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

Thread Clipper / Grip Scissors | All Made in Japan

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Product Details

All Made in Japan | Thread Clipper for Sashiko Stitching

Sashiko is a term for "needlework & stitching" but a Sashiko project requires more than just stitching. One of the small task (but not least important task) is cutting the thread nicely.

A standard scissors can cut the thread without any major problems. However. a good tread clipper (we call it Grip Scissors) will improve the Sashiko experience. We carry a variety of Grip Scissors from entry level (mass-produced by machine) to hand-made (Hand-Sharpen) supreme grade. All made in Japan.

All of our Grip Scissors are the size of 105mm (If not, the size will be mentioned). From my experience, any sized hands should fit this 105mm grip scissors by learning how to use them. If you would like to have a bigger one, the size of 120mm Grip Scissors may be available up on the request (the availability for 120mm is smaller than 105mm).

Misuzu Traditional Selection

*Misuzu Scissors Company is a long-established scissor manufacture in Japan. We, as a group of Sashiko professionals, have been pleasantly using their grip scissors for more than a few decades.

[Advisory note]

We strongly recommend to get the middle-range to high-end grip scissors instead of the entry models. Possibly the one over $25.00, or the one around $20.00. The entry model are good made, but the difference of user experience are not subtle.

Misuzu Original Packages

  • Misuzu Komachi: $10.50
    • An entry level grip scissor with very reasonable price. Mass produced by machine with rust protection. 105mm short blade. 【Sold Out】
  • Misuzu Birei: $13.50
    • Another entry level grip scissors made from Carbon steel. Mass Produced by machine with rust protection.105mm short blade
  • MIsuzu Edokiku: $38.50 - Reasonable yet above standard.
    • High quality grip scissors made from a combination of Soft Iron and high-grade Yasuki White Steel. Reasonable yet very good quality. The best for starter. 105mm. short blade
  • MIsuzu Bisaburou: $43.50 *Recommended
    • High quality grip scissors made from a combination of Soft Iron and high-grade Yasuki White Steel. For artisans, we recommend this one for the best result. 105mm. short blade

Commercial Packages

  • Misuzu Ibushi: $18.50
    • Very popular selection with carbon steels for knifes & scissors. Protection for Rust. 105mm. Short Bade / Long Blade // Sold Out for now. Please contact us for the availability. Out of Stock in the US. It may be shipped from Japan & may take longer to complete the delivery.
  • Misuzu Stripe: $19.50
    • Very popular Selection with Japanese traditional design with stripes. Made from Carbon Steel for knifes and scissors. 105mm. Short Blade / Long Blade.

Other Selections for Grip Scissors

Clover Brands

  • Clover Stainless: $18.50 - Sold out
    • Clover is well-known craft supplier in Japan. We enjoy their scissors as well, and here is the scissors from them. More modern looking but the great sharpness. 105mm. Short Blade.

Kamesaku Brands

Kamesaku is another brand we sincerely appreciate. Their selection is supreme, and they never disappoint us.

  • Kamesaku Regular: $25.50 (out of stock in USA. May be shipped from Japan)
    • A regular model of Kamesaku Brand. Although it is the regular model, the sharpness and quality is very much supreme and satisfactory. 105mm. Short Blade.
  • Kamesaku Special: $45.50 (out of stock in USA. May be shipped from Japan)
    • Specially manufactured by the experienced artisans. It has better flexibility (snap) and sharpness. Supreme Quality. 105mm. Short Blade.
  • Kamesaku Hand-Sharpen: $68.50
    • Hand-made grip scissors from the experienced artisans. This is a master-piece of thread clipper you can get from the market. 105mm. Short Blade. Kamesaku Hand-Sharpen | The best in our collection | Sold Out.

Shopping Guide

We carry quite many selection of grip scissors for a Sashiko supplier. This shows how much I care about the thread clipper. I wanted to try everything before I introduce to my students / customers.

If you would like to continue and be serious with Sashiko, I recommend you to get the one with above $20. Since you will be using it for a long time, it isn't an expensive investment. I do not know if one need a hand-made one for the regular usage. However, once you use the hand-sharpen one, you may not be back to the regular clippers, especially not to the entry level.

If you would like to see how grip scissors works, the entry level one with less than $10.00 would just work fine. It is nice to have one of these in your craft box when you are in need of clipping the thread.

The one in between $10.00 and $20.00 is good for both entry level and artisans. There are reasons they are sold in a big market. It is good and reasonable.

Please feel free to contact me a question for more information.

About "Out of Stock" Items

We mostly depend on one manufacture in Japan. Therefore, there is a change of our of stock items for a period of time. We try our best to keep items in stock in the USA or Japan.

For those became out of stock in Japan, the item will be shipped out from Japan. The price include the $39.00 of shipping and handling fee. Since the scissors are made carefully by craftsmen, some order could take a period of time. We will update the estimate of delivery after talking to the craftsmen.

Thank you for your understanding.

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