Sashiko Stitching

Sashiko Stitching means ‘little stabs’ or ‘little pierce’ in Japanese and even though this style of stitching derives from Chinese patterns are just a much developed by Japanese craftsmanship. This Japanese craft results in the idea of decorative reinforcement and its traditional atheistic is white thread, intricately stitched onto indigo coloured fabric, therefore, identifying its distinctive appearance, seen within figures 8-10. This type of stitching would be used to repair fabric by using patches and that would ultimately make the piece warmer and stronger, highlighting the durability of the craft which was used as a necessity for those who had nothing within the 18th and 19th centuries in Japan. In modern day, traditional practices have been altered and it can bright colours have been introduced and due to its beauty it has become an art form instead of a it’s traditional function, popular within the quilting community (figures 11-12). For each pattern there is a different meaning and history associated with it which I find interesting as it starts to give each piece a unique story, therefore, blurring the line between functionality and a deeper meaning to each, individual stitch. The patterns tend to be geometrical in appearance. The ‘Hishi’ or diamond shape is often seen in Japanese home décor, whereas, the ‘Hexagonal Kikko’ has a deeper meaning of good fortune.
There are two different types of Sashiko stitch;
i. Moyozashi = The pattern is created using long lines of running stitches
ii. Hitomezashi = The pattern is created by aligning single stitches using a grid
Most patterns created using these two types of stitching are usually inspired from nature i.e. rippling water, fluffy clouds, flowers and leaves. This stays true to the Japanese culture that is associated with this idea of peace and serenity.

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