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.
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.
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).
My goal is to share the Sashiko that the Japanese have been practicing. This website, Upcycle Stitches, exist to achive the goal. In addition to this goal of “sharing Sashiko”, I have been dreaming to make Sashiko somewhat “Sustainable” to the future. It is not difficult to enjoy Sashiko today. I would like to keep it that way (easy to enjoy) in next 100 years, and possibly more. This is Asanoha Sashiko Pillow, as a first step to make it happen.
Sashiko have obtained its popularity as a hobby in Japan as well as in many other coutries. I am happy to see many people enjoying Sashiko as they wish. However, In order to keep the Sashiko practice as a sustainable culture, we would need to think about the foundation of its practice. The mutual understanding of the Sashiko value may be another important concept to consider.
The Mutual Understanding? Sustainable as a culture?
I do not mean to scare people out.
Simply speaking, we would need to advocate the value of Sashiko as a craft “all done by hands” in addition to a fun stitching activity. We would need to keep the “money” circulate so that we can support everyone who contribute to the Sashiko society such as thread manufactures, fabric mills, and Sashiko stitchers/artisans who spends so much time in this practice.
Anyone can enjoy Sashiko as a hobby. However, when the sustainablity in the long term becomes the topic of discussion, “supporting the rising artisan” become quite important priority. I believe the same thing happens in any other crafting culture anywhere in the world.
I have been teaching Sashiko in both English and Japanese since 2017 based on my 30 years of experience. Within Japan, we have completed several projects such as “Unshin Jacket” and “26 of Asanoha Sashiko”. While enjoying our students’ Sashiko, we occasionally offer “commisison work” for them to do Sashiko for us.
It is my goal to sustain this commission work as continuous project with wider acceptance so that we can offer more opportunities to rising artisans. I would like to keep offering a commission work so that they can shift their Sashiko from a hobby to craft, then artisanship.
I believe, this is how we can contribute to the Sustainable Sashiko.
Made by practitioners with high quality.
We ask our “friends (graduates of Atsushi’s workshop in Japanese)” to perform Sashiko stitching on the Japanese fabric we provided to them. They complete our request of Sashiko Stitching, and we pay a commission to them. Sashi.Co and Keiko Futatsuya will make a “finished item” with keeping the quality high, both Sashiko & construction of the product.
Although we ask a job to the “rising” artisans, we will gurantee the best possible high quality in its capability. The product is hand-stitched by a practitioner of Sashiko with strict supervision of Sashi.Co. We will do our best to offer the high quality products with various character of Sashiko stitching.
*There is no such as thing as “Right” and “Wrong” in Sashiko. Therefore, I believe, there is no such a thing as “Good” or “Bad” Sashiko – there is only a preference. Many people prefer the even stitches, and we value the evenness the most as the “skillful” item. In order to be skillful, a practitioner needs to stitch more. In order to stitch more, a commission work will be a great support for them to keep stitching. This Sashiko Cushion is my challenge to make a foundation of sustainable Sashiko.
Asanoha Sashiko Pillow
We made a Sashiko Pillow Cover with Asanoha pattern, Asanoha Sashiko Pillow, all hand- stitching on. Again, the Sashiko stitches are not done by the member of Sashi.Co or Upcycle Stitches. However, as you can see, the stitches are as even & beautiful as ours. We are so proud of the rising Sashiko artisans, and sincerely happy to be able to offer their work.
We have very limited amount of items in stock as of 2020. Hopefullly, we can keep offering the work to our artisans. Then, we will have more of the items coming along.
Size: 46cm x 46cm (About 18 inch x 18 inch)
*A square pillow is NOT included in the price.
Front fabric: Cotton Fabric (Japanese Woven).
Back fabric: Indigo Cotton Fabric (Japanese Woven)
Hand Stitched by a Japanese Sashiko (to-be) Artisan with strict supervision by Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya. Constructed by skilled artisans.
By purchasing this product, you are directly supporting the rising (to be) artisans in Japan. I sincerely appreciate you on behalf of more than 10 people who are part of this journey.
Sashiko is all done by hands. Therefore, the production line can be very flexible to accomodate your preference & need. We are happy to accept the bulk order to come up with lower price. Since all of the process is done by hands, we can accomodate your needs from choosing the fabric to sizing of pillow case.
Your choice will support the future of Sashiko
I sincerely appreciate your support in our Sashiko stitching. In today’s society, a person can get a pillow cover with similar “design” with much less money. Some sell the pillow with “Asano-ha” pattern printed as Sashiko Pillow. Others may call their machine stitched Sashiko as the “authentic (traditional) Sashiko”.
Unfortunately, there is not many things we can do to “regain” the value of Sashiko since they are once already in the trend. Only one strategy I can take to redefine the value of Sashiko is to “share” and “ask to be mindful”. I cannot change someone’s mind. If a person wants to call a mere geometric pattern (without even stitching) Sashiko, I have no power to stop it. It is the beauty of freedom. After all, we can do what we want to do.
Therefore, your caring support & choice will make the future of Sashiko. I hope that the “Sashiko in the future” is something respecting the Japanese culture & many stories that the Japanese had accumurated over years.
We are here to do Sashiko. I am here to share the stories of Sashiko. We appreciate your time to try to understand us, and support our activities.
The novel coronavirus pandemic has caused many countries to take necessary measures in global/international shipping. We, as Upcycle Stitches, are operating the international shipping following to the necessary procedure as well. If you are ordering to the non-U.S. shipping address, please take a look at this article, and understand what is the availability for now. This is our shipping procedure update for a Sashiko order in Covid-19 Pandemic.
[Update: May 21st, 2020]
Please note that all of the shipping, including the domestic shipping & especially the international shipping (regardless of the origin of shipping) are experiencing delay. Please check the tracking numbers for more information once the package has been shipped out.
Sashiko Order in Covid-19
Regardless of whereabout the shipping address, your order will be processed as quickly and carefully as usual. Before April 2020, we usually ship within 1 business day (if an order placed before 9 am, in the same day). We try our best to match this speed. However, since Atsushi is only the one who prepares the package, the shipment can be delayed by a few business days due to the school shutdown.
If the order is made for the U.S. domestic shipping address, it should be arrived as normal. I will keep updating the information with following the USPS measures.
If the order is made for the Non U.S. international shipping address, please read the description below.
International Shipping with USPS
To make sure either USPS makes a delivery to your country, please check their recent announcement here.
It may take extra time to complete the delivery due to this update. I do not have enough experience of “how long” it may take to complete the international shipping with USPS, especially if you are making the order from the Australia, New Zealand, and other Asian countries.
Also, USPS requires the phone number of recipient regardless of the destination. Please make sure to list your phone number in appropriate style, with starting the country code. For example, for the U.S., it has to be +1 (000) 000-0000. The international order without the phone number may be ceased until we hear from you.
International Shipping from Japan
Depending on the item you order, the shipment from Japan may be required. In order to make a shipment from Japan, the package has to be upgraded to the Express Mail (EMS). Depending on the order amount, we will offer the free upgrade. If the order is too small, we may contact you for the possible options such as delaying the shipment until the Japan post resume its operation.
【Update: April 24th】
Japan Post announced a temporary suspension of acceptance and delivery delays of mail items destined to various countries/territories. If you are considering a purchase of our product to delivered to the countries below, we will do our best to make a shipment from the U.S. with USPS international first-class mail. It can take a long time to complete the shipping depends on the items you would like to purchase. Please contact us first if you are making a big order (Please expect a delay in response, as well. I apologize any inconvenience in advance).
It has been almost 3 years since we have started the Online Store. Thanks to many understanding customers, we have completed hundreds of orders in the last 3 years. However, in this fall (October), a nightmare of all online business managers (I called it Sashiko Store Nightmare) finally happened to me as well…, it is a case of “tracking says ‘delivered’ yet the package is not actually delivered to the customer”, over international shipping. This is a log of how we handle this unfortunate accident.
*We had once (only once!) had a case of a missing package with a tracking record of “delivery” over domestic USPS shipping. It was also a sad and unfortunate experience, but the domestic is simpler because there is only one carrier to file a claim to. The customer was very understanding, and therefore I forgot about how scary the “missing package” can be.
You will get what you order
First of all, we will do everything we can think of to get you what you ordered. Please take a moment to read through our shipping policy, if you haven’t yet.
Although it is true in the article, “please understand that the missing & miss-delivered & stolen package after the package get into the Post Office System is out of our control”, we will not give up even if no carriers can resolve the issue. In the worst-case scenario, if the product is from the supply category (which something we can re-prepare), we will make another package for the 2nd attempt.
It is an unfortunate accident
The missing package with a tracking record of “delivered (completion of the carrier’s service)” is the worst-case scenario for the online shopper. It is the accident, or possibly a crime if the package was stolen.
Therefore, please understand that it is very important to take the proper step to file a claim, keep the records of what is going on, and how we can resolve it “together”. We are very sorry for any inconvenience due to the accident and sorry for the frustration of taking a long time to get a package. However, we as a seller are also a victim in this unfortunate accident.
If we are a big company like Amazon, then resending another package right away may be economically viable. For a big company, issuing a refund may be a much easier option to keep a customer happy. However, we cannot operate our business with the same logic as the other big company. Again, we will do our very best to resolve the issue.
How we concluded | Sashiko Store Nightmare Log
Here is a log of how we handled the unfortunate accident. We cannot expedite the process of Post Office Investigation or actual shipping. Therefore, we did our best to make a reply as soon as possible, even over the weekends. It was an international package from Japan via Japan Post with a help from Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya.
Sep.27th – Order Confirmed
Sep.28th – Package Posted via Japan Post
Oct.6th – Arrival at inward office of exchange (International)
Oct.14 – Final Delivery
Oct. 14 – Message from a customer that package “Not Delivered”.
Oct.14 – Reply from me with directions. Questions to understand the situation better.
Oct.16- File Claimed Local Post Office in Japan. (Although the person told me there is nothing they can do because their service is completed by the Final Delivery. I had asked to bring it to the upper position for the better
Oct.18 – Another update from the customer with confirming no mis-deilvery to the neighbors, no delivery person’s error (he didn’t see the package). Replied with another request to file a claim to the Local Post office for whereabout.
Oct. 22 – Second reply that there is nothing Japan Post can do.
Oct. 22 – The replacement package
Oct. 23 – The package is accepted to the Japan Post
Nov. 8 – Package arrival notification from the Japan Post System
Nov. 11 – Received confirmation from the customer.
It is not easy to deliver a package Internationally
This long process wouldn’t be necessary if this was domestic shipping, which means if the shipping address was within the USA or Japan.
Over the Internet, it became so much easier to purchase an item without visiting a store. On top of that, because of Amazon, we expect the package to be delivered within 2 days or so “no matter what”. However, with a small-sized business like us, it is a big deal to make international shipping. Please understand that international shipping can take a long time – and sometimes, it is risky to order one. We promise to deliver what you order, but we cannot promise “when” to be delivered. There is so many risk factor to guarantee the delivery date – missing package, rerouting the package, customs, and many more.
We are willing to continue the International shipping. However, please be advised that it “can” take a long time to complete the delivery. Please take your time to read our shipping policy.
We do ship Internationally.
Again, regardless of the risks (Sashiko Store Nightmare), we are willing to make a shipment to oversea address. It is our goal to share the Sashiko we practice. In order to achieve the goal, providing the materials and tools we use every day is very necessary. Since our business model doesn’t allow to have the “distributor”, the website is only one way to introduce what we use.
If you are ordering from the non-USA or Non-Japanese shipping address, please understand that there are risks of receiving packages a month or 2 months from the order day.
Alternatively, we offer an option to expedite all of the steps by upgrading the shipping method to “Express”. If your order is a time-sensitive package, please consider investing in the shipping (it will be like $40 more for only shipping). As I promised above, I will make sure & do our best that you will get the package regardless of shipping grade. However, please, please understand that it is outside of our effort, and it will take a long time to resolve it.
*Even the most expensive Express mail can be delayed due to the custom. We cannot control the custom at all, and we all should follow the law of each country.
Footnote of Sashiko Store Nightmare:
After we hear from the customer with receiving the package, we have asked them to revise the “review” on our services (it was on the product review category). Although we have not received the revisal yet, unfortunately, we wanted to inform everyone that Customer Support is very important to us and we will do everything we can think of.
I hope you can enjoy shopping with us without worrying about the shipment. Although we are not Amazon, which guarantees everything regardless of the condition, we will do everything we can think of. If you are in a hurry of receiving the order, please consider upgrading the shipping method as well.
It is our pleasure to announce the new release of “Sashiko Practice Kit 2019” as a set of “everything you need to start Sashiko”. Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya did a great job to make it happen.
If you haven’t tried the (traditional) Sashiko stitching the way we enjoy, it is a great set to start with. The needle, the round-shape dish thimble, Sashiko thread & great fabric for Sashiko stitching: everything is included in a package. You do not even need to spend some time to transfer the pattern before actual stitching.
If you have been enjoying the Sashiko as we do, let’s say after Atsushi’s workshop or watching our Youtube Channel repeatedly, this is a great project to experience how to combine several Japanese geometric patterns into one pieces. Also, it can be a great gift for your friends who are interested in the Sashiko you enjoy.
Some information available Online
This kit doesn’t have a written Sashiko instruction included (we explained the reason below). Instead of the instruction, we share the whole process of Atsushi’s stitching on Youtube. Also, the other techniques that you would need in Sashiko stitching are already shared on Sashi.Co Youtube Channel. Please consider taking the workshop (in-person/online) if you would like to learn it faster & more efficient.
Atsushi’s Sashiko stitching for this practice kit
Easy and Quick Fun!
It is a great way to jump into Sashiko stitching. Again, everything is included.
We had a bit of discussion if we should release this types of “kit”. We learn that there is a huge market for the kit & panel (fabric with pattern pre-printed). This is our answers to those needs.
However, we also believe it is very important to learn how to transfer the pattern on the fabric & prepare the fabric by yourself. Therefore, we wanted to make sure we communicate both of the beauty of “Easy and Quick Fun” and “Ability to be creative.”
Yet, we don’t want to limit you
We would like to share the fun of infinite possibility – that you can do whatever you want in Sashiko stitching. Pre-printed & prepared fabric is fun to stitch, but it is also limiting your creativity.
Yet, we wanted to enjoy the Sashiko we practice… as a result, we decided to offer the Sashiko Practice Kit 2019 with no written instruction. Please find the article explaining the reasons why we do not include the written Sashiko Instructions.
Following Sashiko Practice Kit 2019
After all, our goal is to share the Sashiko we enjoy. We believe it is okay to provide many kinds of choices as long as we explain the reasons behind it. Since we are sort of “artisans”, we tend to be (very) stubborn. However, we also understand that flexibility is the key to share the culture and its craft. So, please let us know if you have a specific design or idea of what kind of Kit you would like to try next – as the following items of Sashiko Practice Kit 2019.
Unlike the other major Sashiko companies, we do not offer many “Sashiko Kits” for customers. We know that there is a demand for the kit, but we have been hesitant to do so for some reasons. Well, we finally come up with one in 2019. However, even we offer the Sashiko Practice Kit, we do not include a piece of paper with Sashiko Instruction written on. Here is an explanation of why we prefer not to provide the Sashiko instruction of how to proceed with a Sashiko Kit.
The “best” instruction is up to you
Many people think that there is “absolute answer” or “right way” in Sashiko stitching. We believe there is not. Each pattern, each project, and each material requires the different instruction of how to proceed with the stitching. The most appropriate Sashiko instruction is determined what is your preference, personality, the mood in the day of stitching, and more importantly, how you would like to communicate to the fabric.
Therefore, I would like you to come up with your own Sashiko instruction (of how to proceed the stitching) based on your preference & condition. By us providing the written instruction, it limits your possibility and creativity.
There is some instruction for basic Sashiko techniques & wisdom. Please check our Youtube Channel to find the video for your need, or simply take the Sashiko workshop to get a full package of Sashiko technique.
No rules and regulation in Sashiko
We often say that there is no rules and regulations in Sashiko. The Sashiko instruction contradicts the saying above a bit. Yes, we can recommend one of the appropriate Sashiko instruction as the sample. However, it also encourages Sashiko stitchers to give up researching or learning by watching videos or other information sources.
The Sashiko instruction could imply the rule. We don’t want that. Instead, we offer the sample video of us actually stitching. We believe it is better than the written Sashiko instruction.
Youtube video coming-up soon.
We teach how to come up with own Sashiko Instruction
Each pattern has its own appropriate Sashiko instruction. We teach how to come up with it by yourself in our Sashiko workshop (Online Class or In-person).
The reason I do not share it here is it may require the personal attention to explain throughly – otherwise, without the follow-up, it could cause the misunderstanding. The misunderstanding based on what we write & share is something we would like to avoid the most. Therefore, please consider taking the workshops for more information & follow-ups. It is quite easy, yet core in Sashiko stitching.
Why kit? Your possibility is infinite
Keiko & I occasionally discuss why the market demands the Sashiko kits so much. We believe that it is much more enjoyable when the person can stitch what they would like to have on their every project instead of the kit pattern someone decides for you.
It isn’t difficult to transfer the pattern at all. We have a Youtube Video of how to transfer the pattern on the fabric (It is Youtube. It is free of charge). We even offer some videos of how to drew the Japanese geometric patterns directly with using chalk pen and rulers. We still do not understand why kits have so much popularity.
By learning the basic of a simple technique, the possibility in Sashiko projects can be infinite. I hope you will get the “technique and wisdom” instead of “a written direction made by someone”
It is kind of strange to encourage the market to “not to purchase the practice kit” even though we also have an article of advertising the new releasing Sashiko Practice Kit. Well, the Sashiko practice kit is a good value set for anyone who would like to enjoy Sashiko stitching, especially those who already took the Sashiko workshop. I just wanted to explain the background of the reasons why we do not offer written instruction. It isn’t about us being mean or secretive. It is about the message we would like to pass down in Sashiko stitching.
A good needle for Sashiko can make a significant difference in Sashiko stitching. One of the factors we need to be attentive is the size of Sashiko Needle Eye. There is a reason why we use only 2 kinds of needles (Both the same length, a slightly different Sashiko Needle Eye size, and from different manufacture). Even for a minor topic like this, Sashiko Needle Eye, we have a lot to share.
I received an honest feedback from a customer:
“I expected the ‘big eye’ needle to have a larger eye than the first ones I ordered, so I am disappointed with those”
I feel sorry when I hear that the customer experience the disappointment. For this case, it happened because I didn’t explain (or clarify) well enough on the product page the reason why we have the needle with the small eye.
Sashiko Needle to do Sashiko
The fundamental purpose of Sashiko is(was) to repair, mend, and strengthening the fabric. Over time, the Japanese enjoyed Sashiko for the decorative purpose, but they also practiced Sashiko for the purpose of making the fabric “better” – thicker, warmer, and stronger.
A needle with a large eye will reduce the stress of threading the needle. However, the bigger the size of thread is, the more risk we have in damaging the fabric. The impact to the fabric may be insignificant for a few times, but over time, Sashiko could damage the fabric instead of making it better. It may not be significant when we work on the strong fabric, like the new fabric. However, when we work on the vintage fabric, the size of Sashiko Needle Eye can be critical.
Therefore, the Sashiko Needle eye has to be as similar thickness as possible to the body, as straight as possible from the tip to the end.
To ordinary for me to explain.
Since we have been using the Sashiko needle for more than a couple of decades, we don’t have much trouble of threading the needle. It was too ordinary for me to mention about the necessity of the size of Sashiko needle eye until I get the feedback. When I wrote the article about the Sashiko needle we use, I didn’t emphasis enough to educate our customers (I mentioned about the importance of the Sashiko needle eye, of course.)
Sashiko Needle Recommendation
We recommend two very similar Sashiko needle from 2 different manufactures. One is offered from Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya, and another is from Tulip Needle. Both of them are in super high quality. I don’t think I can do Sashiko with other needles. Although the both Sashiko needle eye are small in comparison to the other needle in the market, the majority of Sashiko thread (All of the Sashiko thread we offer) can be threaded smoothly. It may require some experience and technique, but it is doable. I mean, I thread the needle every day & in every live streaming, so you can do it.
*It is perfectly fine to use a threader, of course.
The Sashiko needle Atsushi uses
I personally prefer this needle. So, when you see the needle on my Live streaming or other video on Youtube, this is the needle on the picture.
A super sharp needle tip with the flexible body with 51.5 mm length is the must-have item for our Sashiko projects.
Big Eye Straight from Tulip Needle
Another great, supreme quality needle is manufactured by the long-established needle company, called Tulip. To serve the purpose of “the Sashiko needle eye as the similar thickness as the needle body”, this is the best needle.
Please find the details in the separate article.
Although it says “Big Eye”, the difference of the Sashiko Needle Eye between these 2 kinds are very insignificant. This is because we needed to keep the needle size as 51.5 mm as well as as similar thickness as through the main to the end of the needle.
I imagine, the Tulip company named the needle, “Big Eye Straight” in comparison to the other needle they manufacture. This is a part of explanation I didn’t clarify enough. It is not “Big Eye” in comparison among our product selection.
No needle is wrong
Above said, you can use any needle you prefer. We just use the needle we enjoy the most & for the best possible outcome.
We have a good proverb for a master and his tool.
弘法は筆を選ばない | Kobo ha Fude wo Erabanai = A good workman does not blame his tools. It is true statement, but if a good workman has a choise of getting his favorite tool, I believe he would choose the one he enjoy the most.
What we share is merely our preference & selection based on our experience & wisdom. Please do not take as a “rule” or something you need to follow enjoy Sashiko.
However… a good needle will change your Sashiko experience, and you may never return to the other needles for your Sashiko project… Enjoy Sashiko!
This is a story how we come up with the offer of No-numbered, Muban Sashiko Thread, to provide the color which could be once in a lifetime. In 2018, we started providing the No-numbered, Muban Sashiko Thread deal online. Also, very unique uneven colors derived from the concept of Muban Sashiko Thread.
“A failure” to be the product
Since we dye our thread with Natural Dye by hands, a very small amount per dye pot, we often end up with creating the color we didn’t expect. We have created about 30 colors of Natural Dye Sashiko Thread. While some of the colors got discontinued, many beautiful colors remain as regular items with specific numbers.
We can make a suggestion based on the customer’s preference. Let’s say If you would like to get beautiful pink, #013, #014 or #015 with Madders is the recommendation.
When we happened to create the color we didn’t anticipate or didn’t meet the quality line for the evenness of color, we label them as “a failure” and we didn’t put them online for sale. Since we make a lot of stitching, Keiko used them in her Sashiko projects, and I used them in the Sashiko Livestreaming in Instagram and Youtube.
One day, a viewer of the Sashiko Live streaming in Japan commented if she can get the similar thread that I was using. I explained that it is a product by accident and we do not plan to put the number on it and sell. Then, she claimed that she would like to get it anyway, even if the color is not the much the similar and uneven.
After I exchanged the opinions about what is “failure” and “success”, I learned that the uneven and not-reproducible color can be in someone’s best interest. This is how a failure became the Color of Miracle Green.
No Numbered | Muban Sashiko Thread
Although we are getting much better in dyeing, we have made some “uneven” colors and unexpected colors.
The color can be any similar color to the 30 colors, 2 indigo Colors, and 4 Persimmon Tannin Colors. Since it is very difficult to control the inventory (only one color available for each “mistake = success = unevenness”. I will pick the 3 skeins (or 5 skeins) of No Numbered Muban Sashiko Thread for you.
For those who would like to know what kind of colors you can expect, I made 4 packages of 3 skeins of thread. When you order the pre-packaged No numbered Sashiko thread, it will tell you which color of thread you will get.
Enjoy the beauty by accident.
Whenever we make an unexpected color, we examine why it happened to make it better next time. However, the reason for the result can be varied by a lot. The humidity, the temperature, the water quality, Sun-light strength, pretty much every environmental difference can make the different color. Keiko is now good enough to create the similar colors regarding the environment, but she still makes some uneven and unexpected colors since she dyes them by her hands.
This Muban Sashiko Thread has been the best selling item in Japan. I am very happy to carry some of Keiko’s “failure”. The colors are beautiful.