Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Japanese Jeanius

When I was killing time in Norwich last week, waiting for my car to be fixed, I went into Norwich City Library, situated in 'The Forum' just next to the market. I spent over an hour just sitting on the floor in the needlecraft section looking at the huge collection of books. I was particularly taken with a book about the Japanese craft of sashiko. 

This is a technique where a few layers of fabric are stitched together to create air pockets [thus making the garment warmer] and is also a decorative method of reinforcing or patching worn clothes. It dates back about 400 years- but fell into disfavour in the 20th century as people did not want to be reminded of the days of poverty.

But the craft has recently been revived in the West, using the traditional cream thread and indigo fabrics - but bizarrely, in Japan this is considered 'old fashioned' and they are using different coloured threads and fabrics.

Last week, Bob's 'work' jeans ripped at the back- right across the top of the thigh! I decided to use a form of the sashiko technique to mend and re-inforce the denim.

I know I have some denim somewhere in a box in the loft which could make a good patch - but instead I used a piece of heavyweight printed cotton which I found in the bedside drawer in the back bedroom. [no, I have no idea how or why it came to be there!]

I joined the slit then neatly hand-stitched a patch over the area, allowing plenty of fabric either side of the split. Then I set my machine to a decorative stitch and sewed all round the edge of the patch, Then I sewed back and forth with a sort of Florentine stitch. The jeans are mended, strong, and quite colourful now!

It's not as if Bob is going to be wearing them out in public, so the appearance isn't too important - and I got to try out another sewing technique.  

And it felt so good to get the machine out again!


  1. I would love to mend Nick's jeans with flowery fabric but fear I might not be popular!

  2. Sashiko is such a lovely way of mending! I am glad you were able to mend Bob's torn jeans in such a resourceful and decorative way. :)

  3. They are his 'round the house odd-job jeans' - I don't think he would ever wear them out in public


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