Written on March 15, 2010
I think that many readers of this blog who are Japanese textile enthusiasts love sashiko stitching and, if you have come to discover zokin, the heavily sashiko stitched pads made of recycled cottons, you probably have been smitten by them.
Each piece in the group that I am showing today is made from scraps of old, indigo dyed cotton and is stitched in hemp thread. These beauties are all from my personal collection.The stitched pattern on the zokin pictured left, above is called “persimmon flower.”Zokin are used for housekeeping, for cleaning and for dusting: each Japanese child makes one in first grade to help tidy up their desk and classroom. Very often each child will stitch their name onto the zokin.The hand plied, hemp thread used for stitching is quite raw, very thick and is barely pliant. These zokin are rustic and are very scratchy. Imagine stitching with this wiry, harsh thread?The results, though, are indeed beautiful.