Thankyou to all the lovely comments I have had on my stitching. It seems there are a few of you out there that have been inspired to have a go. So I have put this tutorial together to show you how.
Sashiko is a Japanese running stitch that was traditionally used to reinforce points of wear or tears with patches. Cotton was expensive so farmers and fisherman used it to extend the life of their garments. White cotton thread on the traditional indigo blue cloth gives Sashiko its distinctive appearance.
You use a longer needle with a larger eye than you would do for embroidery as you hold more fabric and stitches on the needle as compared with conventional embroidery.
You need a fabric sampler that has a prepared pattern template and sashiko thread. These are available at Kimono House email or ring Leanne as she does not do online sales yet). I am using the design "Cool of Water".... I love this design on a blue fabric with a wedgewood blue thread
The thread is thicker than DMC or Perle and is used as one whole thread. I was shown this nifty way to open up the hank and protect it from un-ravelling. When you take off the wrapper find where it has been tied
Pull this completely out and cut in the middle
Take one half and split so that you have 3 sections and plait
You will be able to pull out one whole thread while maintaining the plait.......how good is that. Use the thread going with the grain. Knot the end.
With sashiko you guide the fabric onto the needle and pick up as much as you can.........then pull through and smooth out the fabric.....be careful with your tension and any puckering of the fabric
Begin in the middle of the pattern and work outwards. Always work in one direction and cut the thread at the end of your work....no need to tie off
In some patterns which are more square in design or where you have to change direction you need to leave some thread allowance to reduce puckering (as below).......it can also help your overall tension
Finish one direction and then start the other............its wonderful to see the pattern come to life
Finish the internal design and then stitch completely around the fabric as per the template. You can now decide how you want to make up the finished sampler. A napkin or as below as a placemat. I have included some iron on Pellon to give more structure and heat resistance