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Sashiko - To wear, to use, for days, for years.

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My love of sashiko is in the intention of the art - to preserve and restore the pieces you wear most often. The pieces that reflect your life experiences and memories. It’s the art of aging gracefully.  
Originating in ancient Japan, Sashiko means “little stabs” - a reflection of the running stitches that makes up sashiko’s geometric patterns. Sashiko is often described as “functional embroidery” and is a balance between an appreciation of beauty and a practical technique.

Sashiko is thought to have started out during the Edo era (1615-1868) in Japan and was well- established as a home-art by the Meiji era (1868-1912).

Considered a “folk textile” produced and used by the peasant classes, sashiko was winter work for women in fishing and farming communities. The embroidery technique was used to extend the life of worn fabrics and clothing in a beautiful way.
Mending textiles and clothing was essential as industrialized fabric production didn’t come to Japan until the 1870’s and even then, was still out of reach for many people.

Sashiko is the basis for Boro which means “tattered rags”. Traditionally done with white cotton threads on indigo blue dyed cloth, this home-art is a process were cloth is neatly patched together using sashiko stitches to cover and reinforce worn areas.
The art of Boro extended the lifespan of clothing and household textiles. When garments wore out they would be quilted together creating stronger, warmer clothing.


The Japanese word Mottainai has a two part meaning; do not waste and be thankful.  In traditional Japanese culture nothing was wasted — byproducts created from the process of making one item were repurposed and used in the creation of another — never wasting what is valuable. Mottainai is a guiding principle we live by in our studio practise and reflect on as we set our sustainability goals for the future.

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