Simply beautiful Japanese fabrics decorated by Sashiko tecnique

Sashiko stitched fabric

A heavily Sashiko Stitched Tekko (Kasuri Hand Guards)

Folkloric arts and cratfs belong to various cultures have been the major influencer of  textiles today which we design and produce.  The creativity goes ages back through the human history. To read and learn more about what was done in the past is in fact an endless cultural journey. While discovering living styles of the local people from different parts of the world one of the most important think we come across is the textiles they use in their daily lifes.

The patterns, materials, weaving, knitting or stitching techniques they all tell us many things about the culture of people, their visionary, creativity, hand skills and so on…. Eventhough, there are some similarities between the world culture in many aspects of  textile goods, Japanese customs and artifacts in many ways have been quite different from many other cultures. There is no one in the world who can not appreciate their attention into detail, creativity and hardworking skills.  The fabrics and their ground have been a wonderful backdrop for years by  their simply beautiful patterns of  Japanese textile design.   Being inspired with the wonderful  art executed by the local woman of Japan today,  I want to share with you the traditional stitching technique called Sashiko which is a very good example of Japanese folkloric fabrics applied on raw or indigo dyed cotton fabrics…

Sashiko stitched pieces

Layers of fabrics stitch upon each other. Three Sashiko Fragments: Tohoku Stitching

“This quilting technique using a running stitch to reinforce and prolong the life of a fabric or to stitch and recycle old pieces of cloth into a new garment. Sashiko created warmer and more durable fabrics for the Japanese farmer who originally used the stitch for practical reasons. Decorative Sashiko stitching developed out of this need for warmth and durability and functions to embellish while strengthen the garment or object”. via sritreads

A Pair of Heavily Sashiko Stitched Tabi

They were used on fabric shoes as the heavy stitching makes them more durable

sashiko stitched heel guards

Sashiko stitched akotogake or heel guards. The hand decorated small cotton fabric pieces cover the back of the heel of the foot and protect it from aging. To make them more attractive and stylish, they were nicely decorated by stitching beautiful patterns on them. It is guessed the heel guards were stitched in Tohoku, North Eastern Japan and they go back to early to mid 20th century.

Sashiko Maekakea

a web of diamonds, the kaku shippo or “angled seven treasures” motif

“The stitching is tight and the stitches are very small.  This maekake, or traditional apron, dates to the mid twentieth century or so–and it is in very good condition” via srithreads

Sashiko stitched vest

Sahiko stitched vest and deep indigo dyed fabrics with various Sashiko patterns…

written by Tijen Samuray Öztek (designmixer)

ref. sources srithreads, sophiemunns,


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