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Being a proponent of the “slow stitching movement” and a lover of textiles, I find inspiration in the minimalist simplicity of Japanese Sashiko Embroidery.

Sashiko Embroidery

Sashiko is a Japanese folk-art that had its origins in Edo period Japan, and has evolved over centuries from a frugal necessity into the decorative art.

The Japanese word Sashiko literally means “little stabs”, a reference to the simple running stitch employed in repeating or interlocking patterns.  Sashiko grew out of a simple, rough-hewn rural culture of farmers and fishing communities.

Some motifs had talismanic significance; the shapes and positions are meant to protect the wearer in specific ways. A distinctive element in all sashiko patterns is the use of blank or “negative” space as an integral part of the overall pattern.

Many of the popular traditional patterns are actually simplified representations of things found in nature, such as plants, birds, animals, or natural phenomena such as clouds, mountains or streams.