Thursday, 25 April 2013

Sashiko Frustration

A stitching note to self - remember what you wanted your embroidery to look like in the first place.

Have you heard about Sashiko? I had not until not long ago. I definitely saw this particular style of Japanese stitching or decorative reinforcement embroidery, as it is properly called, but I never paid much attention to it and I did not even know how it was called. Well, I was not interested in any kind of embroidery not long ago.

Working with cotton and linen fabrics in natural colour as a base for my stitching made me think about using a darker colour fabric with a white floss. After some searching I came across Sashiko technique that I instantly fell in love with. I realised how many household items I own that have some elements of Sashiko. The simplicity of the lines and the complexity of traditional designs won me over. And of course I could not wait to give it a try.

One particular pattern that caught my eye was a picture of a Bamboo, similar to an ink painting I did a long time ago. So I thought why not start with my own bamboo painting and try stitching it on indigo linen with white cotton. I absolutely ignored the fact that the embroidery I saw was done by a machine.

Well, it was a good idea that did not go that smooth after all. Why? Because I am not good at reading and following instructions, I loose patience quickly and tend to do things my own way but, unfortunately, quite often I have to redo the whole thing because of that. In this particular situation it was a good thing. I do like the look of Sashiko designs but while working on it for the first time without any instructions, I came across many problems and my frustration grew stronger with every uneven stitch. But at the same time I kept thinking that it's not really what I wanted to do in the first place. The reason why I do not call my embroidery "embroidery" but simply "stitching" because I want it to look like a sketch on fabric, one tone, maybe with a splash of colour, thin pencil-like lines. Sashiko embroidery is far from it.

So after all the hours spent in vain, I gave up and left this idea till some other time when I have a better understanding of Sashiko basics, till I have more time to experiment with new techniques but for now I will stick with my own way of embroidery or stitching how I like to call it.

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