Uses for Sashiko

In this category I will share how sashiko was used in old Japan, and practical and decorative ways of using sashiko in everyday items, then and now.

Zokin (Dust cloth)

It has been women’s job to stitch dusters for cleaning. Zokin, or a dust rug, also translated as a dust cloth, which has a number of folds or layers of squares stitched together, has been one of the daily necessities. In every home, mother and grand mother used to sew many zokin and stored them in a drawer for unlimited supply. Zokin is used to clean everything inside of the house such as table top, floor, shelves, and furniture. We even use Zokin to wipe the exterior of the house, bicycles and cars.

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The Simplest Stitch in Sewing

I have numerous articles from various other sources that discuss the storied and classic art of hand-stitching and how it has been brought forward into more modern times.

Below is a portion of a 1997 article from a Martha Stewart website. For your convenience, I have a portion of the article listed below and provided the complete URL to the page at the end.



The simplest stitch in sewing — the running stitch — is also the most versatile. Usually a child’s first lesson in needle and thread, this practical technique can lend a stylish touch to almost any textile in your home. All it takes is a little imagination

By sight, if not by name, the running stitch is easily the most recognizable of sewing techniques. Whether the dash-like appearance of its simple over-and-under pattern takes the form of a neatly worked quilt or shows up unevenly on a child’s first attempt at a sewing project, this basic stitch unfailingly says “handmade.”

Simple Tote Bag With Hand Stitching

Simple Tote Bag With Hand Stitching: Image Credit: Martha Stewart Blog

Although the running stitch is, in the strictest terms, a fundamental and practical sewing stitch, it also can be used to embroider embellishments on almost any material, including patterned pieces. By combining threads and fabrics in a variety of colors and textures, experimenting with the scale of the stitches, and playing with their spacing, you can create an array of effects. Work the stitches in precise rows for a graphic simplicity that complements a minimalist aesthetic, or make them hastily in a freestyle manner to bring a stylish yet homespun effect to even the most basic attire and accessories. Your only prerequisites are an object in need of enhancing, a small length of yarn, floss, or thread, and a little creativity.

Both avid sewers and novices will find the techniques on these pages easy to master and the results gratifying. So go ahead and pick up a needle and thread-and let this simple stitch run away with you.

From Martha Stewart Blog
Crafts: Linear Thinking

Firefighter’s Jacket

Did you know?

Japan’s first fire service was founded in 1629 during the Edo era (1603-1867), and was called Hikeshi. During the Meiji Period (1868 – 1912), when Japan opened its doors to the West, the Hikeshi was merged into the police department.Sashiko Firefighter Jacket

Sashiko technique was used as a practical technique to quilt together several layers of fabric for durability and strength. The thickness of sashiko stitching reinforced cloth so as to help shoulder heavy burdens, protect the body against heat and cold, or weapons; its abrasive surface also tended to harden any skin which came into contact with its knotted surface. Cotton cloth was suited to sashiko as it absorbs water readily. Super-thick, hand-spun cotton threads were used to give body. All the cloth and threads were dyed with real indigo.Sashiko Firefighter Jacket Sample

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