Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Gallery: Zyta's Sashiko Hanten

This is a truly amazing sashiko hanten jacket  that my customer Zyta Cwalinska has created using patches of antique indigo cotton from our shop.

 Zyta only began sashiko last year and her first piece  was one of the viewers' choice winners in our exhibition in October.  Zyta's hanten was inspired by traditional sashiko stitched and patched fishermen's hanten. She has  beautifully stitched the lining as well  but somehow I forgot to get photos so I'll add them later if I get a chance. 


Zyta's sashiko reflects what I love about a lot of old sashiko. It's a very individual piece which is full of character and shows the hand of the person who created it.  There is a warmth to Zyta's stitching which has been lost in many modern sashiko projects. We think of sashiko being traditionally done on plain indigo but it was often stitched on patterned indigos such as kasuri (ikat) as well. The floral  katazome panels wouldn't have been typical on fishermen's hanten but give it a more feminine feel and look stunning.  The combination of the fabric pattern and the sashiko pattern makes each panel in the jacket unique and gives another dimension to its character.  Many thanks to Zyta for letting me share these photos of her amazing work.



Thursday, August 9, 2012

Autumn-Winter 1950

These photos are from an Autumn/Winter sewing and knitting book dated 1950.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


We always have Clover brand hera marking styluses in stock and often have old bone ones as well. Hera were traditionally used to mark and crease fabric. They leave a silver mark on indigo cotton and were  used for marking sashiko patterns. Mrs Nagai who gave me my first sashiko lesson in Japan regularly used a hera to mark her work.  Modern hera are often made of plastic or resin but I don't think they work as well as old bone ones. They were made from ivory as well but I don't have any in my collection.
Here are the old and new hera that I have in the shop at the moment. I think I actually sell more for creasing paper than for using on fabric.

The rest of the photos are hera in my collection. Most of them have turned up in old sewing boxes that we buy to sell in the shop. An exception is this first one which has  my surname 'Ochi' written in katakana  and belonged to my mother-in-law Sonoko.

Most of my hera are made from bone and there is some variation in size and shape.

These are the smallest ones.  The shortest is 8cm long:

And finally a couple of plastic ones: