Sashiko is a form of Japanese folk embroidery which uses running stitch to create a beautiful textured patterned background. Originally used to create strong repairs and produce hard-wearing home textiles, the designs are now mostly
Sashiko is a form of Japanese folk embroidery which uses running stitch to create a beautiful textured patterned background. Originally used to create strong repairs and produce hard-wearing home textiles, the designs are now mostly used for decorative quilting.
I’ve become slightly obsessed with Sashiko stitching after purchasing some pre-printed fabric last year. It requires a minimal amount of equipment – you just need a long sashiko needle, cotton embroidery thread, and some indigo fabric. Something hard wearing, such as a linen, seems to work best. You can use a tradition white embroidery thread, but I’ve also had good results using pale coloured variegated threads. Anything that provides a contrast to the dark background looks amazing.
The simplicity of loading the needle with running stitches and then pulling through becomes almost like a form of meditation. I’ve yet to finish my completed panels into anything worthwhile, although bags, purses and cushions are quite appealing! Perhaps eventually I’ll complete enough to make into a quilt. Simple Sashiko by Susan Briscoe has some inspirational ideas, plus instructions and tips to make your first project a success.
Susan Briscoe recommends marking out your designs using tailors chalk, although this idea can be a little nerve-racking. Templates are available to make the process easier, and work just like a stencil. Sew Easy have a great value starter kit available which contains fabric, templates, thread, needles, and a fabric pencil to mark it all out with, which seems a much simpler option.
You can find it here, along with many other Sashiko options and tools –