Sashiko is a form of hand- stitching the Japanese had developed hundreds of years ago. I strive to leave this culture to the next generation by sharing the stitching technique and stories behind its history.
I believe the Sashiko is the process of mending, repairing, strengthening the fabric with putting thoughts of the family. Also, it was the Fashion the Japanese tried to enjoy in the limited resource and regulation. There are many “Sshiko looks” fabric available in the market. I hope people start enjoying their own Sashiko by appreciating the fabric they are already in Love.
If you are interested in any keywords below, the information in this website may be beneficial.
Upcycle / Repurpose / Sustainability / Janaese Traditional Stitching / Boro / Nogari / Mingei / Mending / Japanese Hand Made/
Recycle (Upcycle) what you love instead of Replacing it. You will love the item more if you repair it by yourself, with your hands.
It is my sincere pleasure to announce that I will be teaching again in the QuiltCon as a faculty. QuiltCon 2022 Sashiko Workshops will be offered as a part of QuiltCon 2022 in Pheonix, Arizona between February 16th to 20th (https://www.quiltcon.com/).
Thanks to many positive feedbacks that we had received in 2020, I can offer 2 kinds of Workshops in Quiltcon 2022. In this blog, I explain what is the contents of these 2 choices in QuiltCon 2022 Sashiko Workshops – Sashiko: Core & Essence and Sashiko: Application & Practice.
*The Registration for the Quilcton 2022 will open for MQG members on August 4, 2021, at 10 a.m. EDT. For General Registration, it will be available on August 19, 2021 at 10 a.m. EDT. To get detail information & description about the workshop on interactive catalogue, please search the class by my name “Atsushi” or “Sashiko“. I do not offer Boro workshop.
Sashiko: Core and Essence
In 6 hours of the workshop, I want you to learn the Core & Essence of Sashiko Stitching. I will go over a history, terminology, and the technique of how to use unique tools with one of the core essences of Sashiko – Unshin (運針).
This is a learning opportunity rather than a “let’s do sashiko together” workshop. Therefore, participants may go through some challenging phase to learn something new. In 6 hours of intensive stitching practice, you will be able to achieve the Unshin that you may have seen on Youtube.
Sashiko isn’t about making one perfect stitch. It isn’t also about embracing the inperfection. It is about communicating to the fabric by moving your needle at your own “rhythm”. This is the workshop of Sashiko’s Core & Essence.
While your practice, I will share many Sashiko Stories. Sashiko is more than just a technique (I will of course teach you techniques to make stitches even & beautiful).
This workshop is the must workshop to continue learning from Atsushi & Upcycle Stitches. It is mostly the same contents to the other In-person Workshops (6 hours length) as well as the Online Sashiko Class. If you have taken the other In-person Workshops or Online Sashiko Class, you do NOT need to take this class again. Of course, it is your choice to repeat the same class, but please be advised that the contents will be very similar. If you would like to have the refresh of the workshop, please contact Atsushi with the email address you have taken the first class. I can offer some support.
Sashiko: Application and Practice
*Prerequisite: Sashiko Workshop (Core & Essence). Online & Other full-length in-person workshop can be used as the prerequisite as well as the “Sashiko Mastery Class” from QuiltCon 2020. It is perfectly fine to take the Sashiko: Core & Essence Workshop in QuiltCon 2022
I believe the Sashiko Workshop (Core & Essence) conclude my Sashiko teaching. Therefore, I do not offer the “advanced” Sashiko Workshop anymore. The workshop Core & Essence Is the ending of my teaching about Sashiko’s Core, and it is the beginning of your Sashiko. However, I receive many request to organize the workshop to encourage & inspire the continous Sashiko stitching with the core they learned.
This workshop, Sashiko: Application & Practice, is the workshop where I will walk you through how we can apply the Sashiko stitching to what you may enjoy more. I will teach some non-Sashiko related contents to enrich your Sashiko journey as welll.
As I wrote above, “Sashiko: Core & Essence” is the prerequisite for this class. I will only briefly review the Unshin in this class. Therefore, without taking those 6 hours of practicing, this workshop (Application and Practice) may be extremely uncomfortable. Please, please consider taking the Sashiko: Core & Essence before taking this workshop even if you have more than 30 years of experience in Sashiko. This workshop is NOT “advanced” – more like a “Let’s have fun together” with the core & essence I have shared – which is going to be fun because it is the first step to make the Jacket below in future (We will NOT make the Jacket like below in the workshop. However, I will be able to share how we make it with the core you have learned).
Some participants work on their Denim with Sashiko Stitching. This Application & Practice Workshop will be a great opportunity to learn that as well.
I will see you there in Phoenix
I have workshop from morning to the evening everyday. After the workshop, each day, I plan to enjoy the Quilt Exhibition in the main area. You may be surprized… but I am pretty shy. So if you see me walking, please say “Hi” to me. Unless I am running to the workshop, I will be happy to share our Sashiko with you there.
In an ordinary village in Japan, Sashiko (or something similar) existed. It is about the past. Many Sashiko Stories seem to be buried in history without names. Various kinds of Sashiko we can enjoy today are mostly “revived” versions of the Sashiko based on their local voice & stories. Most of the Japanese who had to practice Sashiko discontinued stitching for survival when they became wealthy enough to choose not to stitch. Their choice is a form of culture. The other people’s choice where they decided to revive is also another form of culture (*1).
You may wonder. Is there such a thing as “real Sashiko” in Japan now? Although I say most of the Sashiko we can find today are “revived” versions, Sashiko isn’t the history yet. As long as there are people stitching with living in Japan practicing Japanese culture as their ordinary, that is one real Sashiko I can define.
Well… It is very difficult to define what “real” is in Sashiko. Is it about the pattern or design? Is it about what to make for what purpose? Or the technique and how to? Although all of them can be a part of the definition of the “real Sashiko”, one very important essence of defining the real Sashiko is a sense of “community” – where people can belong. This is also my long-hoping dream to make it true – to make a place where people can feel as a community. (If you read Japanese, you can probably find me saying “居場所を作りたい（I want to make ‘the’ place)” all over the posts & videos.
For this essence, Otsuchi Sashiko is probably the closest to the “real” Sashiko. They get together to do Sashiko, and they stitch not only for their leisure, but also for making their ends meet. This is the Sashiko community where we have not introduced ourselves in English well.
Although most of the Sashiko in English are discussed based on the documents left, Sashiko is still an ongoing culture. I agree with the fact that the culture changes over time. It is changing now by those who practice Sashiko for their community. It will never be a whole picture of Sashiko when one ignores the on-going change in Japan.
Otsuchi Sashiko Project (previously, it was called Otsuchi Sashiko Recovery Project) started as a welfare project to support the Tsunami survivors from the NorthEast Great Earthquake in 2011. It has been 10 years, and they have worked with so many local people there throughout sharing the Sashiko on-going practice. Sashiko isn’t in history yet.
It is my sincere privilege to be able to join the Otsuchi Sashiko project. In my stay there (2011 Nov to 2012 Feb), regardless of my position as “teacher” or “advisor”, I received a lot of learning from them. To be honest, “learning” is not a sufficient word for what I have received. It is something more important than “learning” – like enlightenment. I would like to share what I learned there because it is what I indeed received from the Sashiko practice.
Japan Tour Visiting where Sashiko Exists
The main theme of the Japan Tour we organize is to share the “On-Going practice” of Sashiko. There are a lot more I can share with actual people & their stitching. For example, some say it is impossible to make “authentic Boro”. It is a true statement because it requires a few hundreds years to create one. However, we can make the “future authentic Boro” by stitching as the Japanese would have done so many years ago. I would like to take you there to stitch together, enjoy together, and share the “place” created by Sashiko.
The town of Otsuchi is very far from major cities in Japan. The transportation isn’t so convenient to visit. Therefore, I will not plan a visit (unless I specifically design the tour to visit) Otsuchi Sashiko Project in my own Japan Tour. For the Tour in May 2022, thanks to a great organizer Koshiki-san, we will visit them and spend some time together – in the place Sashiko would connect us regardless of where we are from.
Of course, throughout the tour, I will be there with you and for you to learn what Sashiko/Boro for us. I have spent more than 400 hours to share more than 750 stories about Sashiko on Instagram & Facebook. I feel that I still have only shared 10% of the whole stories I would like to share. Yes, the core & essence of Sashiko can be mastered by taking my Online Sashiko Class or In-person workshop. Yes, there are many information available online to learn from. I just think, however, that the time I would spend with you in Japan focusing Sashiko would be incredible memories for us. I would like you to find your own “Place” – which you may have already so you can add to your life.
We offer Japan Tour visiting where Sashiko exists.
*1: There may(should) be a form of Sashiko in which the Japanese did not choose to discontinue. In Koginzashi & Hishizashi, there are another pile of many Sashiko Stories that I am not qualified to talk about. When my stories are completed, I will work on introducing their voices as well.
Are you interested in Sashiko & sightseeing in Japan? If so, the Sashiko Tour Japan Spring 2022 with Tampopo Journey is the all-in-one package tour for you. Sashiko – a form of hand-stitching developed in Japan – has been introduced in English very widely. With some keywords such as “slow-stitching” and “visible mending”, Sashiko has became a trend in crafting & textile field. However, Sashiko is more than just a trend with slow stitching or visible mending. It is a part of Japanese ordinary days, and traveling Japan to visit Sashiko artisans with an active Sashiko artisan (Atsushi) right next to you, will provide the comprehensive expereince of the Sashiko we have been practicing.
With collaborating to Tanpopo Journey, an experienced tour agency, it will be a very unique & comfortable Sashiko Tour Japan to satisfy your expectation & preferneces. I will travel with you to share the Sashiko we have been praciticing. In addition to the Sashiko experience, you will enjoy “tourists” part of Japan. I am happy to share the Sashiko we practice in Japan with visiting many beautiful places & enjoying the delicious Japanese meals.
Two Sashiko Highlights of this Tour
This is very unique tour because Atsushi, a Sashiko artisan & Storyteller, will travel with you in most of the itenary (Atsushi will not visit Kanazawa to prepare the workshop in Takayama). On top of that, we will offer the very special Sashiko Workshops collaborating with our family & friends – Keiko Futatsuya & Otsuchi Sashiko Project. There are many Sashiko Tours to Japan available. However, I can say out-loud, these 2 workshops with Atsushi’s translation & explanation will be available only in this tour.
If you are interested in Japanese Sashiko, and have not yet heard about Otsuchi Sashiko Project, then your understanding of Sashiko in Japan may be filtered (biased). Otsuchi Sashiko Project is one of the “community business” where people apply Sashiko to maintain their economical sustainability. Sashiko has become a form of hobby. Not many people can make ends meet by just doing Sashiko. I respect those who have been trying to revive the Sashiko from history & trying to pass it down to the next generation as a lifework (like me & Upcycle Stitches).
The essnece of Sashiko exists in the ordinary of Japanese culture. For that, Otsuchi Sashiko with trying to keep the economy moving within their project (a form of community business) is the on-going phenomina of Sashiko in Japan.
I will share everything I know about the Otsuchi Sashiko.
Learn about Otsuchi Sashiko Project via Upcycle Stitches
10th year of Otsuchi Sashiko Project (in writing).
Meet Keiko & Learn from her artistry
I say Sashiko isn’t (Fine) Art because the essene of Sashiko existed in the ordinary. The definition of “Art” may bring Sashiko to the extraordinary side, and therefore I have not still yet considered Sashiko as the Art. However, what Keiko makes me think that Sashiko can be an Art. Her Sashiko isn’t traditional (which I will explain why in the tour), yet following the essence & core of Sashiko very much.
With visiting Keiko, we will have a day with Keiko’s workshop – making “Authentic Boro to be” pieces in playing with the fabrics (Both vintage & authentic Japanese fabric).
*We no longer offer the Sashiko Workshop by Keiko. A workshop may be arranged for those who took Atsushi’s Online Class and/or in-person workshop. Even that, due to Covid-19 & her condition, it will most likely “impossible” to offer her workshop. In this Sashiko Tour, I will make sure to be there with her and support her workshops. This is the opportunity to meet Keiko & learn from her (She doesn’t talk English, but I will be there to translate.)
Other Highlights of this tour
Please visit the official page for Sashiko Tour Japan Spring 2022 with Tanpopo journey for the details of itenary. The tour is focused on Sashiko, but it includes many other sightseeing & expereience opportunities as follows.
Welcome dinner & sashiko workshop
Take a tour of the Tsukiji Fish Market and have fresh sushi for lunch
Day-trip to Shirakawago, UNESCO World Heritage Site
Fabric Shopping in Textile Town
Travel Details – Sashiko Tour Japan Spring 2022
Date: May 8 – May 19, 2022 price: $5,999 per person, single occupancy*
what’s included: – Hotels & local transportation – Workshops & demonstrations – Some meals – Guide/interpreter – Transportation to/from hotel on the first/last day of tour – $100 charitable donation to Otsuchi Sashiko Recovery Project (NPO)
what’s not included: – Travel or medical insurance – Flight to/from Japan – Personal spending including: – Shopping, alcohol, laundry, some meals – Online-sashiko workshop / In-person Sashiko Workshop prior to the tour (Prerequisite)
Please imagine that we will go to a Cycling Tour to Japan with planning to visit mahy cycling courses. You would need to learn how to ride a bycicle before the Cycling tour. This Sashiko Tour is operated with the similar idea. We will enjoy a lot of Sashiko stitching in 11 days tour. In those experience, the core technique of “Unshin (Needle Movement)” is a necessary skill to have. The participants do not need to “master” the technique or posture. However, they have to be aware of the idea & technique so that we can practice in the tour.
Some may think that they are experienced in Sashiko. However, unfortunately, I have not met anyone who practice Unshin like we do without taking our Sashiko Class. Therefore, in order to be fair with everyone, the Sashiko Class by Atsushi is prerequisite for this Sashiko Tour Japan.
If you have taken Atsushi’s Workshop (more than 3 hours length), please contact us with the email you took the workshop with. We should have you in the system, and we are happy to welcome you with some follow-ups.
It is my sincere pleasure to share the plan of Sashiko Japan Tour in 2022. I cannot believe I have not been back to Japan for more than 7 years. Last year, in October 2020, I had planned to visit Japan with my Sashiko friends as Sashiko Japan Tour 2020. However, due to the pandemic, I had to cancel the whole trip. Although the global pandemic is not over yet, with proper vaccination, I sincerely hope that we can travel internationally again. In 2022, we have one Sashiko Japan Tour already planned throughly, and another Sashiko Japan Tour which is still in a stage of brain-storming (asking for preferences). In order to avoid confusion, I would like to explain the difference here.
Focuses on Sashiko Japan Tour
The focus & theme of Sashiko Japan Tour is, of course, Sashiko and its related topics such as Boro, Kofu (vintage fabrics) and other hand-stitching culture in Japan. The 2 tours planned for 2022 has different itenary to fulfill everyone’s preference. I hope this article will be helpful to decide.
Sashiko Tour with Upcycle Stitches (Sometimes in Sep/Oct in 2022 / About 10 days / No Link Yet)
*I receive many request to arrange the workshop in Japan. We are very limited to do so currently. Joining the tour is the best way to get the workshop by Both Keiko & Atsushi. (Article about Sashiko Workshops in Japan).
If you are interested, please fill out the Google Form so that I can follow-up with your preferences.
This will be a very well-organized tour to Japan with focusing on Sashiko & other textiles. Koshiki Smith, the organizer & travel guilde is very well experienced in the travel in Japan, and everything will be arranged by her. I will be in charge of the workshops related to Sashiko and Boro, and some other small lectures & small-talks in the trip.
The Sashiko Tour I had planned in 2020 was very “Sashiko & textile-Focused” tour. Since the idea was to bring my Sashiko friends to Japan, there wouldn’t be any “sight-seeing” opportunities (unless the participants plan it for themselves before or after the tour). This Sashiko Tour with Tanpopo Journey includes many sight-seeing opportunities on top of the core Sashiko experience. Please check their website for the details.
The highlight of this tour would be:
Several Sashiko/Boro Workshops in the Trip, including one with Keiko
Visiting Otsuchi to meet Sashiko artisans there, where they changed Atsushi completely.
Comprehensive understanding of the Sashiko Atsushi has been practicing.
Many other Sight-seeing opportunities
Other craft workshops availability
Well orgnized trip with 2 translator (Koshiki & Atsushi).
To be honest, I cannot promise that I will make this tour happen in the Fall 2022. Depends on the pandemic situation, I may need to postpone it again. However, I am determined to make it happen. If not Fall 2022, then Spring 2023. If not Spring 2023, then Fall 2023. (Winter & Summer are not the ideal time to travel for Sashiko – too snowy or too humid).
The concept is very simple: To “Go Back” to Japan where Atsushi like(d) & live(d). I will be solo-organizer for this trip, and I do not plan to hire a travel agency for this trip. For that matter, a “tour” may not be the best description. However, I will make the itenary and will prepare all of the necessary reservations. The participants will not need to do anything but keep stitching. It will be very “experienced-focus” workshop with Sashiko, Boro, Kofu and Dyeing (the Sashiko thread/fabrics). Therefore, there will not be any sightseeing opportunity.
It also requires the participants to know me first. If this is the first time for you to meet me, I will arrange several Online Meeting opportunities & ask to complete some reading materials. I may not be able to help everyone for their translation as they needed. Therefore, if you are traveling to Japan for the first time, I strongly recommend joining the Sashiko Tour with Tanpopo Journey above. If you are comfortable to be alone at some point of the tour in Japan and not interested in sightseeing so much, this is the tour for you (You can, of course, arrange the sightseeing option before & after the workshop. I will help you as much as I can).
The highlight of this tour would be:
A few days Sashiko & Boro workshop with Keiko in Takayama.
A possible Natural Dye Workshop (Not confirmed & still negotiating).
A lot of time in stitching & experiencing.
A longer time to stay in one place – the feeling of living there (less traveling)
Date: About 10 days in September or October in 2022
Price: $5,499 per person, single occupancy (Estimate / We may stay in a house together such as AirBnB).
*If you have signed up for the Sashiko Japan Tour 2020 that I had planned, please expect the same itenary & contents. The price may go up due to the steep inflation, but I will be honest to what we can do.
*If you have trusted me & supported me by letting me to keep the deposit for Sashiko Japan Tour 2020, the deposit can be applied to either tour. Please contact me for the details.
It is my sincere hope to support our customers who purchase Sashiko supplies & tools from us. This is a website for Sashiko Customer Support. Since I am a “one-man business”, the support may be a bit slow. However, I will not just ignore your reasonable request. Meanwhile, a lot of questions you may have is already answered. Please check the answers & videos as our Sashiko Customer Support.
Thank you very much for your support. Your feedback is greatly & always Appreciated. (Your review is the best support I can ask for. Please refer the article for “How to Leave a Review” on our website).
(Last Edit: 4/23/2021 – I will continue editing)
FAQ as the initial Sashiko Customer Support
Please check the Q&A for the initial Sashiko Customer Support. Your question is/was someone’s question. There may be a good information available there.
How to keep Sashiko Thread in a good shape
Our Sashiko Thread is very unique. Please watch a video for “how to keep it in a good shape”. The article is also available here (with captions).
How to keep the stitches even
It is probably the most frequent questions I receive – “How can you keep the stitches so even”. It is challeneing to answer the question in one sentence. However, in order to share the beauty of this technique, I share it in our Sashiko Class (Online / In-person). Please consider taking it. I will make sure that you can stitch in the rhythm – and in the rhythmical stitching, your stitches will be even (automatically & eventually).
The fabric we sell in our store usually do not require the pre-wash to align the fabric before you start stitching. The exception would be when you would use the “very” edge of the fabric for your project. If you would woul to have a great Sashiko stitching within 0.5-inch from the edge, then please soak the fabric into the water & try to align the fabric. (The fabric may be a bit twisted in a process of cutting into pieces).
For the color of the Indigo Fabric, the Indigo Color may come out for the first few times. After stitching, please hand-wash for the first few times without other fabrics to avoid the color transfer. After you confirm no color comes out, you may wash with other clothes. When the thread we offer is used, the Indigo color in the washing water will not change the color of thread.
Since they are quite valuable fabric, hand-wash is always recommended. Drying on the table laying down the fabric instead of handging would be better to be kind to the fabric. However, since the fabric is strong, after confirming the color not coming out of the fabric, putting them into the washing machine will not damage the fabric significantly. It isn’t recommended so much, but even a tumble dry with high heat is okay. (I have a Samue – craftman jakect that I made from the Indigo fabric above – I have been washing it in the washing machine & drying it in the dryer… for more than 5 years, and it is still in a good shape).
I want you to care for the fabric. At the same time, Sashiko is the wisdom to make the fabric more durable in these harsh condition. So… “after several hand-wash“, it is okay to mix with other cloth.
*If you purchase the vintage fabric and/or a Jacket made with vintage fabric and Natural Dye Thread, please do not use the washing machine & dryer. It will add the “artificial” damage, and it can end up with destroying the fabric & color.
How to handle the Natural Dye Items?
We carefully hand-dye our Sashiko thread with some Natural Ingredience. The Natural Dye items are very beautiful. However, it isn’t so “strong” as the other mass-produced thread. For example, a spoon of breach “can” white out all of the colors. In order to avoid the unfortunate color change, please read the article below.
The Color Changes in Natural Dye by using it over time. We find it the beauty of Natural Dye. I hope you enjoy it as well.
It has been almost 2 years since I had started offering the Online Sashiko Class. It has been a great pleasure to share the Sashiko we have been practicing with Sashiko practitioners all over the world. Under Covid-19 pandemic, it helped me to go though the difficulties as well. I appreciate for those who support & show their willingness to learn. There are many wonderful Sashiko artisans coming from the Online Sashiko Class. It is my dream to share their artworks on our website as well. This is an announcement for the Online Sashiko Class 2021.
Online Sashiko Class 2021 Update
The Online Sashiko Class 2021 is the essential class to learn the Sashiko we have been practicing & would like to pass down. Our Sashiko requires the technique/stitching-form so called “Unshin“, and the Online Sashiko Class will help you to be able to stitch like we do.
After 2 years of experience in teaching Online, I am confident to say that anyone can stitch like we do when they follow step-by-step tutorials. One can, of course, learn Unshin by watching our Youtube videos. However, this Online Sashiko Class 2021 will give you the most efficient/quick route to master the Unshin. Some feel comfortable in stitching as fast as within a few hours. Please consider taking the Online Sashiko Class to avoid unnecessary detour (learn-by-watch can take you to a lot of detours – which isn’t bad, but not so efficient). Also, your willingness to take the Online Sashiko Class will help me to continue sharing the Sashiko We practice.
The Unshin you will learn (the right side of hand-stitching)
Price Adjustment in May 2021
I plan to increase the workshop price in May 2021 due to the increase of shipping fee as well as other price changes. It isn’t a great annoucement, and I feel bad about that. However. in order to keep our activities sustainable, your understanding is very much appreciated. I am thiking about 8% of increase in its price.
If you register the workshop in April 2021, the price will be the same. You will have (more than) a year to complete the Online Sashiko Class 2021. It usually take 3~4 hours to watch the videos & another 3~4 hours of practice stitching before 1-hour Live Session. After that, you should be able to find your own Sashiko. After you find your own rhythm, the more you practice Sashiko, the better your Sashiko will get.
I sincerely appreicate your support & willingness to learn. I had sent you an important announcement on April 1st 2021 regarding the password change.
If your registration date for the Online Sashiko Class is after January 1st 2020, there is no action needed. Do Not Worry About it. Please find time for you to learn Sashiko via Online Sashiko Class 2021.
If your registaraation date for the Online Sashiko Class is before December 31st 2019, please check the email for the detail. The Online Sashiko Class has “one-year subscription policy” (as stated in the Online Sashiko Class description). The purpose of this policy is following: (1) to keep the video platform safe & healthy (2) to encourage you to learn Sashiko since you paid for that amount.
At the same time, I understand anything can happen in this busy society. The one-year subscription is not a rigid regulation. I will consider your case & extend it until you learn Sashiko. After all, my goal is to share the Sashiko we would like to pass down. Once you learn the Unshin in Online Sashiko Class & get a follow-up Live Session, you may not need to continue watching the videos. However I understand the needs of keep watching it. For those, I will offer the extended subscription with small fee and/or some favor to ask (like writing reviews, collaborating on Social media, and such).
Again, as I always say in the Live Session, once you learn the Sashiko we practice (the Unshin we would like to pass down), you are our friends. I will keep supporting you. This announcement is for keeping our “vimeo” account safe & secure. I appreciate your understanding.
All of the notification regarding the Online Sashiko Class is done via Google Group. If you have registered the Online Sashiko Class, and have not received any updates, please contact me as soon as possible.
Advanced Online Sashiko Class
I have received several request to create some advanced Online Sashiko Class. Honestly speaking, after learning the Unshin, one doesn’t need the Advanced Online Sashiko Class. However, it is important to understand & accomodate the needs. I will work on it, and your requests on this article would be very much appreciated. Please leave the comment if you have any specific request!
Sashiko became very popular in a variety of interpretation. I am happy that many people are interested in Sashiko. However, Sashiko is more than just hand-stitching. We have Sashiko Story to share what Sashiko is for us, for the Japanese. Please follow the Instagram/Facebook Account to read our Sashiko Story. Your understanding of Sashiko is probably not wrong, but probably insufficient. I share Sashiko Stories to fulfill the missing essence.
I make myself to share a Sashiko Story a day with introducing the photos of our Sashiko. All of the Sashiko on the photos are done by us: either myself, my mother Keiko, and/or our Sashiko friends who help our Sashi.Co project (or altogether).
Sharing Sashiko Story is a contribution I can do to the Sashiko Tradition. It is all free. Please follow the account & enjoy how Sashiko can be more than just stitching.
This is a comparison photo of back & front of one “Boro To be Jacket” we are working on. There are stories behind why we make one side “back” and one side “Front”. Sashiko Stories are the significance of the Japanese culture.
Sashiko is our life. Sharing Sashiko Story includes sharing very personal stories. Unfortunately, it is too risky to share “everything” where anyone can reach to. I have had very painful experiences caused by cruel trolls. Without many encouragement from followers & supporters on Patreon, I would have stopped sharing it. It can be too painful.
As a return to the support, I share very honest & personal stories on Patreon platform. I am willing to take a risk to share “everything” where they are willing to spend some money on what I write.
There are more than 100 articles in Patreon, and they are all exclusive. Your support to what Atsushi shares is very much appreciated.
One of the frequent questions I receive is about “Knots” at the beginning & ending of Sashiko stitching. “Does Sashiko make knots or No knots?” can be a confusing questions because a learner can find many kinds of answers. It is very understandle to wonder it because one book say “Make knots”, and the other article says “Do not make knots”.
Sashiko make Knots Or Not?
I answer the question on Live Streaming since a listener asked a question.
The Question/request was:
A request for discussion on “Knots”and “No-Knots” in Sashiko.
Is there variety in traditions among stitches?
Is the book oversimplified?
For the answer, please watch the Youtube video & read the summary below. This article is for those who would need a script to understand the video contents.
Script in Youtube after the unedit version of my answer (Please start from:)
After my personal answer to this question, I then moved to a discussion with Sharron if we can find a similar example in the US ordinary. Although it is not the exact same discussion, we came up with an interesting topic – the topping of “pineapple” on pizza. If you are interested, please check the whole Live Streaming on Feb.14th 2021 (https://youtu.be/mwqrEtbbnGA ).
To summarize the question if a Sashiko stitcher should make a knot or should avoid making a knot in Sashiko stitching, I would summarize as follows.
There is no “should” in the decision of making a knot or not. It is based on the preference & project condition. However, I want a Sashiko stitcher to be able to choose. There is a big difference between “Can’t” and “Don’t”. One shouldn’t say that “It is normal to make knots in Sashiko” without the ability to avoid making knots.
Sashiko existed in numbers of places and communities in Japan. Therefore, there is much variety in traditions among stitches. However, within my understanding, all of the Sashiko Stitchers I had to talk to chose Kasane or making knots. They all can “choose”. That’s what I want you to aim for.
It is almost impossible to write the whole picture of Sashiko in one book. It is similar to writing a book about “All cooking” in one book. We would need to focus on each cooking style like “How to make some Japanese ◯◯”. For that, some books I know are oversimplified without proper explanation.
There are many reasons why the Japanese use Kasane to avoid knots. It is very important to learn why & how to avoid the Cultural Appropriation. It makes so much sense when we learn the stories. The Sashiko was a stitching practice in poverty. They didn’t have luxury to cover the backside of Fabric. They wanted to make the backside as beautiful as the front. Then, the knots became a problem.
Meanwhile, when the purpose is for purely mending, knots could be must, therefore we can find knots in some Boro pieces.
Please try to see the whole picture of Sashiko
It is my goal to share the “whole” picture of Sashiko. Please follow our channel & account to learn more about Sashiko. The knowledge you have about Sashiko is probably correct – however, if you do not read Japanese, I can say your knowledge of Sashiko is not sufficient yet.
Not knowing is okay. I am here for that. Please do not ignore the voice once you learn the “whole”.
I added some links to useful articles & information in the description field. I hope you enjoy it.
Happy New Year! I know it is a late greeting on January 18th. I apologize for slow update on this website. I have so much to share. I make myself to write a story about Sashiko every single day on Sashi.Co’s Instagram and SNS (Also company’s Instagram & Facebook), and therefore, I put this website in later priority. In order to improve it this year, I will make a monthly update from January! This is an update of our Sashiko January 2021.
Update of our Sashiko January 2021
Please follow our SNS account (Instagram & Facebook) to get a daily story about our Sashiko. I will keep sharing the stories there – honest stories including all of the emotions: happy & angry & sad & appreciative stories.
You may be surprized how people react to what we share on SNS.
List of updates
Japanese Sashiko/Boro Facebook group
Sashiko Live Streaming
Sashiko Online Class
Sashiko Zoom Gathering
Following the previous 2 years, we are cerebrating the new year with offering the special deal, Sashiko Fukubukuro. Please take a look & try to catch this opportunity (the Fukubukuro will end on January 24th).
In addition to our daily update on SNS, I made an unique Facebook Group for Japanese Sashiko and Boro. This group is NOT a place to be an artist to showcase their Sashiko, nor a place to ask a quick questions. It is a place to learn what Sashiko/Boro is for the Japanese people with welcoming some Japanese Sashiko stitchers into the group. Anyone can make a post with their Sashiko. However, the group require the mindful understanding of the Group Guideline. If you are interested in learning more, please join the group.
Before Covid-19 pandemic, I had offered Sashiko Live Streaming twice in every weeks around 9~10 am on Friday in Eastern Time Zone. After Covid-19, with having my child in our house, I moved the Sashiko Live Streaming at night in EST. I try my best to offer the Live Streaming as often as I can. However, at this point, I cannot make a specific schedule.
Please subscribe our Sashiko channel so that you can get the latest update for our Sashiko Live Streaming.
Sashiko Online Class
It is my sincere pleasure to offer the Sashiko Online Class in 2021 as well. The goal of Sashiko Online Class is to offer the necessary technique & knowledge to keep enjoying Sashiko. Sashiko Online Class is not the end of the learning: It is the starting point of the learning to find your own Sashiko.
From my experience of “failure” before, I am trying my best to operate the business by myself. Once I “hire” someone, I would start concentrating on making money to support the partner. Therefore, what I do is very slow in comparison to my ideal. However, I share it one by one, slowly but surely.
Your support for our activity on Patreon would be very much appreciated to expedite my journey. Once I have secured the monthly income, I may be able to hire someone to help me out. Well… probably an office & child-care (while I work) may be the priority before hiring someone.
The year of 2020 became such a strange, difficult, and challenging year. I am happy and relieved to write this article after all of challenges we had gone through. Thanks to your support, we are here today. We would like to welcome the new year of 2021 with the same way as we always did – with Sashiko Fukubukuro 2021.
The Japanese cerebrates new year’s business with offering the Fukubukuro (Fortune Bag – Lucky Bag). It is our pleasure to offer the great Fukubukuro again. Please read other articles about Sashiko Fukubukuro to understand what it means to us, in 2020 and 2019.
Sashiko Fukubukuro 2021
Some business use the opportunity of Fukubukuro to clear the excessive inventories (some even say that “Clear inventory Sale (在庫一掃)”. For us, Fukubukuro is an opportunity to offer a bit of discount at the beginning of year to enjoy Sashiko. We rarely offer the discount on our items in our store, so please enjoy this opportunity to get the great deal for Sashiko thread & other items.
*In Sashiko items/supplies/tools we carry, there aren‘t any “trend” and “expiration date”. Also, most of them are not mass-produced. So, we do not have hundreds of inventory to clear and there are no worries for items to be wasted. Fukubukuro is a way to share our appreciation.
Each Fukubukuro has a theme. For example, in 2021, A.Keiko Bag is for the “thread lovers (Only threads, but many various kinds of thread)” and B,Azu Bag is for the “Sashiko Practitioners (thread, fabric, and some patterns to enjoy Sashiko)”. Please read this article as well as the product page carefully to find the best match for you (You are welcome to purchase several of Fukubukuro).
How to get Sashiko Fukubukuro 2021
All of the Sashiko Fukubukuro will be available for sale starting on January 2nd around 8~9 pm EST on our Store. The all sales ends on January 24th at midnight or all of the materials I had prepared are sold out. The shipment will be made accordingly, but please expect 3 ~ 14 business days for us to complete the shipping. (The regular order will have the priority.)
The price includes the US Domestic Shipping (either USPS priority or USPS First Class with tracking). If you are ordering it to the Non-US Address, please expect a follow-up email from Atsushi for the shipping fee adjustment. Based on the shipping address & type of Fukubukuro, I will suggest you the possible secured shipping options in Covid-19. Depending on the availability of international shipping, the package may be shipped from Japan.
*The contents & Price of the Fukubukuro may be different from today’s plan (Dec.31st). Please check the final product page for the final contents of the Fukubukuro.
The theme for A. Keiko Bag is “Sashiko Supreme Thread“.
We keep saying. “Thread Does Matter” in Sashiko. I receive many feedbacks from customers/friends with saying, “Yes, I got the reasons you are talking about” after they actually try our Sashiko thread. Thread is the biggest consumption in Sashiko. In order to enjoy Sashiko, we have to use thread (needless to say). Therefore, a Fukubukuro with a lot of threads are our ordinary offer in every year’s Fukubukuro.
This year, A thread bag (so called”A Keiko Bag“) will have a choice of its sizes.
Nami – Compact Size (Est. $40.00)
Dai – Big Size (Est. $140.00)
Tokudai – Super Size (Est. $250.00)
Nami – Compact Size
At least 4 skeins of Sashiko threads from the list below (3 regular Sashiko thread + small Sashiko thread). No Natural Dye Sashiko Thread will be included.
Dai – Big Size
At least 9 skeins of Sashiko threads from the list below, including at least 3 Natural Dye Sashiko Thread from our regular Natural Dye Collections. The bag includes some small Sashiko thread as well (the 9 skeins I promise will include a few small skeins).
Tokudai – Super Size
At least 12 skeins of Sashiko thread from the list below, including at least 7 Natural Dye Sashiko Thread. Some Natural Dye will be one-of-a-kind that is already discontinued (Not even listed on the website). A package of needle & thimble will come with the bag. If you enjoy Sashiko with 10 skeins of thread, 3 extra needle may be good to have. (If you do not need a thimble, please introduce the Sashiko we practice to your family & friends with gifting it).
All of the Sashiko threads are the one we use in every day, both small (40m) skeins/cards to regular (145m) skeins. I will make sure that contents will exceed the retail value of our Sashiko Store. Natural Dye Sashiko Threads are hand-dyed by Keiko Futatsuya
This is a list of thread that I would pick up the colors. The possible colors you will get are the following (but not limited to):
I am happy to accept your preference in colors. If you have any preference (ex. I like pinks), please write your preference when you check out the cart as a comment to me. I cannot promise I can pick up the color exactly as you wish. However, I will do my best to make it happen. If your preference is “Earth Color” and “Soft Color”, please consider choosing the bag which contains the Natural Dye Sashiko Thread.
*A set of Needle & thimble will be available as “add-on” with the special price.
The theme for B. Azu Bag is “(A lot of) Fabric & Thread & Some pattterns (Mylar Sheets) for Sashiko Practitioners.”
The more I continue the journey of “Sharing Sashiko”, the more “Sashiko beginners” I meet. I feel the “trend” of Sashiko more than ever. For the Sashiko Fukubukuro 2021, in “Azu Bag”, I decided to offer some choices in selection.
Azu Bag for Sashiko Beginner (Est. $50.00)
Azu Bag for Sashiko Stitcher (Est. $150.00)
Azu Bag for Sashiko Artisans (Est. $250.00)
Azu Bag for Sashiko Beginner
This bag is for a beginner who has never tried our thread, needles, a thimlble, and fabric. It is a compact package of everything you need to “try” our Sashiko stitching with a reasonable price. Most of the tutorials to enjoy our Sashiko are already on Youtube. You may need to spend a bit of time to learn – but I believe it is a good start to learn how to prepare the fabric as well. I plan to make a designated tutorial as well (toward the end of January).
Azu Bag for Sashiko Stitcher
We have several patterns that we had enjoyed stitching in 2020. We will send you “all supplies you would need” to enjoy several of new patterns with good amount of fabrics & threads.
Azu Bag for Sashiko Artisans
A lot of fabric + some vintage/rare fabrics that I have been collecting. I may contact you to understand the preference if you are the returning customer.
My wish for this years’ “B. Azu Bag” is to encourage a Sashiko lovers in continuing(starting) Sashiko stitching. The bag will have an essential items – as much fabric & thread as possible (toward the bigger bags). I will also make some tutorials to encourage you to enjoy Sashiko (For those who follow me, it may be a repetitive information. I hope it will be a good refreshment).
A list of items the Be.Azu bag “may” include…
Our Supreme Sashiko Thread
Fabric(s) made in Japan – good fabric for Sashiko stitching.
Supplies to prepare the fabric with patterns.
Other Sashiko related items.
*Please be noted that the thread clipper on the sample photo may not be included.
In each bags, I will try my best to meet your expectations and exceed the item’s value (above the retail price on our website). My goal is always to encourage people to start & continue enjoying Sashiko. If you are a beginner, please mention it in the comment box at the checkout. If you are a returning customer (You are my friend), please let me know your preference. I am here to encourage you to enjoy Sashiko. Please contact me if you have any questions before the purchase.
As I mentioned above, many tutorials are already on Youtube for you to learn how to prepare the fabric & how to avoid making knots. I plan to make a webpage designated to the Fukubukuro customer as well. After receiving the Fukubukuro, if you would like to learn the Core of Sashiko (how to stitch like we do), please consider taking the Online Sashiko Class.
The special Bags I am still wondering…
Last year, I made one gigantic Fukubukuro with a pile of thread, fabric & supplies/tools in it. I received many good reviews & several requests – which were “More fabric”, “More Natural Dye”, and “Vintage fabric enough to make ‘To-Be-Boro’ piece”. I have been trying to collect fabric & thread, but I do not know if this “huge” bags are good option to offer in Covid-19 (since it is a bit more difficult to get supplies from Japan).
Therefore, I am still wondering if I can/will offer a special Fukubukuro for both Keiko Bag & Atsushi Bag with following the same theme. I have a few packages of “project materials to make Boro-to-be bag or placemat” that I am (was) planning to offer in 2021 with limited amount (Photo is coming – available upon request). Also, for those who wish to have A LOT of thread and fabric… These are the biggest Fukubukuros for 2021.
I think I can only prepare a few of this bag. I will offer them. However, I may take it down while watching what I have in my storage room.
Terms and Conditions for Sashiko Fukubukuro
Please read the terms of “Sashiko Fukubukuro” service before you complete the order. Fukubukuro is based on the concept of “a blind bag” and “a lucky bag”. Therefore, we do not accept any returns of the contents you receive. We will do our best to exceed your expectations, and promise that the value of the contents will be above the total of retail value on our webstore.
The Bags will be sold between January 2nd around 8~9 pm in EST to January 24th. The sales continue while the supply last, and it may be ended before the final date.
The shipping will be made accordingly. However, unlike the other regular orders which we usually ship in 1~2 business day, the Sashiko Fukubukuro order will take longer than that (Please expect a few days to 2 weeks to be shipped). I will do my best to complete the shipping as soon as possible.
We will not accept any return or cancel after the shipment. If you would like to cancel the order, please let us know as soon as possible.
The Sashiko Fukubukuro Bag may contain an item without original packaging. We will re-package and will send them in a nice condition.
The item may be an item that was “returned” as the sellable condition. No second-hand item will be included (besides the vintage fabric).
The price of Sashiko Fukubukuro (2021) include the US Domestic shipping fee. If your shipping address is outside of the U.S., you may purchase one with agreeing the extra shipping fee will be applied (I will contact you with the estimate with reasonable & safe pricing to deliver under the Covid-19). Depends on the shipping address, the package may be shipped from Japan.
*All the photos are the sample contents. Colors and items insides are subject to change, but the photo explains what you can expect to get.
*Keiko maybe preparing for the Sashiko Fukubukuro – international version. Please consider one when if it becomes available.(Keiko’s English shop).