Written on April 19, 2011
This marvelously sashiko stitched indigo dyed noragi or work coat is from the Shonai area of Yamagata Prefecture, in Japan’s Tokohu, or northeast region. The texture you are seeing on the surface of the coat is the result of the coat being completely covered in sashiko stitches.Shonai sashiko stitched garments are often covered in tiny stitches arranged in formation of squares as is the case here. Often indigo thread is used to stitch on an indigo ground. Again, such is the case here. However, what’s wonderful about this jacket is the small patch that is stitched with white thread on the proper left shoulder area of this noragi.The Shonai district is a well-known rice producing center. That said, this square-patterned sashiko stitching represents the masu, or a square-shaped grain measure. Notice the density of small stitches which cover this coat in regular formation. This type of sashiko is very much associated with Shonai–and it’s absolutely beautiful. Looking at the coat’s interior, you can get a clear sense of the structure of the stitching.And please visit our newly revamped webshop–if you’d like to receive a weekly email announcing new items to the shop, please enter your email address on the sign-up field to the right of this posting.