Sashiko Needle | which to buy for Sashiko?

Sashiko is a simple stitching technique from Japan. It requires a few tools to start without investing a fortune. It will provide the luxury time like meditation. What you need to start Sashiko are, a piece of fabric (or your garment), Sashiko thread, a Sashiko needle and a round dish shaped thimble. Although there is no restriction that you have to use tools for Sashiko, it is important to have good quality tools to get you rewarded

*Here is the article about my recommendation regarding tools

Sashiko requires you to invest a lot of time. We would like you to get the good result by using proper tools and supplies. In this article, I introduce what is a good needle for Sashiko.

Sashiko Needle

Our Needle is available on our web store. It is a package comes with Sashiko thimble. If you use our needle, we strongly recommend using our thimble, as well.

A Good Sashiko Needle among so many choices.

There are many kinds of choices for needles in the market. Even limiting to Sashiko purpose, there are several types of Sashiko needles you can choose from. We are using the needle from a needle company with more than 100 years of its history in Japan, and specially designed for meet our standard to Sashiko stitching. Choosing our needle would be the easiest option, but here is a list of things you need to check when you pick a good Sashiko needle.

  • Is needle sharp enough to stitch through several layers?
  • Is needle strong enough to make many stitches? Sometimes we make more than 20 stitches at once.
  • Is needle soft (flexible) enough to have many stitches at once?
  • Is needle long enough to perform fast running stitch?
  • Is the size of needle eye appropriate? Too small eye will damage the thread and too big eye will damage the fabric.

The size of the eye is one of the most important factors, yet not many people realize until they spend so much time in Sashiko. We recommend about 3 mm length and 1 mm width… just because it is the best suitable size for the Sashiko thread we use.

Sashiko Needle 2

The most frequent question | the length of Sashiko Needle

One of the most frequent questions I get regarding Sashiko is the length of Sashiko needle. Because of many choices in the market, it seems like choosing “right” needle for each project matters a lot. The answer is simple. We, as Upcycle Stitches and Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya, uses one size needle for every project we work on.

Sashiko Needle

This size needle fits perfectly to most of people’s hand I have taught. It seems a long needle, but the length is necessary to use the Sashiko thimble appropriately.

I will introduce our Sashiko thimble in the next article. I hope we answered the concerns people have regarding Sashiko needles. If you have more questions, please feel free to leave the comment so I can follow up.

Natural Dye Sashiko Thread / Beauty of Nature

One of our excellence in Sashiko is the selection of Natural Dye Sashiko thread. Upcycle Stitches LLC and Sashi.Co are groups of Sashiko professionals and we practice Sashiko daily to create more Sashiko pieces. At the same time, we fulfill the need for the best supplies by creating “one of the kind” materials. Natural Dye Sashiko thread, dyed by Keiko’s own hands, is one significant product we are very proud of.

 

We restocked three colors of Natural Dye Sashiko Thread by Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya. They are available at our online store, our Etsy-Store, and Amazon. We hope that many people can enjoy the beauty of the nature. They are just so beautiful in Sashiko stitching.

 

Natural Dye Sashiko Thread

 

Why Does Keiko create Natural Dye Sashiko Thread?

We have 22 colors of Sashiko thread in the selection. For most projects, Keiko was happy with using the colors we had. About 10 years ago, we significantly started focusing on Japanese vintage fabric, so called Kofu. Ever since, Keiko and I have been wondering if there are other colors available in the market which matches the color of vintage fabric, which is “faded color / the color only time can make”.

 

Natural Dye Sashiko thread was our answer.

No matter how strict we control the condition, some of the colors are almost impossible to recreate. Every time Keiko dyed, she got different color by the same natural dyes. And these “One Time Color” matched the vintage fabric very well.

 

A couple of years ago, Keiko succeeded in stabilizing the process and color of thread. Then, we started providing the Natural Dye Sashiko thread to our customers. Some colors are still challenging for Keiko to create the same results, and therefore, there is a limited number of stocks every time they become available online. Keiko now can restock some colors when she focuses on creating the thread.

 

Beauty from Nature. Beauty in Nature.

Sashiko piece with vintage fabric and Natural Dye Sashiko thread stands up in the sunlight. It is so beautiful to see the reflection of bright sunlight on the Indigo color fabric and natural dye color.

I hope you can find the natural color you like and apply it to your project.

Natural Dye Sashiko Thread in Sashiko Bag

 

Sashiko Pattern Transfer Practice Kit

One of the most important preparations for Sashiko stitching is transferring Sashiko pattern onto the fabric. I wrote the article about it and made a tutorial video on youtube. However, it is a bit troublesome to get every materials and supply ready since some of them are imported from Japan. I made a kit (Sashiko Pattern Transfer Practice Kit) for those who would like to try and practice how the Sashiko pattern transferring process would work.

 

 

I believe this tutorial explains the steps well. Here is a list of what you need to prepare and what you can expect in the practice kit package. Every supply and materials in the video will be available online soon (some are already available).

 

What you need to start transferring the Sashiko pattern

Sashiko Pattern transfer

 

Before purchasing the kit, please make sure you have basic tools below.

  • Red Ballpoint pen
  • Ruler(s)
  • Safety pins / Dressmaker Pins
  • Working mat (optional / to avoid the damage to the table)

 

Sashiko Pattern Transfer Practice Kit

 

In the Practice Kit, you can expect to get

  • Fine quality Indigo Dyed Fabric / one of the best reasonable priced fabrics for Sashiko practice.
  • Half-sized (about 1/2 of letter size) transferring carbon paper
  • Half-sized (about letter size) Mylar Paper
  • Half-sized (about 1/2 of letter size) pattern paper with 4 Japanese traditional patterns.

 

The kit is available on Amazon, too.

Upcycle Stitches LLC has the Amazon Store Front. You can get the kit from there with Prime benefit.

 

It will expand the possibilities. Sashiko on anything.

There are some Sashiko Kit with a pattern pre-printed on. Sometimes, the pattern has the stitches on it. It looks very thoughtful. I am thinking to make one of these “pre-printed pattern” Sashiko kits.

However, before I release the kit, I wanted to share this kit to share the idea of how to transfer the pattern onto the fabric. It is very important to learn how to follow the steps in order to enjoy Sashiko continuously. By learning this steps, you will be able to work on any fabrics with whatever pattern you would like to try Sashiko with.

 

I hope this kit will satisfy your first step needs and will expand the possibilities of Sashiko.

With materials I introduced, you can make anything Sashiko!

Sashiko Definition and Terminology

Let’s see if I can share the clarification of Sashiko Definition. In this page, I try to navigate you to understand what Sashiko is.

As a foreword of this serious of articles, I shared my conception and understanding of Sashiko first. It would be great to spare your time to read it through in order to avoid unnecessary misunderstanding. My goal is always simple. It is to share the joy of Sashiko. Therefore, our mission is pretty simple as well. It is to provide the good quality information to make Sashiko more public (open-source).  I hope this page will provide some clarification.

 

Here is a serious of articles about a question of “What is Sashiko?”

 

 

Sashiko Definition

“What is the difference between Sashiko Stitching and regular stitching?”

I often receive the question. It is difficult to exclusively distinguish what is Sashiko and what is Not sashiko, so let’s start the serious with my challenge of explaining the terminology and definition of Sashiko.

 

According to the Wikipedia

Sashiko is a form of decorative reinforcement stitching (functional embroidery) from Japan. Traditionally Sashiko was used to reinforce points of wear or to repair worn places or tears with patches. This running stitch technique is often used for purely decorative purposes in quilting and embroidery. The white cotton thread on the traditional indigo blue cloth gives sashiko its distinctive appearance, though decorative items sometimes use red thread. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sashiko_stitching)

 

Sashiko Definition

 

This description is quite accurate.

A few key phrases are;

  • It is a functional embroidery to strengthen the fabric.
  • It is a technique to repair, reinforce, and mend the worn places and tears on fabric.
  • Recently, it is used in quilting and embroidery for decorative purpose.

Technically speaking, as long as the products use the fabric based on this concept, we may call anything Sashiko. One thing I would add is that all stitching in Sashiko is hand-stitching. Although there is an option to use “Sashiko machine”, I personally do not want to call it Sashiko if it is done by machine. The beauty in perfection is another key in Sashiko culture.

In fact, if we follow the primitive concept of Sashiko to mend the damaged fabric, probably using sewing machine will destroy the fabric more by using strong needles and bobbins. It is a side note.

 

Sashiko as a process

Until 2014, I explained the Sashiko definition like I did above paragraph. Sashiko is a form of stitching, and I thought of the result: the result in form of fabric with Sashiko on.

Recently, however, I start realizing Sashiko is not only the result, stitched fabric, or stitching techniques, it is but also a process of mending the fabric.

 

A few hundred years ago, women repaired men’s jackets. When they stitch, they thought of men who work hard outside. They patched the fabric with hand-stitching. They tried to make it more beautiful with limited resources such as just indigo dyed fabric and white thread.

 

I believe this process is called Sashiko, not only the result with stitching.

In order to explain the deeper side of definition and process of Sashiko, I would need to share the history of Sashiko. Let’s do it next time.

A list of Article about Sashiko History

(Coming Soon)

What is Sashiko? | As a Sashiko Artisan

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

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

What is Sashiko
Keiko explaining about Sashiko in Otsuchi Sashiko Project

Sashiko is a Process, not a Result

Sashiko is a form of stitching.

The purpose of stitching originated from repairing, mending, patching and reinforcing the fabric. Also, in some regions, the Japanese performed Sashiko for the decorative purposes. In the current society, we enjoy Sashiko to decorate the fabric like embroidery. We also use Sashiko techniques to repair the damaged fabric to recycle (upcycle) and repurpose the fabric to something unique. We can see the Sashiko stitching in Fashion Industry Trend.

What is Sashiko reinforce
Katazome Vintage Fabric with Sashiko stitching to strengthen the fabric.
Sashiko to repair the damaged Fabric on the Denim Jeans

There are various styles of Sashiko stitching. The Japanese developed Sashiko in many locations in Japan. Wherever a town (or a village) is surrounded by mountains and had a lot of snow over the winter, the place likely to have the Sashiko culture or similar stitching customs. In short, Sashiko is a culture developed in poverty and inconvenience because of poor logistics. The Japanese who originally performed Sashiko didn’t have enough fabric to make the new clothes.

We can see more than 100s of patterns in the Sashiko history. Sometimes, it doesn’t require the pattern to make beautiful Sashiko stitching, especially when they focus on mending and repairing the fabric. It is not productive to discuss what is Sashiko and what is NOT Sashiko based on the patterns and stitching techniques. However, to clarify the understanding of Sashiko a little bit more clearly, here is the list of aspects (elements) of what Sashiko is, and a list of what is NOT Sashiko.

Sashiko Elements

  • Hand-Stitched*
  • Appreciation to the fabric
  • Concept of Mottainai – too good to waste
  • The main purpose is repairing and/or decorating the fabric
  • Repetition of mending, repairing and using the fabric

*There is a Sashiko sewing Machine. Personally, I do not think it is Sashiko.

What is NOT Sashiko

  • Printed Pattern | Some says that the printed Japanese geometric patterns are Sashiko.
  • Decorative Embroidery (They are beautiful, but not Sashiko)
  • Products made from Sashiko Weave Fabric

*The list is based on Atsushi’s understanding. No intention to deny anybody’s understandings.

*Sashiko Weave Fabric is the sheet of textile woven imitate the Sashiko Stitching.

In the market, there are many products named Sashiko.

I am fine when the seller mentioned “Sashiko-Like” on the product description. However, when I see people using the word of “Sashiko” for only the marketing purpose, I feel pretty irritated. Sashiko isn’t about neither the Japanese geometric pattern nor the fabric similar to Sashiko hand stitching. It is about the hand-stitching with appreciating the fabric as well as the people who wear the fabric we stitch on.

Sashiko isn’t the result. There are Sashiko products made AFTER the Sashiko stitching, and we call it “Sashiko Jacket” or “Sashiko Bag.” However, Sashiko cannot be Sashiko without the process of appreciating the fabric and hand-stitching it. Therefore, my conclusion is that Sashiko is the process.

Sashiko is the process, not the product.

I hope we can share the fun process of Sashiko and the beautiful result of sashiko stitching.

*Well known Boro is the ultimate result of Sashiko.

Enjoy Sashiko | with thinking less of Right or Wrong

There are many tutorials in form of books, DIY kit, and online materials such as video and websites. You may have arrived this website by searching what is the correct way to do Sashiko.

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

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

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

Some rules. No restriction. Never Right or Wrong

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

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

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

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

Category “Tutorials” in Upcycle Stitches

Youtube Channel for Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya

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

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

I am sorry that I didn’t provide the complete clarification of what Sashiko is. What I could provide was the pieces of information and my understanding toward Sashiko.

In summary, I wanted to share the fun of Sashiko by simply enjoying stitching instead of worrying what is Sashiko. At the same time, I understand that there is a need to define what Sashiko is, with perfect clear clarification.

I used to have the solid definition of Sashiko . However, after learning other types of Sashiko in Japan and learning their culture, I start doubting myself. It is a good thing to doubt and re-define what Sashiko is. I am still on a journey of looking for the answer to the question. “What is Sashiko.” You are now a member of this jouney. Thank you for reading the long article.

I hope I can reach to the definition with you, by enjoying the research on Sashiko and creating more Sashiko Pieces.

Sashiko Mending Jeans / How I enjoy Sashiko

When I start introducing Sashiko in English about 10 years ago, the word of SASHIKO wasn’t popular among the general public. People in patchworking and quilting were eager to learn the Sashiko stitching techniques. I remember my challenges to try to reach out to quilting and patchworking enthusiastic people. Recently, I meet new people with the knowledge of Sashiko, and these people come across to Sashiko throughout mending. Sashiko Mending Jeans are especially popular among the new fashion.

People in patchworking and quilting were eager to learn the Sashiko stitching techniques. I remember my challenges to try to reach out to quilting and patchworking enthusiastic people.

 

Sashiko in Fashion Industry.

Recently, I meet new people with the knowledge of Sashiko, and these people come across to the word of SASHIKO throughout mending the fabric. Especially, Sashiko Mending Jeans seems to be popular, I assume. Interestingly, it is “Mending jeans with Sashiko” that I enjoy the most in Sashiko.

 

Sashiko Mending Jeans -1

 

Sashiko Mending Jeans as a cool item

I was raised in the Sashiko family. Sashiko was always around me. However, I didn’t feel comfortable wearing most of Sashiko products in daily life simply because it wasn’t fashionable in the 21st century. As the side project of my regular Sashiko work, I started working on my garments like denim jeans,  jacket, cotton shirts and so on. Then, I realize how cool Sashiko can be. It was around 2010 ~ 2011, then the time of realization how important it is to pass down Sashiko to the next generation comes to me after the earthquake in Northeast of Japan.

 

 

Sashiko is a process, not the result

Here are some photos of my jeans that I am working on mending, and wearing pretty much every day. Sashiko is not only the result. I start realizing the Sashiko is the process of mending, repairing, and reinforcing the fabric. Sashiko Mending Jeans will not be the end product since it requires repetitive patching and stitching. When I sell my Sashiko mending jeans, I would like to teach the buyer how to Sashiko it by himself/herself. Anyway, here is a serious of photos, as of today.

 

I did Sashiko mending on this jean a month ago

(I blogged it, too)

However, mending (sewing) means adding extra tension to the part of fabric without stitching. Therefore, the part without Sashiko thread starts getting torn. Then, I would need another mending project. This is why I say that Sashiko is the process, not the result. It is perfectly fine since it is fun doing it, and the more mending projects I would do, the Sashiko mending jeans get fashionable. (By the way, I believe “Boro” is the result of this repetitive mending with Sashiko. I am making Boro in future now!)

Sashiko Mending Jeans 2

 

A hole. Thinking how to make Sashiko stitching on

Sashiko Mending Jeans 3

I cover several methods of Sashiko mending in my workshop. It is a fun part for me to think what to do. I will update the result after I do Sashiko mending.

 

Preparing Sashiko fabric and matching it

Sashiko Mending Jeans 4

 

Although I haven’t started actual mending process, I have prepared the Sashiko fabric to patch. Using Japanese vintage fabric with Natural Dye Sashiko thread, it will be a fantastic match.

 

I have a plan to make a serious of tutorial… wait for the update and keep stimulating me by leaving comments or messages so I will get motivated a lot faster.

 

Thank you for reading.

Enjoy Sashiko!

 

 

 

 

Sashiko Workshop

Sashiko Workshop Location and Availability

In order to learn Sashiko stitching with our method, participating in our Sashiko workshop is the best & easiest way. In 3 hours + α  long workshop, the Sashiko instructor (usually Atsushi) will share his technique and experience. Sashiko stitching workshop, the instructor will sit next to you and put the hand on your fingers to teach how to use the Sashiko thimble and needle, the posture and rhythm.

[Update | July 2018]

 

Learn from the expert. Learn the tradition.

Over 2 years of our workshop offering to more than 70 graduates, we have 100% satisfaction feedbacks so far. Our goal is not only teaching the Sashiko technique of “how to”, but also sharing how enjoyable Sashiko is in your life with the mindset behind it.

Enjoy Sashiko! It is our phrase.

Therefore, satisfaction in the Sashiko workshop is very important to us.

 

Sashiko Workshop Availability

Over time, we develop as many workshop styles as possible to introduce Sashiko. Please check our website for more information that match your needs.

 

Sashiko Running Stitch

Customized Sashiko Workshop (in PA or your place)

The sashiko instructor (I, Atsushi), lives in Lewisburg, the central Pensylvania.

I am happy to offer the Sashiko workshops if you could make a trip to the city of Lewisburg. The workshop is about 3 hours long. I am usually available on weekdays between 9 am to 4 pm. Also, I am available to travel to your place if the driving is in about one hour (or invite me overnight), with your responsibility of preparing the place for workshops and covering the travel expense. Since I do not have a specific day opened for workshops.

Here is a list of the details we need to confirm.

  • Participants of 3 are the minimum size of the workshop for the regular workshop price of $140.00 and up per participants (including all the workshop material). The maximum size is 8 participants. Please contact me if you would like to have a private workshop or have only 2 participants.
  • Travel expense is based on standard mileage calculation (0.54 USD per mile). If you invite me from Philadelphia, the cost of travel expense is about $150~$200, a round trip.
  • If you are an owner of a shop or a studio, thinking of hosting the Sashiko workshop, I am happy to share the term and condition to offer Sashiko workshop in your location.

 

For more information, I updated the blog post about having me to your place to offer the workshop.

Private Sashiko Workshop | Bring Sashiko to your group.

 

Regular Workshop in New York, TriBeCa.

Thanks to a great help from a great friend of mine, I continue offering the Sashiko Workshops in New York City, TriBeCa Neighborhood.

 

For the detail, please check the registration page here.

 

Sashiko Workshop Tote

 

For the schedule of Sashiko Workshop, please check the blog post below.

NYC Sashiko Workshop Schedule 2018

 

 

 

 

Online Sashiko Workshop (Anywhere in the world)

 

The Online Sashiko Workshop is ready, and it already happened once!

Please check the detail of the workshop and hopefully find your ideal schedule. We just started offering it, but we did! Contact me if you have a request in scheduling the specific date.

Online Sashiko Workshop | Learn wherever you are

 

There are numbers of requests to have online workshops. I understand that it is costly and troublesome to make a trip to NYC/Brooklyn and/or the central Pensylvania. My concern is whether I can provide the workshop with the same quality since participants satisfaction is very important for us.

However, I also understand the needs. If you are interested in taking our Sashiko Online Workshop, please leave the comments here, or simply contact me to tell me you are interested. When I have a good number of potential participants, I would like to develop the online workshop with the help of those potential participants.

 

Sashiko Workshop 2

 

 

I will continue Sashiko Workshop, thanks to you.

Our goal is to share the Sashiko technique and the mindset behind it. I sometimes say that I want to make Sashiko “open-sourced” information. I could use some financial aid to continue doing:

  • To encourage the both generation, the older generation to appreciate the technique they have, and the younger generation to inspire them.

 

Some people mentioned the cost (costly pricing) of our workshop. I hope the participants understand the price of our workshop, as well as the price we have the products and supplies. It is my biggest intention to pass Sashiko down to the next generation.

 

Enjoy Sashiko!

Sashiko Tools I recommend | I use them, of course

The word “Sashiko” is getting popular. There are several choices when it comes to choosing the tools. I occasionally get an inquiry about the Sashiko tools and materials I use. So here is the list of Sashiko tools I recommend, which is, of course, the Sashiko tools I use.

 

4 Sashiko Tools / Materials you need. Basically, that’s all you need.

 

  1. Sashiko Thread
  2. Fabric for Sashiko 
  3. Sashiko Needle
  4. Sashiko Thimble

*Each link goes to product page in our online store

 

You can use any kinds of thread clippers, but please be picky about these 4 Sashiko tools and materials. The result is hugely depended on the quality of these 4 things.

 

(1) Sashiko Thread

 

Sashiko Tools thread 1

 

Sashiko thread is the most important factor to get the best result after so many stitching. Coron Sashiko thread is one of the best quality Sashiko thread you can get, and the Sashiko thread we (as “Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya” and “Upcycle Stitches“) use daily. The Sashiko thread by different manufacturers are available online; but don’t risk your time-investment. This skein has 145 meters (475 feets). After all, the price isn’t that expensive in comparison to the thread from the other brands.

We have a selection of Coron Thread like below:

  • 15 mono-color (solid color) thread.
  • 5 variegated color thread
  • 2 Sashi.Co Original color thread
  • many kinds of “natural dye” thread (dyed by hands)

 

(2) Sashiko Fabric

 

Sashiko Tools Fabric

 

Although we use many kinds of fabric for Sashiko project, cotton fabric is always our preference. Cotton fabric with good amount of weight makes Sashiko stitching more beautiful in the result. Also, the contrast with Indigo-dyed fabric and white thread is one of the most well-known Sashiko combination.

 

(3) Sashiko Needle

An article about Sashiko needle

A long, sharp, and strong needle is necessary for Sashiko. Since the Sashiko thread is thicker than the other embroidery thread, the eye should be a bit bigger than the regular needle. If the eye is too big, however, the needle may destroy the fabric and stitching. Pay attention to the size of needle-eye, when you pick the needle.

 

Sashiko Tools needle

 

I use this needle. One size only. I do not change the size of the needle based on the variety of projects. The needle top is extremely sharp, so make sure you do not poke your finger to keep your fabric from dyeing to red.

 

(4) Sashiko thimble.

An article about Sashiko thimble | 

 

A dish-shaped, round thimble is the only thimble I use for Sashiko. I strongly prefer the metal thimble since it lasts longer. When you find a hole in the dish-shaped metal, replace it. It won’t happen so easily, but it definitely will happen if you spend a good amount of time for Sashiko.

It is unique for many hand-stitching people.

Using the thimble and needle is one of the core materials in my workshop. For those who cannot come to the workshop, I shared a tutorial video how to make Sashiko stitching with this thimble and needle. Check out our Youtube Channel.

 

The other tools and materials

I will make another blog to introduce the tools and materials I use. However, the difference between what I use and the one you use would be less significant comparing to these 4 key items I introduced today. Sashiko requires you a lot of time investing. I strongly believe that you should be rewarded for the time you spent on Sashiko. You enjoy doing Sashiko, and you and your surroundings enjoy the result.

I hope sharing my tools would help your Sashiko life.

 

 

Thread, Fabric, Needle and thimble are available online for purchase. Please check our store. If you don’t find it, leave the comments so I will add the item right after your comment. The most beautiful products we sell is “Natural Dye Sashiko thread dyed by Keiko Futatsuya. (The photo at the beginning of this article is about the Natural Dye Sashiko thread” They are so beautiful that some customers don’t want to use it. Well… I will write a blog about it, too.

 

Enjoy Sashiko!

How to make Sashiko thread Bobbin (Itomaki)

Sashiko thread is different from regular embroidery thread. Therefore, Sashiko Thread requires a special attention to store it in a good condition. Otherwise, it ends up with entangled thread. (Don’t let your cat to play. It will make a perfect ball.) This is a tutorial how to make Sashiko Thread Bobbin (Itomaki) for enjoying Sashiko thread until the end.

 

Difference in Sashiko Threads

Sashiko Thread Bobbin 1

 

There are many kinds of embroidery thread. Even speaking about Sashiko thread only, there are many options available in the market. We strongly recommend to get a nice heavy cotton thread, designed for Sashiko purpose. We use Sashiko thread manufactured by Coron, and we have been very happy with the result. Sashiko requires you a lot of time and effort. We want you to have the good result.

 

Some Sashiko threads are available on our webstore, our Etsy store, and even in Amazon Marketplace.

 

Our Sashiko thread is consisted by 6 thin embroidery threads, twisted in a unique way to create beautiful stitches.

The price looks a bit expensive, but considering the amount of thread (145 meters / 475 feets length) per skein, I believe the price is reasonable in the market in comparison to the other thread by Olympus or the other vendors. Some customer mention that it is too long to consume a skein. When you learn how to do Sashiko stitch in our Sashi.Co way, you would need more skeins of thread. When you follow my workshop, your stitching speed would increase by a lot, and it means you need more thread.

 

The easiest way to avoid the entangled thread

The easiest way to avoid the entangled thread is to cut the thread as a picture show below. Then, taping the edge of thread bundle will not let thread entangled easily. Since this process takes only a minute or so, I introduce this method in my workshops. The cut thread also have a good length to practice regular Asano-ha patterns. When you need a single line of thread, you pull one thread out from the bundle by holding the taping edge.

 

Sashiko Thread bobbin 2

 

However, if you can invest your time to make Sashiko thread bobbin, I would recommend you to do so. I wish I could share this in the workshops, but it will take much longer and my workshops focus on Sashiko stitching / Sashiko mending, not making the Sashiko thread bobbin.

 

Therefore, I present a short tutorial video how to make a Sashiko thread Bobbin.

 

 

Invest some time to make Sashiko Thread Bobbin

Sashiko Thread Bobbin

 

I hope the tutorial video is clear enough to share how to make Sashiko Thread bobbin. Please leave the comments on Youtube if you have questions regarding this topic.

I don’t know how to call the blue thread holder introduced in the video. Is it called “a thread skeiner…?” It doesn’t have to rotate. As picture show below, ask someone to hold the skein of thread is another option. Or you could use two polls, too. You can purchase the blue plastic wheel from us if you are interested. We have 2 of these in stock. (Be advised that the wheel I use is pretty fragile… if you know any better product, please let me know!)

 

 

The biggest advantage of making Sashiko Thread Bobbin is that you can decide the length of thread you use for the project, without wasting the remaining thread. Another reason I make bobbins is that they look very beautiful and give me an inspiration. The various color of Sashiko thread makes me excited and calm simultaneously. It is probably the scenery I was grown up with.

 

 

I would like to invest some money on the Bobbin holder (The brown thick paper I introduce on the video / The cool designed board shown in the photo above). Wait for another update and join me if I start the “Bobbin Holder Making Project.”
Thank you for watching the video / reading our tutorial.

 

Enjoy Sashiko!

How to transfer Sashiko Patterns on to the fabric

People often have a question how to transfer Sashiko patterns onto the fabric. Yes. Sashiko isn’t always about stitching. Preparing the fabric properly is a very important aspect of Sashiko.

Here is a tutorial how to transfer Sashiko Patterns by using a carbon paper

An easy and accurate way to transfer Sashiko patterns is to use a carbon (transfer) paper. Using proper tools will result in beautiful patterns on fabric. Here is a list of tools and supplies you need to follow this tutorial.

  • Fabric *1
  • Chakopee Carbon Paper (Transfer Paper) *2
  • Mylar Paper *3
  • Pattern *4
  • We, as Sashi.Co, mostly transfer pattern on the back side of fabric
  • We use Japanese Mylar paper. However, any Cello/Poly paper should work. It should be strong enough to hold the pressure (prevent being torn.)
  • A regular copy paper is fine. Since tracing require a strong pressure, the pattern paper will be discarded after a single usage. 

The necessary materials above are available on this website. Check the purchase list.

Layer fabric and papers in proper order

How to transfer Sashiko Patterns on to Fabric _1

How to transfer Sashiko Patterns on to Fabric _3

A video will explain about the layers well, but here is the order of the layer. The number is the order to place the fabric and/or papers on the table. (Bottom to Up after completing it)

  1. Fabric
  2. Chakopee Paper (Shinning side facing down to fabric)
  3. Mylar paper
  4. pattern

Securing the all 4 layers. A tracing process with strong pressure can shift any layers.

How to transfer Sashiko Patterns on to Fabric _4

Make sure to pin the 4 layers you made now. I usually use safety pins, but any kind of pin should work. Even clips would be fine as long as the layers are secured from shifting. Another tip is to NOT to pin it at one corner so that you can check the pattern in the middle of tracing without shifting the pattern.

Transfer Sashiko pattern by Tracing

How to transfer Sashiko Patterns on to Fabric _5

I usually use a red-colored ballpoint pen to distinguish the line I traced. You may use any kind of pen (a pencil may be weak for the required pressure), and tracing tools such as a tracing wheel. Make sure to trace strongly enough to push the tracing paper onto the fabric. You may check the results in the process untiil you understand that required pressure. The pressure is depended on the Cello paper you choose.

Check the result. Support the weak transfer.

How to transfer Sashiko Patterns on to Fabric _6

You should see the white line on the fabric. (You may see different color if you purchase the different tracing paper.)

If you find some lines with weaker chalk transfer, then use a white pencil (or chalk pencil) to support the line. In the process of Sashiko, the pattern may vanish because of sweat from hands or friction of fabric. Use the pencil as you need.

And Sashiko Stitch!!

Sashiko Stitching

After that, Enjoy the Sashiko Stitching!

Keep it in your mind that I usually transfer the pattern on the back of the fabric. Since the patterns will be washed away, you can, of course, transfer the pattern on the front side. It is up to you, but for some reasons, I keep transferring the patterns on the back.

Leave the comments on Youtube Video if you have questions about transferring the pattern. I will try my best to answer it.