjoy Sashiko in Happy Holidays.

 

The Detail of Indi Kid Event

 

Sashiko Workshop Schedule

The detail of the workshop can be found on the workshop registration page.

 

  • Dec. 8th, Saturday, 9:30 am to around 1 pm for 3 hours + α | 

or

  • Dec. 8th, Saturday, 3 pm to around 6:30 pm for 3 hours + α |

or

  • Dec. 9th, Saturday, 1 pm to around 5:30 pm for 4 hours + α (Bigger Group)| 

 

I hope to meet you & see you there.

Since this is a day-long event, we are brainstorming the other workshops/offers we can make. Keep eye on our newsletter so you will not miss the information.

 

Enjoy Sashiko in Happy Holidays

Holidays can be pretty busy, too.

At the same time, you may have some time off from your routine days. I hope you will find some time to reward yourself by enjoying Sashiko. Sashiko can be very relaxing, meditative, and mindfull.

 

Sashiko makes great Gift

Enjoy Sashiko in Happy Holidays

 

 

One of the workshop participants who took the Sashiko Stitching Workshop in September shared her beautiful result. By learning Sashiko basic and core, you can make this kind of Tote bag and keep enjoying your own Sashiko projects. There aren’t many techniques you need to master to maximize the Sashiko experience. However, there is some eye-opening technique that I would like to share to enrich your Sashiko project. We hope that all of us enjoy Sashiko in Happy Holidays.