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.
- Tips to make good Kasane: https://www.instagram.com/p/CLUvR7kna6y/
- Video of explaining Kasane (no-knots): https://youtu.be/st3kzcZezoQ
- Cultural Description about Kasane: https://www.instagram.com/p/CJlin8YJHmJ/