Index of Thoughts

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Learning the art of Sashiko

I'm all ready to Teach!

On Fridays we typically do something fun and social for Homeschool.  This past Friday I hosted some other friends and homeschooled kids to learn about Sashiko.


Sashiko is the Japanese art of embroidery.  It actually means tiny stitches or little stabs.  It was a way for the poor farmers and fishermen of Japan to be able to quilt clothing with little scraps of fabric together to create something warm to wear.  They traditionally dyed their fabrics in indigo which is derived from the indigo shrub that is native there.  The leaves were picked and fermented until a rich blue color appeared.  Indigo is also a natural bug repellent which came in handy.  They would dye their fabrics then stitch them together with white thread to create the most beautiful coats.  Each family started to become known for certain stitching styles.  Also a lot of the stitching patterns were indicative to their surroundings which included shells and the ocean.

traditional sashiko patterns

It has become a lost art due to the sewing factory industry there.  There is still one culture that is still primitive and making their own clothes on Sado Island.  It is a group of elderly women log haulers who climb up the side of the mountain, cut down trees and haul them down.  How incredible is that?

After learning about the History of Sashiko and where Japan was on the globe.  We all studied my inspiration board on Pinterest.  Check it out HERE.

We all had something that we were going to learn on.  Some people brought little cloth bags, hand towels or jeans.  They all picked out the color thread that they wanted, and I helped them thread the needle and tie a knot.  We used big embroidery needles.  Traditionally, a sashiko needle is large with a flat point to work your way through heavier materials.

I decided to work on my scruffy boyfriend jeans.  I still want to add some more detail work and maybe even some scrap denim to patch on and stitch.  The sky is the limit and you can create so many things with this idea.  I have a lot of ideas on my Pinterest board.  I really like the idea of doing your phone cover, and I also saw a sashiko satchel that is so cool.  I am going to do a bag for the summer soon.  It has been on my craft To Do List for quite some time.  I am going to patch work and embroider my bag and then use some old leather belts as the handles.  

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