handle Natural Dye Thread Cover

How to handle Natural Dye Thread & fabric

The soft color from the natural dyes is significantly different from the vivid color with chemical dyes. We enjoy the color of Natural Dye Sashiko thread, especially in a process of making “Boro” so that both fabric and thread can age – change color – together with overtime. We repeatedly tested the color stability, either if the color fades out by washing, before introducing them online. However, the Natural Dyed & Hand Dyed Sashiko thread & fabric require some attention and understanding of how to handle. The color will not be washed away by regular care for the natural dye. However, we do not recommend to throw them to the washing machine with detergent (which may have kind of “bleach” in it). Here, we introduce how to handle Natural Dye Thread and Fabric.

“Don’t” do list | Handle Natural Dye Thread with care.

First of all, please never use “Bleach” in washing and to handle Natural Dye thread. One wash with bleach may (and most likely “will”) completely wash away the natural color and make it bright white. The bleach is strong enough to do its job – to make it bright white.

The point we have to pay attention here is that some of “regular detergent” may contain the same chemical as the bleach in it. For example, if a detergent say “stain removal”, then the detergent may be too strong for the Natural Dye color.

Also, putting the Natural Dye thread and fabric in the water with detergent for a long time is not a good idea. The more time the color touches the detergent, the more color may be washed away.

Do list | How to well Handle Natural Dye Thread

Generally speaking, the natural dye doesn’t go well with the chemical detergent. In need of using the detergent, please choose the “Neutral Detergent”. Although it is quite easy to find them in Japan, I do not find the neutral detergent easily in the US (we can find them but quite expensive). In that case, please try to find the “gentle” or “soft” detergent and make sure to test the thread and fabric if the color will be washed out or not. In my experience, most of the color will stay on unless the detergent is “gentle” and washed gently. However, as a baseline, please handle Natural Dye thread with maximum Care.

Super beautiful color from nature. Although the core enjoyment of natural dye is to enjoy the color change, it is so sad to lose the color.

Summary of Do and Don’t


  • Hand-wash with no detergent. Or gentle wash with Neutral Detergent.


  • Using Bleach, or strong detergent which may contain Bleach.
  • Machine wash with long-cycle (or extra wash cycle).
  • Leave the thread or fabric in water (with detergent) for a long time.

Understand the reaction process

It is probably difficult to find a “Natural Dye” items in the mass-produced market. It is because the process of natural-dye requires a lot of attention and care. The color from nature will not stay on the thread or fabric by dipping them into a vat. It isn’t like a watercolor, putting paint on the paper.

The natural color stays on the thread and fabric by chemical reaction with a catalyst. We usually use the metal, such as iron or copper, to make the reaction happen. In another example, the Authentic Japanese Indigo Dye (Hon-Aizome), they use the oxidation process to create such a beautiful blue. The fabric and thread right after dipped in the vat looks somewhat “gray” or “brown”. In a process of oxidation (touching the air that contains oxygen), the beautiful Japanese blue comes out.

The chemical reaction doesn’t mean using chemical materials. Here, chemical reaction equals to Oxidation and Reduction. Vinegar will make the liquid more acidic and ash (such as wood ash) make the water more alkalinity. Either of acidic and alkalinity affects the balance of Natural Dye and could end up with washing out the color or changing the color.

Therefore, we strongly recommend using natural detergent, or just water.

The natural dye before the Industrial Revolution

One of the big reasons we use the Natural Dye thread is to recreate the beauty of Japan in hundreds of years ago – before the industrial revolution. Back then, in Japan, they did not have the chemical (artificial) detergent or bleach to wash the fabric. They did not have a washing machine either.

Instead, they washed the fabric and thread by hands with care (attention). I hope you would do the same when you handle Natural Dye thread and fabric.

By the way, this is my personal endnote (which may contradict what I had written so far). Anyhow, I DO wash my Sashiko Stitched Denim with the gentle detergent in a washing machine… I had washed probably more than 100 times over 1~2 years, but I can still see the thread color. The yellow from mountain peach looks more like white, but it still has yellowish color (I believe). I always wash it separately, with a gentle cycle of the washing machine, with a small amount of detergent as I feel. I sometimes do not add the detergent, but at some point, the jeans get smelly that we need some detergent… I hope you can find your own way to handle Natural Dye thread and fabric.

Shop our Natural Dye Sashiko Thread

Kakishibu Sashiko Thread 2019 Collection

SKU PD_Thread_2019
Out of stock
Product Details

It is my pleasure to announce the Collection of Kakishibu Dye Sashiko Thread (Dye Batch in 2019). It took a lot of challenge to make this happen... after almost a year of struggling, it is our honor to have them in stock. In comparison to the previous Kakishibu Dye (Collection 2017 & 2018), the thread has the matte result. I enjoy the softness of this color, and I am sure the beautiful matte color will make your Sashiko stitching more authentic.

The photo-shooting could add the luster a bit... so please check my hands photo-taken with the Sashiko thread. I tried to take photos in several condition, so I hope I am communicating the best possible color appearance of this beautiful Kakishibu Dye Sashiko Thread Collection (2019)

Kaki Persimmon Tannin Dye (Kakishibu) change the color by UV like the sunlight.

【Update in December 2020】

One of unique characteristic of Kakishibu is that they change its color over time. Therefore, we have a bit of color change comparing to the photos listed.

  • The difference between K1 and K3 are less significant.
  • The difference between K4 and K5 are less significant. (The Grey of K5 got little darker and gold of K5 became a bit morelike beige). When we compare these K4 and k5 next each other, the difference is visible. However, it isn't as significant as the photo above. Please check the update photo on Jan.2021. The left is K4 and right is K5 on the photo.

*Follow-up photos are coming. Please contact Atsushi if you have any questions. Thank you for your undersanding.

Kakishibu Color Selection

For the Collection 2019, we have 5 color shades available.

  • K1_1910 - Kakishibu gold (mostly Solid) - SOLD OUT. Thank you.
  • K1_2009 - Kakishibu Gold (mostly Solid) Very similar color to K1_1910 - SOLD OUT. Thank you.
  • K1_0621 or 2105 - Please check the New Collection & Line Up for the Availability
  • K2_1910 - Kakishibu Gray / Dark Gray (mostly solid, but a bit of unevenness) / Sold Out. Thank you. K2_1910 - Kakishibu Gray / Light Black
  • K3_1910 - Kakishibu Brown / Beige (mostly solid)
  • K4_1910 - Kakishibu Brown Variegated (Variegated)
  • K5_1910 - Kakishibu Gray/Gold Variegated (Variegated) - SOLD OUT Thank you.

For the color accurateness, please check my hand & the table color to get the best estimate. However, please understand that the color on the photo is just a sample. Kakishibu Dye Sashiko thread has its own one-of-a-kind color per skeins. They are all hand-dyed with natural Kakishibu Juice.

About Kakishibu

Kaki Persimmon (Kakishibu) Dye requires experience and techniques to prepare the appropriate materials and stabilize the color. First of all, the Kakishibu liquid smells bad, I mean, really bad. We fortunately found a great Kakishibu Dye professionals, and thanks to their help, we achieved these 5 beautiful colors.

Kaki Persimmon Dye = Kaki Persimmon Tannin = Kakishibu

Kakishibu is a form of liquid (or sometime powdered) made from un-ripe Kaki persimmon. Get the juice from green un-ripe Kaki persimmon and ferment the juice.

[Important note] - Please read

Since the outcome of Kakishibu Dye greatly varies from the sunlight, it is very difficult to have the exact same color. We keep eye on the inventory, but there is a possibility of being in short. In those cases, we may ask you to agree to receive the most similar color to your order. Since every threads are dyed by hands with natural dyes, the colors may be a bit different from the photos depends on the screen you are looking at. The difference in variegated colors may be less significant because of the "variegated" character. If you have the specific colors you would like to have in your mind, please contact Atsushi first. We will do everything to match your preference. Thank you for your understanding.

Product Information

  • Manufacture in Japan
  • Material : Egyptian Cotton 100%, Natural Kakishibu (Product of Gifu, Japan)
  • Length : About 145 meter per skein
  • Weight : About 28 g

*Please read the article of How to handle Natural Dye Thread and Fabric.


*This page is for Kaki Persimmon Kakishibu Dye Sashiko Thread, 2019 Collection

*The thread is specifically Designed for Sashiko purpose.

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