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Wonderful Hemp Stitched Zokin

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.

ZokinHemp1Each 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.ZokinHemp1aThe stitched pattern on the zokin pictured left, above is called “persimmon flower.”ZokinHemp1bZokin 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.ZokinHemp1cThe 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?ZokinHemp1dThe results, though, are indeed beautiful.ZokinHemp1e

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  1. Comment by velma bolyard:

    that japanese children each make a zokin in first grade, a wonderful icing on this very visual cake!

    March 15, 2010 @ 3:57 pm

  2. Comment by caro:

    I wonder if the stiff hemp thread helped clean surfaces better. I’ve never heard of zokin. Reading your blog is like staying in Japan for awhile. The details of everyday life. Thank you.

    March 15, 2010 @ 7:37 pm

  3. Comment by Kit:

    Beautiful! What a wonderful way to re-purpose small scraps! I love the edges. Thank you.

    March 15, 2010 @ 9:48 pm

  4. Comment by youhavebeenheresometime:

    such a fantastic blog and posting.

    thank you..

    March 17, 2010 @ 1:59 am

  5. Comment by Lambert:

    Wonderful collection!

    March 18, 2010 @ 11:35 am