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A Whole Lot of Zokin: Sashiko Stitched Dustrags

Written on September 17, 2013

Zokin12Those of you who follow my webshop know that I regularly offer for sale zokin.  Zokin are traditional Japanese dust rags which are hand stitched from leftover or re-purposed cotton cloth.

Zokin12aI just love zokin.  Each time I travel to Japan I buy all those that I can find if I’m lucky to find any at all.  I’m voracious in acquiring them not only because I like them so much, but also because they are harder and harder to find, like all Japanese folk textiles.

Zokin12bAsk any Japanese friend and they’ll tell you that they stitched their own zokin in first grade and that they used it to clean their desk and classroom.  Zokin are ingrained in Japanese culture.

Zokin12cMost zokin are hand stitched from about four layers of recycled cloth and they are usually stitched in the manner of those shown here, using broad sashiko stitching.  Sometimes they show fancier sashiko stitching, but the type on this page are most common.

Zokin12dMany of those who buy these zokin actually use them in the home, either as a place mat or for presentation, placing a zokin under a special ceramic piece or a vase of flowers.  Stay tuned to the webshop as I will be listing these zokin from time to time.

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2 Comments

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  1. Comment by judy martin:

    fascinating.
    I loved the part about children making their own to clean their desks.

    September 29, 2013 @ 5:39 am

  2. Comment by saskia:

    these are just so beautiful; I suddenly remembered we used to make ink stain blotters in school with a button sewn in the middle to hold the fabric scraps all together…..hadn’t thought about that for years; they no longer make them as we no longer need them, time changes almost everything

    October 4, 2013 @ 1:06 pm

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