Sashiko Lecture at Bennington College

Sashiko Lecture at Bennington College

This week, I plan to have Sashiko Workshops & Sashiko Lecture at Bennington College in VT. It is my first time to offer the Sashiko Workshop & Sashiko Lecture in an academic setting as an invited guest lecturer. The Professor, J Stoner Blackwell, had invited me to such a honorable opportunity to share the Sashiko We have been practicing. They joined the Sashiko Workshop [Core & Essence] at Loop of the Loom in NYC. As someone who teach, it is the biggest reward that they contacted me to share their experience to their students & community after the initial workshop.

This visit will be consisted with 3 parts, (1) Sashiko Workshop to their students in Art Department (2) Sashiko Workshop to the local community (Open to the public with workshop fee), and then (3) Sashiko Lecture at Bennington College (Open to the publich For Free of Charge).

The Sashiko Workshop [Core & Essence] is very structured, and there aren’t much I can modify. In contract, as I received 2 hours for the lecture, I am planning a lecture that I can choose based on the reaction in the auditorium. I don’t really know who will be the audience… the students or artists from community… or even faculty…?

Bennington College has a quite beautiful mission. I share it below & I hope that I can meet their expectation.


In 1932, Bennington was founded on the belief that the education most worth having is the one you create for yourself. The College does not require students to fulfill a set of ready-made requirements; instead, it challenges them to discover their own intellectual identity and to design an education that will help turn them into the person they hope to become. 

The College’s faculty plays a crucial role in this process of transformation. At Bennington, faculty members do what they teach, and students put their learning into practice. Students learn about literature from authors who write and publish it, in the same way that they learn choreography from dancers who create and perform their own work. Physicists and philosophers and playwrights teach at many other colleges, but typically, they ask their students to do very different work from the kind they do themselves. At Bennington, students don’t just learn about biology – or poetry, history, or anthropology – from their teachers; they also practice it along with them. Because both students and teachers actively engage in the work at hand, the relationship between them is richly collaborative, and students often participate in the research and creation of faculty work. 


The New Possibility for “Sharing Sashiko”

The Sashiko Workshop & Sashiko Lecture at Bennington College is sponsored by Painting and Drawing at Bennington College, The Robert Frost Stone House Museum with additional funding from Usdan Gallery. This is my first time to work under someone’s funding/grant. Thanks to the generous support from these funding, we could reduce the workshop price substantially.

I strongly believe that the pricing for my Sashiko Workshop [Core & Essence] is reasonable. The host (Studio/Organization) needs to make their ends meet, and I need to feed myself, too. To make it sustainable. it has been the right pricing for both host & guest (students). The waiting list I often get for the workshop explain that the pricing is not outrageous. However, at the same time, I understand that it costs some money. I want to share the Sashiko we practice with as many people as possible – and as the result, I joined the Domestika to make the Introduction to Japanese Sashiko.

I have never tried to get Grant… for some reasons, I thought I wouldn’t be able to do so. Well, I may need extra steps to prepare such as making our activities as Non-Profit, or going through a pile of paper works… regardless, the fact I could offer the workshop with grant is a big achievement (All thanks to Prof.J). I hope I can start another journey of pursuing this new possibility.

William Morris Gallery, London Borough of Waltham Forest

Photo (C) William Morris Gallery, London Borough of Waltham Forest

Sashiko Lecture at Bennington College will go to more “Public”

I have learned that it is perfectly fine to repeat the Same Message in sharing stories. In fact, I realize I “have to” repeat it to be listened, or even heard. So, I plan to offer the same lecture I do tomorrow online somwhere toward May or June, 2024. When it is ready, I will inform it here, Instagram, and probably GiveButter, too.

It is about “Sashiko Today”, and it will be the summarize of all the things I talk about in Sashiko Live Streamings. If you are interested in Sashiko, please come to Youtube on Thursday night at 9 pm EST (Not this week) to see what I keep saying about Sashiko!

Good Thread for Sashiko

Good Thread for Sashiko – Updated in 2024

It is everyone’s interest to see what is Good Thread for Sashiko. I have been sharing many stories on SNS & Youtube about our sincere recommendation on Good Thread for Sashiko. It is indeed that Sashiko Thread Matters. Choosing a good thread will not only make a difference in the result of Sashiko but it also will improve the stitching experience itself. This article is an updated information about what is Good Thread for Sashiko in 2024.

*If you would like to jump to the conclusion & see what is available for purchase, please check this category. The threads listed there are all our recommendations & we use them in everyday’s stitching.

Coron Sashiko Thread – Where is it now?

Since I started Upcycle Stitches, I have been recommending “Coron Sashiko Thread” as the Best Sashiko Thread for the Sashiko Purpose. Coron Threads Manufacture.Inc is (was) a well-established & detailed manufacturer specialized in making various kinds of Threads. Where I am from (my family business) also work(ed) with them, and have been offering their wonderful Sashiko Thread.

You may find it difficult to have Coron Sashiko Thread in the last few years. Many Craft Supply Stores unlist their threads. Some even put them on sale to liquidate their inventory. Long Story Short, it is very sad that Coron Thread Manufacture. Inc doesn’t exist any longer. In the pandemic, similar to many other businesses, they decided to close their operation. It took a long time to “pass it over (revive)” to someone to continue their legacy. Thanks to many people’s help, we are now able to resource very similar (almost identical) Sashiko Threads.

We have the same thread as our recommendation – yet the Coron Sashiko Thread no longer exists. We can still use the best Sashiko Thread, yet it is so sad to see Coron Threads Company gone.

*You can see more stories with another article here on SashikoStory.Com

The Purpose for Sashiko Thread

We have been sharing the reasons why we use the “Sashiko Thread (manufactured by Coron)” as a Good Thread for Sashiko for decades. It isn’t only the materials, thickness, or colors. We have so many people & wisdom to make the Thread happens. However, in a big trend of Sashiko, Sashiko practitioners mainly focus on colors & thickness. Some even say “Threads do not matter in Sashiko. Use whatever you have”.

Well. It is true that one can use any threads for Sashiko to enjoy stitching itself. However, it doesn’t mean that we can ignore the wisdom behind long-established threads. It is so violent to tell others “whatever is fine” without acknowledging the stories behind. Some may do it unintentionally (just don’t know what it is), or worse, it seems they are misleading the information to increase their profit.

Sashiko Threads Matter – and without appropriate Sashiko Thread, some of the wisdom we appreciate today will not be promised. For example, I find some Sashiko Teachers saying “It is impossible to make both sides of fabric as identical in Sashiko”. It is impossible “For Them” because they do not understand the purpose for Sashiko Thread – and the significance of the outcome of Good Thread for Sashiko.

I do not want to repeat the same mistake

We have some memories with Coron Thread Manufacture as “Company”. They were a group of Shokunin – the respected & strict people with their own skill & tradition. It indicates that they weren’t so well prepared as “Business People” in today’s society. The issues of their business challenges, such as aging of Shokunin & finding the next heir (as they couldn’t increase the compensation like other industries), existed before the big trend of Sashiko. I knew it wasn’t going so smooth, but I never thought we would lose the Coron Thread Manufacture…

I do not want to repeat the same mistake I have made. It isn’t no one’s fault that they discontinued their business. The competition & expanding the market is a very healthy business activity. Without healthy competition, the culture won’t be secured appropriately.

The mistake I clarify here is us (Japanese Artisans) not speaking up enough. It isn’t healthy to have some non-Japanese saying “Whatever thread is fine for Sashiko” without knowing any of our Stories. Please be reminded that you indeed can use any thread for Sashiko. However, it has to be “one’s choice” – not something to teach or share with others without proper acknowledgement.

I do not know if Coron Thread would have continued their production if I spoke up more decades ago. Finding someone to take over the business was indeed a big challenge for not only Coron Thread but also many types of manufacturers in Japan (including my family business). Although I don’t know what I could have done to preserve their legacy better, I know that the voices have to be heard to protect the Culture. Telling others misleading information to control the flow of profit can cause Cultural Appropriation. Here, the acknowledgement for the stories is the bridge between Appropriation to the Appreciation. Strictly & Ideally speaking, I believe they need to learn Japanese before they start sharing some of their understanding of Sashiko – however, the world isn’t made like this. In order to speak up globally, one has to be able to do so in proficient English.

Here I am – and I will not stop speaking up to not to repeat the same mistake.

It may be Just Thread – but it is Thread

Some say “Oh, Come one. Just thread. Don’t Over React”. I have been receiving comments like this to accuse my voice – to minimize the significance of the culture. It is just thread – but there are many people who devoted their lives in to “just thread”. Sashiko is “just stitching” , yet it is stitching that many of my family & friends have spent their entire lives on.

I believe it isn’t exaggerating to say that none of our Sashiko Pieces wouldn’t & won’t be made without the Thread I talk about here. Some may say it is just a thread – but it is the thread that consist of this Cultural Sustainability. By minimizing the significance of this Good Thread for Sashiko, we face to the risk of losing much more than thread.

Cultural Sustainability in Capitalism

I speak up the importance of Cultural Sustainability in contrast to Material Sustainability. Both Material & Cultural Sustainability can be established simultaneously. It is not one or another. We also have to understand that we live in a society where we cannot ignore Capitalism. For us, the money isn’t the goal to achieve. However, money is very important vehicle to achieve the goal of preserving the Sashiko Practice. Therefore, it is critical to balance the Cultural Sustainability & Capitalism.

Unfortunately, some (or many) Japanese Craftsmanship got lost in a process of sophistication of Capitalism. The market based on demand & supply will determine the future of its product, and the demand & supply will be hugely affected by “Pricing”. If I could produce cheaper threads, the market for the thread I offer may be bigger. If the market is bigger, we can probably produce cheaper threads. It is the spiral of “marketing”, and the craftsmanship need to have different approach to the market. Sashiko Thread we strongly recommend are relatively more expensive than others. I strongly believe the pricing is fair when we compare the quality and quantity of what we offer – however, I admit it is high-end of the Sashiko Thread. The quality of production determine the pricing. At the same time, the popularity of our threads will be a very big factor of the pricing – the more people enjoy the Sashiko Thread we recommend, the lower the pricing will be. The more we can manufacture the Sashiko Thread we recommend, the bigger market we can sustain by having distributors all over the world.

What we see now is the market after we failed. However, it doesn’t mean that I can give up so easily to ig nore someone overpainting our wisdom & tradition. Your choice will secure the Cultural Sustainability I speak up. I, Atsushi Futatsuya, never will use the Revenue/Profit/Sales for the unreasonable luxury items such as Lamborghini or Rolex. I am not questioning their value as luxury items, and I do have huge respect those who can afford them. However, my goal is always the preservation of Cultural Sustainability in Capitalism. Therefore, money is a vehicle to make Sashiko somewhat sustainable. All of the profit via our online store & payment to our workshop will be used for the Sashiko’s Sustainability. The purchase of Good Thread for Sashiko here will be the great support to make our dream happen.

*Please be noted that “All of the profit” indicate the profit after somewhat satisfying our daily needs. When I have reasonable bills to pay, I may clear them first. In order to achieve this goal, I may want to think of the possibility of establishing the Non-Profit Organization. Regardless, I just want to repeat my declaration that all I do is to preserve the Cultural Sustainability that has been severely damaged (or broken) already.

Good Thread for Sashiko Exists

We can find a variety of Sashiko thread available in the market. The seller describe their thread as the “Good Thread for Sashiko” to increase their sales. It is very natural things to do & that’s what I am doing. It is us (customer & stitcher) who decide what type of future (sustainability) we want to have. So, when you choose to purchase “it”, please be mindful whom you are purchasing from. Are they actually talking from their experience or just saying to increase the sales? Do they stitch Sashiko? Do they even like Sashiko or do they like “something” they can get by saying they like Sashiko?

It is sad that Coron Thread Manufacture.Inc doesn’t exist any longer. However, their wisdom and legacy are passed over to another well-established thread manufacture. The thread we carry under this category of our store are all from the new production line – either Synthetic Dye by machine or Natural Dye by Keiko’s Hand.

Your acknowledgement, choice, and time to enjoy Sashiko with our Threads are hugely appreciated. We will do our best to preserve this Cultural Sustainability. We won’t repeat the same sad news.

Sashiko Supplies in Japan

Shopping Sashiko Supplies in Japan

I occasionally receive a quesiton whether we have a place (store-front) offering our Sashiko Supplies in Japan from those who are traveling to Japan. This Blog Article explain how we can arrange a Shopping of our Sashiko Supplies in Japan.

We do not have a StoreFront & We do not do wholesale

As we do not have a storefront where anyone can access, it requires a bit of preparation when you would like to purchase some supplies from us. Unfortunately, due to a very limited production, we do not do wholesale business at this point. As a result, there are no craft stores carrying our Sashiko Thread, needles, thimble, and ever fabrics.

Arrange a Special Package for you

The realistic way to purchase our Sashiko Supplies in Japan would be by arranging a package from my mother so that you can receive the items while you are staying in Japan. If you are interested in this way, we are happy to offer up to 35% Off from the listing price of the items on our webstore.

Please contact Atsushi first to get this discount. The actual amount of the discount will be determined what you plan to order, where the package to be shipped, and when does it need to be delivered. Once I confirm the availability with Keiko, I will generate the One-Time Coupon for you so that you can get a package of our Sashiko Supplies in Japan.

For the items listed, please click the store above.

Please include the information below when you contact us. Without information, I may consider the inquiry as a spam, and you may not receive the reply. It is safe to write [I am interested in the order arrangement in Japan] or something like that when you send the Contact Form.

  • Your name & what you would like to purchase form the Webstore above.
  • The name of the Hotel or a shipping address of the house/room you are staying
  • Your preference when it to be delivered.

If you do not hear from me within 3 days or so, please contact me via SNS like Instagram.

Keiko’s House & Sashiko Supplies in Japan

Keiko Futatsuya lives in Takayama, Gifu Prefecture. She carries some of her threads & her pieces. If it is your strong preference to actually see the supply & purchase, visiting her house for the purchase is one option. However, to reduce a risk, we have some restriction to who can visit to Keiko’s house.

If you are a graduate of Atsushi’s Workshop (Core & Essence), you are always welcome to visit Keiko. Please simply email me with the email address you registered the workshop. I will follow-up with arrangement with Keiko.

If you are new to our Sashiko, please read the article below to arrange the appointment. Please be advised that the appointment is not guranteed as Keiko can be quite busy. It is safe to arrange the appointment at least a few month in advance. If the visit is within a few days, the appointment will not be available in many cases. To start the arrangment, please contact Atsushi after reading the article below very carefully.

Other Recommendation about Sashiko Supplies in Japan

I also receive a numbers of inquiry asking for my recommendation about Sashiko Supplies in Japan. My recommendation is what we sell, and unfortunately, there are no storefront where you can get. There are many kinds of good Sashiko Supplies in Japan, and they are available in many stories – yet they are’t my recommendation.

I understand that it is a bit troublesome process to get the Sashiko Supplies. Once we regain the structure of supply production, we may be able to restart the wholesale business. In that case, a visitor to Japan can enjoy the Sashiko Suppiles that we recommend fully.

Our Sashiko Store is located in the United States, and we make a shipment to many countries internationally. If you are interested, please check what we have… and more importantly, “Why” we keep offering these specific threads, needle, thimble and fabric.

Sashiko Workshop [Core & Essence]

Sashiko Workshop [Core & Essence] and [Application & Practice]

In this blog entry, I would like to explain the difference in Sashiko Workshop [Core & Essence] and [Application & Practice] that I offer as of 2024.

Thanks to many interest in learning Sashiko from a group of Japanese Sashiko Artisans, we have been offering Sashiko Workshops for several years. The style & contents of Workshop slightly alternate overtime. As the result, the concentrated version of all the experience I received is now so called [Core & Essence], and everyone who wants to learn Sashiko from us are required to take this class. We offer both In-Person & Online for [Core & Essence]. I no longer offer the workshop focusing on (To be) Boro or (In)visible Mending. Instead, I combined many popular contents into one workshop – which is [Application & Practice].

*On top of these 2 Sashiko Workshop [Core & Essence] and [Application & Practice], I offer introductory Online Course with much lower pricing for affordability. Please check Domestika for more information.

*Please check this similar article to learn all courses I offer if you are interested in the Sashiko we practice.

What is Sashiko Workshop [Core & Essence]?

Sashiko introduced in English mainly teach about the “patterns” and “How to stitch” from technical perspective. Some may teach “how to make even stitches”. I occaisionally find a style of teaching “Embrace the Imperfection”. It is indeed true that we can embrace the imperfection. However, when a teacher start teaching how to be okay to be clumsy, that’s the end of “wisdom”. So, in Western way of learning, Sashiko is categorized mainly in 2 big groups: (1) to increase the participants skill to control the needle & (2) to focus on “freedom” in stitching.

Unfortunately, neither (1) nor (2) are the core of Sashiko Stitching. Because the teachers in English do not go through the proper experience in Japan, they can only interpret Sashiko from their own perspective. Their teaching isn’t wrong. However, it is missing the most important element in Sashiko for us (as a group of Japanese Sashiko Artisans).

In the minimum of 6 hours of Sashiko Workshop [Core & Essence], a participant will learn the “FORM” of Sashiko, which lead them to learn Unshin – the movement of needle. It isn’t a style of Workshop saying “Let’s enjoy Sashiko Together“. It is an intensive learning experience that some may have to go through very uncomfortable process to learn something new. We all have a muscle memory based on our experience, and some needs to go over the “habit” to have another muscle memory. After learning it, one can use the both (and more) muscle memory – but until then, it can be quite challenging time.

Therefore, I have a minimum of 6 hours for this workshop. Most of the participants find its form within 6 hours of the workshop. Rest of the participants would find their own rhythm & form after the workshop when they continue trying. It is extremely important to have this fundamental understanding of “Form & Rhythm” in our Sashiko. Therefore, [Core & Essence] is the prerequisite for Sashiko Workshop [Application & Practice], and Sashiko Japan Tour.

Analogy of [Core & Essence]

Please imagine that the Sashiko Workshop [Core & Essence] is a training for you to be able to ride a bycicle within a limited time frame with better efficiency (with less scratch & bruses). Anyone can learn how to ride a bike when they keep trying. Some may be able to do so by just watching others riding a bycicle. Others may need some expert help to get it easier. Sashiko Workshop [Core & Essence] is the expert advise for you to learn how to ride a bicycle (How to get the rhythm in Sashiko).

What is Sashiko Workshop [Application & Practice]?

Once you learn the “Form & Rhythm” in Sashiko, you are ready to explore the unlimited possibility of Sashiko. Sashiko Workshop [Application & Practice] will encourage a participant to apply the Sashiko we practice to their ordinary by covering some popular concepts such as Visible Mending (and Invisible Mending), Boro (and To Be Boro), and Designs for Sashiko. It also introduce other types of Sashiko such as Hitomezashi as an addition to the Sashiko they can practice with a lot of fun.

Analogy of [Application & Practice]

Let me explain what Sashiko Workshop [Application & Practice] is like with the Analogy I used above. When the [Core & Essence] is an opportunity to learn how to ride a bicycle, [Application & Practice] is a field trip where I take the participant to a Bike Park where we can enjoy many types of attractions for riding a bicycle. I will try to introduce as many “attractions” as possible, and the participant will have a choice of following the instructor throughout, or focus on one attraction more. So, it will be fun time when everyone have the basic understanding of how to ride a bicycle.

2 Major Category of [Application & Practice]

In the Sashiko Workshop [Application & Practice], we have 2 major Category of expanding the experiencing in Sashiko. One is “How to apply Sashiko to our ordinary days”, which includes following:

  • How to prepare the Pattern on the Fabric
  • How to complete different patterns
  • Learning of different materials for Sashiko

Another Category is “Hitomezashi“, which is completely another genre in Sashiko. For more information about the actual contents of [Application & Practice], please scroll down this article & find the detail description on what to expect from each workshops.

What is not included in our Sashiko Workshops?

As much as I have so many Sashiko that I would like to share, I know what I can do & cannot do (and what I am good at & not good at). In fact, the majority of things are something I “shouldn’t” teach. Please find some example of what I do not teach as I am not well qualified.

Category of Sashiko that I do not teach are: Koginzashi, Hishizashi, Colorful Hitomezashi on Fukin, Kugurizashi and many other new emerging Sashiko. Unfortunately, I do not have a good resource to learn these Sashiko in English. The teachers for these types of Sashiko do not speak English and/or not willing to have teaching itself. I am working on having them to offer some teaching opportunity in English with my assistance. Also, please consider joining “Sashiko Japan Tour” where I will take the participants to experience these different styles of Sashiko.

I also do not teach how to use sew up the Jackets and/or bags although we have some items available for sale from our collections. I can use a sewing machine, but very much an amature level. Please find other teachers for this purpose as there are so many better learning resources available in English.

What is the difference between 1-Day, 3-Days and 5 Days In-Person Workshop?

Depends on a Studio, Museums and Organizations, I offer different length of Workshop. When it is listed as 1-Day Sashiko Workshop, it is most likely the Sashiko Workshop [Core & Essence]. Very occasionally, I offer the Sashiko Workshop [Application & Practice] as 1 Day Workshop as the 2nd workshop the graduates of [Core & Essence]. The 1-Day Sashiko Workshop [Application & Practice] have the prerequisite of [Core & Essence], and it is clearly listed on the description. For the 1-Day [Application & Practice], the 1st part of the workshop will be “How to Apply the Sashiko to your Ordinary”, and 1nd part of the workshop will be on “Hitomezashi”.

3-Days Sashiko Workshops is one popular Workshop Style I offer. The 1st day will be [Core & Essence], then following on 2nd & 3rd day, we will move to the [Application & Practice] – usually the “How to Apply the Sashiko to ordinary” on the 2nd day and Hitomezashi on the 3rd day. Some spend 2nd & 3rd days to practice [Core & Essence] from the 1st Day, and I believe it is one good usage of this 3 days Sashiko Workshop. Once they master the [Core & Essence], the possibility of the Sashiko is infinate. 3-Days Sashiko Workshop offer the comprehensive experience of what I offer as “Japanese Sashiko we practice”.

Starting 2024 & 2025, with receiving some request, I am creating the 5-Days Sashiko Workshop. Well, it is more like “Sashiko Retreat” as the contents of these 5-Days are very similar to 3-Days Workshop from [Core & Essence] to [Application & Practice].

Amang many positive reviews for 3-Days Sashiko Workshops I receive, I find some participants prefer to spend more time in each “attractions” in the analogy above. For example, some want to focus on Invisible Mending & complete their work as much as possible in the Workshop Time Frame. 5-Days of focused stitching will have a variety of chances to be fully immersed into the Sashiko we practice. In addition to “more time to stitch together with Atsushi”, I am planning to expand the teaching focusin on Japanese Spirituality & our Ordinary (which can be an extra-ordinary practice in Western Value). So, summarizing what I am planning now, the 5-Days Sashiko Workshop will be the “Retreat” with Sashiko – to learn Sashiko & Japanese way of treating yourself better.

In Summary…

1-Day Sashiko Workshop offer the very essential time for you to learn the [Core & Essence] of our Sashiko. Ocassionally, for those who previously graduatd [Core & Essence], you may find a 1-Day compact version of [Application & Practice].

3-Days Sashiko Workshop is one comprehensive opportunity to learn the whole picture of the Sashiko we practice. With many topics to go over with Sashiko, one can have a comprehensive understanding of the Sashiko I share.

5-Days Sashiko Workshop/Retreat (In Planning) offer something more than “learning” of Sashiko. I will update more information as it gets to closer to the actual 5-Days Workshop.


Lastly…

I appreciate your time & interest to learn what I offer as “Workshop – Teaching Opportunity”. As I write, I feel as if what I teach is the answer to Japanese Sashiko. Please be advised that what I teach is only one part of a big picture of Sashiko as a Japanese Culture. I can share the “whole picture” of Sashiko that I have been practicing throughout [Core & Essence] and [Application & Practice]. However, it doesn’t mean that I am teaching the whole picture of Japanese Sashiko.

So, after learning [Core & Essence] of Sashiko, I want everyone to learn other styles of Sashiko – and moreover, the essence of how Japanese think, behave, and stitch. I hope that my teaching will be a great gateway to the Sashiko which in Not introduced in English yet.

Also, it sounds like that “everyone” has to take the workshop I offer to reach to [Core & Essence] of the Sashiko We practice. It isn’t true. One can reach to the realization by just watching others to stitch, like Youtube Videos I periodically offer. So, I wouldn’t say that one cannot reach to the [Core & Essence] of Sashiko wihtout taking this workshop – however, this workshop will make your understanding of Sashiko more comprehensive & deeper.

Also, your decision & commitment to learn [Core & Essence] from us directly support the sustainability of the Sashiko we practice. There are so many types & styles of Sashiko that got “wiped away” by history. Unfortunately, the Sashiko we practice is no longer the main stream of the Sashiko practice (even in Japan). In order to protect the upstream of this beautiful culture, your commitment is very much appreciated. I am pretty confident that I can offer the “Eye-Opening” experience for you.


More Details of Sashiko Workshop [Core & Essence] and [Application & Practice]

Sashiko Workshop [Core & Essence]

The workshop is an intensive learning opportunity rather than “let’s enjoy Sashiko together”. The participants will learn the important “Form” and “Mindset” of the Sashiko we have been practicing. This workshop will be the fundamentals of any following Sashiko Workshops.

  • Learn the basic of the Sashiko we practice
  • Rhythmical Running Stitching – Unshin – as the Core & Essence.
  • The appropriate posture of Sashiko stitching.
  • How to use the thimble & needle appropriately.
  • How to make even stitches
  • Hands-on Stitching Time with stitching the Asanoha pattern.

Sashiko Workshop [Application & Practice]

– and yes, we will extend it to Boro.

We will apply the Sashiko I shared on the [Core & Essence] on to the actual project such as some ordinary cloth you wear. The participants will learn the following.

  • How to prepare the fabric (Transfer the fabric / pre-stitching).
  • How to mend the garment with Sashiko mindset & ideas.
  • How to make Boro (What is Boro after all)
– then, move to Hitomezashi

The [Core & Essence] focus on students to find their own rhythm in stitching. Some styles of Sashiko require a bit of more “control” besides their own rhythm. In [Application & Practice], we will introduce a different style of Sashiko with the same form, ideas, and techniques we cover on the previous learnings.

  • Understanding Hitomezashi with Grid.
  • The Hitomezashi & Its Rhythm.
  • How to proceed with Hitomezashi.
  • How to apply Hitomezashi to future projects.
[Core & Essence] will be a very strict form of teaching as every participant are required to follow the direction of Atsushi. [Application & Practice] will be a bit more easy-going like an independent study while using the technique & understanding of Sashiko of [Core & Essence].

Sashiko In-Person Workshop Schedule 2024

Sashiko In-Person Workshop Schedule 2024

Thank you for finding us & your interest in Learning Sashiko. Please find the detail information about Sashiko In-Person Workshop Schedule 2024. It is a summary article of when and where Atsushi will be offering the Sashiko Workshop in 2024. As you may know, I do not offer many In-Person workshops throughout the year – probably maximum of 6 workshops to prepare each workshops as well as spend some time in my own creation. I hope that you can find one to join one of the Sashiko In-Person Workshop Schedule 2024.

*For those who wish to learn “Now”, please consider taking the Sashiko Online Class (2024). I am receiving many positive reviews that this Online Class can offer the same outcome of learning What Sashiko really is. Some prefer Online Class as they could proceed their learning with their own speed. I will be always over the screen to support your learning of Sashiko

Sashiko Workshop Schedule 2024

(Last Update: March 16th, 2024)

The Way to Enjoy Sashiko More.


Textile Center (Minneapolis, MN) – June, 2024

This is my first time to offer In-Person Sashiko Workshop in Mid-West United States.

3-Days Sashiko Workshop is a comprehensive experience in Learning the Sashiko we have been practicing, starting from [Core & Essence] then to [Application & Practice]. We will have very fun, educational, and intensive 18 ~ 21 hours of stitching together.

Loop of the Loom (Dumbo, NY)

One-Day (6-hours) workshop to learn the most important element of our Sashiko [Core & Essence]. It isn’t the workshop of “Let’s enjoy Sashiko together”. It is an intensive learning experience to go through the core essence of Sashiko to start your own journey in Sashiko.


We had great time in the In-Person SashikoWorkshop below!

Aya Fiber Studio (Stuart, FL) – January 26t to 27th, 2024

Another Great opportunity to spend 3-full days with Sashiko we practice, from Core & Essence to many ways to apply to your own project. In Stuart, FL, we will have very fun, educational, and intensive 18 ~ 21 hours of stitching together. Plan your time in beautiful beach in FL with Sashiko!

*As of 2023 & 2024, this is the full package of what I teach, both [Core & Essence] and [Application & Practice].

QuiltCon 2024 (Raleigh, NC) – Feb 22th to 25th, 2024

It is an honor to teach Sashiko in QuiltCon again. This year, I will be offering Sashiko Workshop [Core & Essence], and a Lecture about [What is the difference between Quilting and Sashiko]. Please check the detail below for the possible participation to Quiltcon 2023 & Sashiko Workshop [Core & Essence].

Robert Frost Stone House Museum at Bennington College – April 13th

One-Day (6-hours) workshop to learn the most important element of our Sashiko [Core & Essence]. It isn’t the workshop of “Let’s enjoy Sashiko together”. It is an intensive learning experience to go through the core essence of Sashiko to start your own journey in Sashiko.

https://www.bennington.edu/robert-frost-stone-house-museum

**The Sashiko Core and Essence Workshop is usually priced for more than $360, but thanks to generous support from both Visual Arts and Usdan Gallery at Bennington College we have been able to drastically reduce the price of the workshop. I will look for this type of grant & support from the community.


Bring Atsushi to Your Group

Please consider bringing Atsushi to your group (or even to you as a private course) if you do not find a ideal location & time for you to join Sashiko In-Person Workshop Schedule 2024. Depends on the numbers of your group & location, this may be the best arrangement for you. Please take a look at the article below & contact Atsushi for the availability. If you are an organizer wishing to offer Sashiko Workshop with Atsushi, please check the “Pricing Benchmark” PDF from the link below.

Sashiko Online Class (24)

Sashiko Online Class is available for those who would like to start learning Sashiko right now from your place. After sharing Sashiko over the Internet for a while during the Covid-19, I am confident that I can deliver the same message & learning experience via Sashiko Online Class. I “restock” Sashiko Online Class each month, based on the numbers of participants who signed up for the specific period. If you find it available, there is no need to fulfill the waiting list.

I am looking forward to meeting you online!

More to Come for Sashiko In-Person Workshop Schedule 2025

I have several workshops pending for 2025, and hoping that I can offer a few more workshops somewhere in 2024. Please follow Instagram, Business for @UpcycleStitches and Sashiko Stories for @SashikoStory for the latest update!

QuiltCon 2024 Sashiko Cover

QuiltCon 2024 Sashiko Workshop Details

It is my pleasure to re-join the QuiltCon 2024 as a Faculty. This page is for those who plan to attend QuiltCon 2024 Sashiko Workshop, “Core & Essence”. Please find the details below to see what you can expect in QuiltCon 2024 Sashiko Workshop. If you have the registration confirmation, I prepared the support page below.

*If you do not have a registration confirmation to join the QuiltCon 2024 Sashiko Workshop (Core & Essence), please contact MQG for the possible waiting list. In the previous QuiltCon, there were a few last minutes cancellation, and there may be a chance for you to join this year. Also, I offer Online Sashiko Class as well as a few In-person Workshops (for 2024). Please check each articles for the details. Thank you.

*The Support Page will be password protected after the QuiltCon 2024, and I will send the Password for those who attended the workshop. The offer available on the Support Page are only available to those who sign up & purchased the Special Supply Package. Misuse of any offers are subject to the actual price adjustment. Thank you for your understanding!


In QuiltCon 2024, I offer Sashiko Workshop “Core & Essence” (on Thursday & Friday) and a Sashiko Lecture about “How Sashiko is different from Quilting“. In this page, I explain what you can expect to join the Core & Essence Sashiko Workshop in QuiltCon. There aren’t many preparation request. However, please read this article carefully to maximize your experience there.

QuiltCon 2024 Sashiko Workshop: Core & Essence

In our tradition, Sashiko is NOT about making perfect (or Inperfect) stitches. It is all about moving (trusting) a needle comfortably while communicating the fabric. Unfortunately, the current trend of Sashiko is missing one important aspect of Sashiko. In this “Core & Essence” workshop, I will teach you the core technique of our Sashiko so that you can start focusing on communication rather than judging each stitches you make.

It is extremely important to take this workshop before jumping in to any of other workshops we offer. There are a few Japanese terms that the participants need to memorize (not so many & no exams or whatsoever, but knowing them is important).

On Instagram and Facebook, I often say: Sashiko is NOT ◯◯. This workshop “Core & Essence” will give you the answer what Sashiko is for you while you learning new techniques.


*This workshop is not a type of “Let’s Enjoy Sashiko Togeher” workshop. It is one-direction learning experience for you. The participants are required to stitch a lot. They may have to go through some “uncomfortable” stitching experience (due to new muscles they use). Sometimes, it may require some mindfulness in an eye-opening experience. Please do not be scared or worried, however. I will do everything to help you to “experience” and “start enjoying” the Sashiko we practice today.

*There is NO prerequisite for this workshop. No experience in Sashiko is necessary. If you have never touched the hand-stitching needle, please try to learn how to “thread” the needle, or how to use the threader (videos are available on my Youtube). On the other hands, if you think you already know about Sashiko, please try to be as open-mind as possible. What I teach in this workshop is probably different from what you already know. There is no such a thing as “Right and Wrong” in Sashiko: and I will add another perspective of Sashiko in this workshop.

Please purchase the special package for QuiltCon Sashiko: Core & Essence below.

It is extremely important that everyone has the exact same materials & tools to pass down the Core & Essence within 6 hours. Please purchase the special package below before the QuiltCon 2024.

What to bring to Sashiko: Core & Essence.

The Special Package above is all you need to enjoy the Sashiko: Core & Essence. If you choose to receive it to your home, please bring all of the contents inside.

The following list is something maybe helpful for you to bring & prepare:

  • Masking Tape or Bandage to protect the nail from scratching by needles.
  • It may a good idea to cut the nail on the dominant hand (the hand with the needle). One can learn Sashiko with long nails, but it may be an obstacles in the first trial.

About Recommended Tools for our Sashiko

The Special Supply Package for the [Core & Essence] Workshop includes everything the participants need in the workshop. There is no need to prepare thread, needle, thimble or fabric for learning Sashiko in this workshop. In order to avoid unfortunate misunderstanding, I require everyone to use the exact same tools & supply.


That being said, there are a few recommended tools for Sashiko, which is NOT necessary yet very useful when you wish to continue Sashiko stitching. You can find another article here for Recommended Tools.

  • Thread Clipper
    • In the Sashiko we practiece, we try to make both side of the fabric as the “finished Side.” To make it easy to cut the thread left over, this thread clipper is a good idea to have.
  • Bobbin Paper for Threads
    • Our Sashiko Thread is quite easy to get tangled when it is not properly handled. This Bobbin Paper is designed to keep the Sashiko Thread in a good shape for a travel or heavy usage.
  • Mylar Paper
    • In a process of preparing the pattern, this thick plastic paper can protect the costly carbon paper below.
  • Carbon Paper
    • It is important to learn how to prepare the pattern by ourselves as Sashiko Practitioenrs. One way to prepare the fabric is to “transfer”. This paper will help us to do better.

Recommended Items are available as a Set Deal for Quiltcon 2024 with the purchase of the Special Supply Package.

General Information for the Recommended Tools & Supplies for Sashiko Stitching

I am here to Support

After receiving the participation confirmation, if you have any questions about QuiltCon 2024 Sashiko Workshop “Core & Essence”, please contact Atsushi. I am happy to answer any questions or worries prior to the workshop. 

Your question may be someone’s question, and I will share the question and answers here on this website (of course, annonymously).

I am looking forward to meeting you in the QuiltCon.

QuiltCon 2024 Sashiko


Q&A for the QuilCon 2024 Sashiko

Q: (Sample) What is Sashiko?

A: (Sample) You will find out in the workshop!

Thread The Sashiko Needle

Help to Thread the Sashiko Needle (For Difficulty in Threading)

In order to appreciate & respect the original purpose of Sashiko, we use specific threads & needles. Because of the choices, some of Sashiko Beginners may experience the difficulty in threading. “Threading” will be much easier by repeating it, so the simple answer is “Practice will make it easier”. However, there are some wisdom to make the threading easier as well. So here is a Help to Thread The Sashiko Needle.

*There is a section that I introduce how to thread the needle in the Sashiko Introductory Course On Domestika. Please learn the basic & introduction of Sashiko comprehensively there.

1 – Keep the Thread in a Good Shape for stitching

The Sashiko thread we recommend is relatively easy to “split”. In fact, I would day that the Sashiko Thread should split easily so that it will function as Sashiko Thread. The thread doesn’t split well isn’t the ideal for the Sashiko purpose over time. So, the first step is to learn how to keep the thread in a good shap

Keep the thread short. If the thread is longer than 1.5 meter, then thread will start spliting by itself. Please follow this video on how to keep the thread in a good shape (youtu.be/ekKoGmr2Ap0)

2 – Adjust Thread Tip.

It requires some practice to thread the needle with our needle & thimble as they are designed to follow the “Sashiko Purpose”. Please try to form the tip of thread to match the shape of needle eye (which is ractangle) by using your finger or nail. This will avoid spliting the thread when you try to insert.


3 – Use a Threader

The threader should have enough space to thread in most cases. Please check if we are on the same page for “how to use a threader” (youtu.be/hh4Psg4dMGg).

I hope that the difficulty in threading would be solved by trying (1)~(3), especially (2) and (3). However, if it doesn’t work, please try (4) below. I attach the photos. It will solve the problem – one issue is that it will add one extra step in your stitching.


4. Use a scotch tape to secure the thread from splitting.

*The Sample Photos here have “Splited Thread” to illustrate the solution


Use Scotch Tape (or masking tape) to secure the tip of the thread.

Wrap the tape to flatten the threads. Try to keep the width as simmilar to the thread width.

Then, cut the top of the tape diagnally. As the thread will not split, it should be easier to thread. Please make sure to cut off the tip (where the tape is) before you start stitching.


You may experience the “extremely splited thread” like 4~8 individal floss (the status of completely lost the twist). The more often we try to thread, the more significant the thread may split. When it happens, please cut off the tip of the “split” thread, and re-try with wisdom above.

I hope that (1)~(4) will fix the issue. Again, the thread is supposed to be this thick and should split. I do not recommend the thread without unique twist (which is easy to split) as “Sashiko Thread”. Also, we recommend the needle’s eye size for the purpose of Sashiko.

That being said, it is okay to use the thread & needle you prefer. From the perspective of Sashiko Artisans who would like to preserve the culture, I appreciate you trying to use the needle & thread we use & recommend instead of finding “easier” options. It is important to acknowledge the reasons & stories why we keep recommending it – and I hope you will get used to it soon with practicing it.


Please keep practicing it and you will have no problem to thread the needle without option (4).

More Story to Thread the Sashiko Needle (Domestika Course)

Visiting Sashiko Japan 2023 Cover

Visiting Sashiko Japan 2023

10 years ago. Everything of my current Sashiko Journey started in 2013. My life was full of Sashiko even before 2013. However, the dedication, commitment, and passion I had were released at the end of the year. Ever since, I have not been back to Japan. There are several reasons that I have not done yet so… but in today’s society, it is kind of insane to not to go back to one’s own country for that long time. I am a bit scared… yet, I have a strong purpose in this visit. It is to share the “Sashiko Stories” of others from my own views. I will be visiting Japan from April 11th to 25th. This is a project of “Visiting Sashiko Japan 2023” – and I sincerely appreciate your support on this Journey. (As a return, I would like to offer the dedicated webpage for the “Visiting Sashiko Japan 2023”).

The Purpose of “Visiting Sashiko Japan 2023”

The main purpose of this Japan visit in 2023 is to fulfill the promise I made in 2020 – that I will take my Sashiko friends to Japan. There are many who trusted, supported, and encouraged me in the very difficult time in the Pandemic by waiting me to re-arrange the tour. So, I will take my Sashiko Friends to Japan, to enjoy the Sashiko I have been sharing to.

This main purpose is going to be fulfilled as I have already booked most of the things & planned a quite detailed itinerary. With paying attention to our health & safety, I consider it to be almost satisifed… now, I have another purpose crossing my mind. This is probably not a “Purpose” when I put it into the words. This can be more like my “wishes”, or even my “mission (responsibility)”. While visiting Sashiko Japan 2023, I would like to share “Someone’s Sashiko Story”. Almost every day, I share my own Sashiko Stories on SNS (such as Instagram). It is my own personal stories – yet there are probably millions of Japanese who have been (or have done) practicing Sashiko. I would like to, and I feel responsible, to share the stories of those Sashiko Artisans especially with decades (like 50+ years) of experience in Sashiko. Thanks to many support from Japanese friends, we are planning to see several Sashiko Artisans who aren’t well known, yet very experienced, in Japan. I will share some of the stories on the SNS. However, the SNS is a platform to share my own Sashiko Stories. Therefore, I prepare the dedicated webpage for this story. I really appreciate your support to sustain this by joining the Givebutter Funds Page Above.

*If you are already a supporter on Patreon, you will find a link on the Patreon Page at the beginning of April 2023.

*I prepared a dedicated postcard as a memento for your generous support. Please check the detail above.

Why can we find more “Sashiko Stories” in English?

I wrote my honest consideration about “Sashiko Stories”. Why is it so difficult to find someone who share their own Sashiko Stories in English? (If you know anyone sharing their Sashiko Stories – not the techhnique of “How to”, but more like their Stories to illustrate what Sashiko is for them).

One of the biggest barrier is language. The second possible obstacle is the Japanese Cultural “Expectation”. I will be overcoming both by being a “Japanese Sashiko Artisan” who actually stitch, instead of purchasing for trade, critiquing their culture, and researching for the history. I am 100% sure that there are millions of stories that I can listen to as an actual practitioner.

The purpose of Visiting Sashiko Japan 2023 has developed from just taking my friends to Japan, to share the Sashiko we love to everyone, including you.

I want “You” to be part of this experience

For 2023, I can only take a very few Sashiko friends with me. It isn’t a commertialized tour, a simple friend trip to Japan. Therefore, although I have a list of Google Form Submition received, I feel bad that I cannot offer anything to them. As I always say it here and there, “Inclusion” is always my intention. Even the discussion of Cultural Appropriation is for the purpose of inclusion.

I have been thinking what I can do for those who wish to be in Japan, yet not being able to for many reasons. The answer is the dedicated website (a series of blog with photos & videos) for those who are interested & have been supporting our activities.

I won’t be able to take everyone with me, but I want them to be a part of this experience. I will share as many Sashiko Stories, including mine but more importantly “Other’s Sashiko Stories”.

I hope to see you there on the Dedicated Website (the detail is on the GiveButter platform above).

*If you would like to be on the Waitling List for the Future [Visiting Sashiko Japan], please fill out the Google Form below. Thank you!

To Learn our Sashiko More

Please find the information below to learn our Sashiko more.

https://upcyclestitches.com/sashiko-in-person-workshop-schedule-2023/
Sashiko In-Person Workshop Schedule 2023 Cover

Sashiko In-Person Workshop Schedule 2023

Please find the detail information about Sashiko In-Person Workshop Schedule 2023, when and where Atsushi will be offering the Sashiko Workshop. As you may know by now, I do not offer many workshop throughout the year – probably maximum of 6 workshop throughout the year. I hope that you can find one to join one of the Sashiko In-Person Workshop Schedule 2023.

*For those who wish to learn “Now”, please consider taking the Sashiko Online Class (2023). I am receiving many positive reviews that the Online Class can offer the same outcome of learning What Sashiko is. Some even prefer Online Class as they could proceed their learning with their own speed. One downside of Online Class is a missing opportunity of you touching our actual Sashiko items.

* For the drawback above, if you are learning from Sashiko Online Class & live near the workshop location, depends on the schedule, you can stop by the workshop & meet in person!

Sashiko Workshop Schedule 2023

Sashiko Workshop Schedule 2023 Across the United States.

(Last Update: Jan.30th 2023)

Sashiko In-Person Workshop Schedule 2023

Schweinfurth Art Center (Auburn, NY) – Oct.2023

This is my first time to offer 3 Full Days Sashiko Workshop in well-known Schweinfurth Art Center in New York. Starting with learning the “Core & Essence” of the Sashiko We practice, we will go through the whole standard process of our Sashiko with sharing many Samples & ideas. This will be an intensive 18~21 hours of Sashiko Stitching Workshop.


We had great time in the In-Person SashikoWorkshop below!

QuiltCon 2023 (Atlanta, GA) – Feb.2023

It is an honor to teach Sashiko in QuiltCon again. In this year, I will be offering Sashiko Workshop “Core & Essence”, and a Lecture about Cultural Sustainability in Sashiko. Please check the detail below for the possible participation to Quiltcon 2023 & Sashiko Workshop “Core & Essence”.

https://upcyclestitches.com/quiltcon-2023-sashiko/

Aya Fiber Studio (Stuart, FL) – April.2023

Another Great opportunity to spend 3-full days with Sashiko we practice, from Core & Essence to many ways to apply to your own project, and practice Sashiko with them. In Stuart, FL, we will have very fun, educational, and intensive 18 ~ 21 hours of stitching together. Plan your time in beautiful beach in FL with Sashiko!


Bring Atsushi to Your Group

Please consider bringing Atsushi to your group (or even to you as a private course) if you do not find a ideal location & time for you to join Sashiko In-Person Workshop Schedule 2023. Depends on the numbers of your group & location, this may be the best interest for you. Please take a look at the article below & contact Atsushi for the availability. If you are an organizer wishing to offer Sashiko Workshop with Atsushi, please check the “Pricing Benchmark” PDF from the link below.

Sashiko Online Class (23)

Sashiko Online Class is available for those who would like to start learning Sashiko right now from your place. After sharing Sashiko over the Internet for a while, I am confident that I can deliver the same message via Sashiko Online Class. I “restock” Sashiko Online Class in the 3rd week of each month, based on the numbers of participants who signed up for the specific period. If you find it available, there is no need to fulfill the waiting list. I am looking forward to meeting you online!

More to Come for Sashiko In-Person Workshop Schedule 2023

I have one workshop pending in 2024, and hoping that I can offer a few more workshops somewhere in 2023. Please follow Instagram, Business for @UpcycleStitches and Sashiko Stories for @SashikoStory for the latest update!

Lists of Sashiko Activities

Links for Sashiko Activities

I am looking back how much informaiton we have shared since 2017. Instagram itself has more than 2,000 Stories, and there are quite Long 160+ articles on Patreon. I receive many questions of “where to get information”. To be honest, I want them to look for the information before asking that question. However, at the same time, in this society, I realize it is my responsibility to offer better experience. The voice becomes the Voice when I can deliver it to many people. This page is a list of Links for our Sashiko Activities. I hope you can find the information you are looking for.


Please Click here to learn more about In-Person Sashiko Workshop for 2023.

[New Update on Sashiko Story]

My Recommendation for “Where to Start Learning Sashiko”.

Learn Sashiko Online from Japanese Sashiko Artisans.

Sashiko isn’t difficult at all. However, there are certain things to learn, such as “Form”, in order to appropriately understand what Sashiko is. You can learn the Core & Essence of Sashiko online now. Please consider taking our Online Sashiko Class to learn the Sashiko we (Japanese Sashiko Artisans) have been enjoying & practicing for a long time.


(Listed Chronologically & Updating Periodically).

List of Links:

Atsushi will be in Japan starting 4/11 to 4/26. Please take a look at what I am offering while I am in Japan! Although I cannot take you with me, I want you to be involved in this Sashiko Japan Tour 2023.

https://givebutter.com/c/SashikoJapanTour


Links for Sashiko Activities

We have a LOT more going on. Please come back to this page for more information. If you do not find the link you are looking for, please leave a comment on this post so that I can add it right away. Thank you for your help & understanding.

Sashiko Japan Tour

https://upcyclestitches.com/sashiko-japan-tour-2023-spring/

Finally… Finally, I am restarting the plan to bring my Sashiko friends to Japan to share what I consider it “Sashiko” and “Japanese Beautiful Culture”. Please find the detail Above

Natural Dye Sashiko Thread

https://upcyclestitches.com/store/Natural-Dye-Sashiko-Thread-20-p219068085

We are restocking our popular “Natural Dyed Sashiko Thread (by Keiko)” little by little. Please check the store page if it is available!


https://www.japanesesashiko.com/sashiko-wisdom-series

In order to teach Sashiko, I am actively learning what the participants want to learn. “My Comom knowledge may be someone’s miracle solution” – so, I am trying to share something I find trifle, yet may be informative someone – Sharing Sashiko Wisdom.

https://upcyclestitches.com/monthly-sashiko-gathering/

It is very important to keep speaking up on many platform like Instagram & Youtube. However, these message tend to be one-direction: My voice to you. On top of that, I would like to offer an opportunity to get together to “Share” the Japanese Sashiko.