My vintage and antique sashiko and country fabric peices are getting out and about quite a lot this month. Last night I gave my "Sashiko and Japanese Country Textiles" talk for the Embroiderers' Guild at Muxton, near Telford.
"Sashiko..." is probably my favourite talk. Depending on the interests of the group I'm visiting (patchwork & quilting, embroidery, weaving & dyeing etc.) I can spend more time on different aspects of the talk. Once you have seen old boromono (rag cloths), kasuri (ikat), katazome (stencil dye), shibori (tie dye), sakiori (rag weave) etc., the sources for many of the patterns and effects in sashiko are more easily understood. Plus, of course, there is lots of inspiration for your own work. Most of the antique and vintage pieces I use for my talk date from the late nineteenth century through to the 1930s, with a few more recent pieces to show how tastes changed. The piece that has the oldest fabrics in it is probably this old work jacket from Tohoku, which includes a lot of kasuri fabrics with tiny patterns, which seem to be the kind of kasuri once made in Shonai.
The inside of this old noragi coat shows dense sashiko stitching. It seems to have originally been stitched in large square spiral patterns (raimon) but had extra horizontal lines of sashiko added later.
It is a treasure trove of old fabrics!
It is easy to see where I got the inspiration for items like my "Japanese Art Quilt Boromono" - click here for workshop photos from last summer.
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