About and history:
The word literally means ‘little stabs’ in Japanese.

Sashiko is a form of stitching used to anchor down layers of cloth used in making quilts. This form of stitching is geometrical in nature, and is done using only the running stitch. Stitching layers of fabric together not only made the fabric warmer for use, but also more durable and strong. This is how Sashiko came to be used extensively in quilt making. The farming and fishing communities made use of Sashiko art on their wearables.

Traditionally dark blue or indigo cotton fabric was used, which was the only color available to most poor people.White cotton thread was used to do running stitch over the fabric. Regionally, the fabric color differed though.

It is stated that Sashiko was developed during the Edo period in Japan and this art declined in the later part of 1800s when the period came to an end.

Sashiko has three variations: Sashiko, Hitomezashi, and Kogin.

Sashiko follows the simple running stitch to bring out beautifully depicted geometric patterns. Hitomezashi follows the holbein stitch and is often said to be similar to the black stitch as its western counterpart. Kogin is a type of pattern darning.

Sashiko today:
Sashiko was passed down from generation to generation as a handiwork that formed a part of life, but today, Sashiko has become a technique to create beauty and works of aesthetic value. Art, Hand embroidery, and quilting enthusiasts have caught up on the art of Sashiko for the sheer beauty and simplicity.

These days, this art is not confined to just quilts or garments, but has inspired wall hangings, accessories of various sorts, table cloths and other furnishings.

Many Sashiko patterns are inspired from Chinese designs, but for most part, they remain originally Japanese. The patterns are derived from nature, and is wonderfully interpreted into geometrical patterns. You will learn many patterns as you go through each lesson.

Stitches used:
Running stitch

Lesson 1: the basic
Lesson 2: square, diagonals, diamonds and hexagon based patterns
Lesson 3: circles, single patterns and borders
Lesson 4: designs for practice

Reference : SASHIKO Traditional Japanese Quilt Designs by Nihon Vogue

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9 Responses

  1. Saga Denmark Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Interesting history and patterns, thanks

  2. richa India Google Chrome Windows says:

    hey..really love your work…and ofcourse the wonderful panifully (i am sure you love it though) detailed tutorials. Though i am feeling a bit lost while navigating through your blog. I sort of want to go through all your posts, but can’t find a way to do it. I am pretty sure it’s right in front of me..but i can’t see it. I would appreciate if you let me know how to look at your older posts in chronological order, so that i don’t miss any!

    • sarah India Internet Explorer Windows says:

      Dear Richa,

      If you check the right hand side of any page (except the picture dictionary page), you will see a list of stitches and some embroideries and other contents of our blog. Clicking on each family of stitch will throw out a mini list of various sitches. Just click over any one you wish to go to, and you will be in the respective tutorial page.

      Hope this helps.

      Don’t worry about going on chronological order of my posting the pages, you can just pick up what you want to learn! 🙂

  3. Mónica Argentina Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    Hello from Argentina, I discovered your website and I think the best of the best, everything is wonderful teaching!
    I started to embroider two months ago as a hobby and became a passion.
    Thank you for sharing so much knowledge!
    Hugs from Buenos Aires,

  4. ediana Brazil Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    thanks for your valuable information. Finding your site was a joy.

  5. barbara France Internet Explorer Windows says:

    merci pour ces leçons visuelles elles sont enrichissantes et complètes.

  6. Ali Marie United States Internet Explorer Windows says:

    I just discovered your site and subscribed to your feed. I’m very excited to learn about this technique of embroidery as I’ve been a hand quilter since childhood. I’m anxious to try this new to me technique. It’s beautiful.

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