To be successful with sashiko, it is important to use right and appropriate materials. The purpose of this section is to offer my recommendations. If you have a hard time finding Sashiko materials, simply visit my store to explore fabrics, thread, needles, tracing tools, sampler kits, and thimbles.
If your sashiko projects are cotton just like most of mine, you can machine wash them. Use gentle setting, warm water and regular laundry detergent. If washing Indigo dyed cotton or linen, the color runs, so make sure to wash separately. However, when Indigo color runs and slightly dyes the light colored sashiko thread we consider this as a characteristic of sashiko.
Let’s talk about materials for Sashiko.
First, the fabrics. To be successful with Sashiko, it’s very important to start with right fabrics.
Traditional sashiko quilting is worked on indigo-dyed fabrics, but any evenly-woven, smooth fabric will work. Most of today’s fabrics made by machine are a lot tighter than old homespun fabrics. Since sashiko needles and threads are thicker than regular sewing needles and threads, it is harder to stitch through tightly woven fabrics.
“Kofu” originally means “traditional fabric” in Japanese. It has been made out of natural fibers such as silk, cotton and linen, and has been used for Kimono clothing as well as accessories and interiors for hundreds years in Japan. Today, they have many kinds of Kofu which were developed and refined locally and independently in many areas of Japan. Chirimen, Yuzen, Kasuri, Ohshima Tsumugi, Sarasa and Ai are examples of Kofu, which derived from the methods of weaving and dyeing, or from the names of the fabric producing districts.