I learned that many people come across the word “Sashiko” throughout searching for the mending technique. It isn’t quite popular in Japan yet (as long as I know), but I am very happy to share our Sashiko technique and concept through Sashiko Mending. In fact, I fell in love with Sashiko in a process of mending my denim jeans after all of Sashiko years. Besides some techniques, the Sashiko mending with Denim requires some knowledge to have the ideal results. One of the advise I can make it choose “appropriate” Sashiko Thread for Denim Mending. I am not talking about the “Right thread or Wrong thread” here. It requires some “try-and-error” process to find the best color of Sashiko Thread for Denim Mending.
Here, why don’t you save some of your time and “try-and-error” effort by reading my experience?
Working on the Denim Mending
I separate Sashiko Stitching on the pair of jeans into 2 categories. One is for Sashiko Stitching on the existing denim fabric, and the other is for Sashiko mending with patching other denim swatches to repair the hole or tear. In either case, I assume that the denim we stitch on is “Used”, hopefully, to extend to the vintage level. Sashiko Stitching on the raw denim without proper time in wearing them is not recommended at all. Trust me. I have tried it. Not only you will waste so many needles, but your hands will also be in pain for a long time. Let the fabric soften a bit, then enjoy the Sashiko stitching and/or Sashiko Mending.
Alright. We use the used/vintage Denim for Sashiko Stitching.
It causes another problem, though. The color from used/vintage denim is already “one-of-a-kind” and no single denim can create the exact same color. Although the color from nature is the closest color you can get, it isn’t still used/vintage enough. Especially if you are working on the Denim Mending, the color of thread can be the most challenging (and enjoyable) choice we have to make because there is no thread which will match that old, used, and vintage denim you already love.
Again, I am afraid that there is no color which is “perfect” for your denim (Unless you have the thread which aged as the denim did). The older & well taken-cared denim you have, the more difficult it is to find the thread. However, do not let you down. The Natural Sashiko thread will look natural after a few weeks of stitching and wearing it in your daily life. It is up to the stitcher’s preference what kind of natural color you may choose for the denim, but they usually match and fit after a few weeks. I have done more than 10 pairs of denim mending & Sashiko stitching on denim. Whichever natural color I used, it ends up with matching and fitting the old, used, and vintage denim.
Avoid using the synthetic dye with bright color (such as Red or Orange) Sashiko Thread.
Some synthetic dye Sashiko thread can be used, and I purposefully enjoy the bright result.
If the goal is to make the denim natural, then I strongly recommend using the Natural dyed Sashiko Thread. Here is a list of tips I have learned from my experience.
- My favorite is Indigo Dye Sashiko Thread. The dark shade Indigo color will sink into the denim and will show up later on by Denim fabric fading. The light shade Indigo color looks pretty bright on the denim at the first glance. However, it matches the fabric day by day.
- Yellow Colored Natural Dye is my second favorite, especially when I would like to have the vivid pattern on the denim. The natural yellow end up with the stitching with White thread. I avoid using the white thread because it sometimes gets too strong on the used/vintage denim. Of course, I use the white thread when I have the specific purpose for it.
- The color of Natural Dyes fades over time. They do not bleed the color out, but the color changes over friction, sunlight (ultra-violet), and other chemical reactions.
Appropriate Sashiko Thread for Denim Mending
My recommendation of Colors of Sashiko Thread for Denim Mending is above. I usually enjoy Sashiko Stitching with Natural Dye Sashiko Thread.
Then, how about thickness?
I always recommend using the Sashiko Thread manufactured by Coron and Sashi.Co & Keiko Futatsuya. The thread from them have the unique twist, and the result of stitching become not only beautiful but also strong in terms of mending. Although the thread is strong, the unique twist (soft and loose twist in comparison to the other thread) will naturally fit into the used/vintage fabric and will minimize the extra damage by using the new thread. Remember, if you make Sashiko stitching or Sashiko mending, the part around the actual stitched area will get weak in comparison to the mended area. The thread we recommend will reduce the risk of ripping the other parts of denim right after the mending. Well, the more hole we have, the more project we can work on… so it may make you happy, but I would like to enjoy the mended denim, at least for some period of time.
To be honest, the fabric you will stitch to can be anything available.
However, the thread will make a huge difference in Sashiko Stitching and Sashiko Mending. Get the best Sashiko Thread for Denim Mending, and enjoy the result as well as the process.