In order to appreciate & respect the original purpose of Sashiko, we use specific threads & needles. Because of the choices, some of Sashiko Beginners may experience the difficulty in threading. “Threading” will be much easier by repeating it, so the simple answer is “Practice will make it easier”. However, there are some wisdom to make the threading easier as well. So here is a Help to Thread The Sashiko Needle.
*There is a section that I introduce how to thread the needle in the Sashiko Introductory Course On Domestika. Please learn the basic & introduction of Sashiko comprehensively there.
1 – Keep the Thread in a Good Shape for stitching
The Sashiko thread we recommend is relatively easy to “split”. In fact, I would day that the Sashiko Thread should split easily so that it will function as Sashiko Thread. The thread doesn’t split well isn’t the ideal for the Sashiko purpose over time. So, the first step is to learn how to keep the thread in a good shap
Keep the thread short. If the thread is longer than 1.5 meter, then thread will start spliting by itself. Please follow this video on how to keep the thread in a good shape (youtu.be/ekKoGmr2Ap0)
2 – Adjust Thread Tip.
It requires some practice to thread the needle with our needle & thimble as they are designed to follow the “Sashiko Purpose”. Please try to form the tip of thread to match the shape of needle eye (which is ractangle) by using your finger or nail. This will avoid spliting the thread when you try to insert.
3 – Use a Threader
The threader should have enough space to thread in most cases. Please check if we are on the same page for “how to use a threader” (youtu.be/hh4Psg4dMGg).
I hope that the difficulty in threading would be solved by trying (1)~(3), especially (2) and (3). However, if it doesn’t work, please try (4) below. I attach the photos. It will solve the problem – one issue is that it will add one extra step in your stitching.
4. Use a scotch tape to secure the thread from splitting.
*The Sample Photos here have “Splited Thread” to illustrate the solution
Use Scotch Tape (or masking tape) to secure the tip of the thread.
Wrap the tape to flatten the threads. Try to keep the width as simmilar to the thread width.
Then, cut the top of the tape diagnally. As the thread will not split, it should be easier to thread. Please make sure to cut off the tip (where the tape is) before you start stitching.
You may experience the “extremely splited thread” like 4~8 individal floss (the status of completely lost the twist). The more often we try to thread, the more significant the thread may split. When it happens, please cut off the tip of the “split” thread, and re-try with wisdom above.
I hope that (1)~(4) will fix the issue. Again, the thread is supposed to be this thick and should split. I do not recommend the thread without unique twist (which is easy to split) as “Sashiko Thread”. Also, we recommend the needle’s eye size for the purpose of Sashiko.
That being said, it is okay to use the thread & needle you prefer. From the perspective of Sashiko Artisans who would like to preserve the culture, I appreciate you trying to use the needle & thread we use & recommend instead of finding “easier” options. It is important to acknowledge the reasons & stories why we keep recommending it – and I hope you will get used to it soon with practicing it.
Please keep practicing it and you will have no problem to thread the needle without option (4).