Sashiko is a very old hand sewing technique originating in Japan. The term Sashiko translates from Japanese as "little stabs". Sashiko stitching is made up of repeating or interlocking patterns of running stitches, traditionally done using white Sashiko thread on an indigo background. Sashiko was originally reinforcement stitching for worn clothing referred to as Boro in Northern Japan. There is a rich history of Sashiko stitching in Japan originating in the Edo Period (1603-1867). From its practical beginnings, Boro evolved into beautiful surface embellishment for fabrics referred to as Sashiko. Contemporary Sashiko has evolved into a decorative art form used to embellish quilts, garments and accessories. Today's designs both the thread and fabric are in a wide variety of colors.

Benefits of Sashiko

  • Sashiko stitching is a relaxing, portable method of stitching that adds design elements to fabrics for garments and quilts.
  • Sashiko stitching designs are beautiful when partnered with applique work.
  • Sashiko designs can be used for quilting using quilting thread in place of Sashiko thread.

Tools and Supplies

  • Sashiko patterns or templates
  • Sashiko Needles and Thread
  • Thimble
  • Fabric
What I Wish I Knew When I Started

Sashiko can be stitched onto any type of fabric, however a looser weave allows the large Sashiko thread to lie flat and not pull around the stitching. Linen works very well for Sashiko.Sashiko sewing machines are now produced by Babylock.

Sashiko Resources