A sashiko sampler of the Nejiri Ume (Spiralling Plum Blossoms) design, pre-printed on mustard fabric. Just stitch over the printed lines and once complete wash the lines off. The sampler is approximately 33cm x 33cm and includes a plain fabric which can either be saved to use as a backing, or you can stitch it double-layered, it's up to you.
To complete this sampler you will need:
Although sashiko is fairly straightforward the instructions are in Japanese, so for those whose Japanese is a bit rusty, there are some tips to help you get started included in the kit. There are also some fantastic YouTube tutorials on the Olympus channel which are really clear.
The History of Sashiko
Sashiko originated about 400 years ago and was a way of making clothes warmers, and also preserving them. By putting two or more layers of cloth together and sewing with running stitch, it creates small pockets of air in the clothing, which trap warmth. Beautiful, geometric patterns were stitched in undyed thread to create the classic 'cream on blue' look which we associate with sashiko today. But as well as being beautiful, this was also very practical as women would often stitch sashiko on dark evenings and the contrast meant they could see what they were doing! Dense stitching helped preserve the fabric for generations to come, as well as providing a means of repairing with patches.