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17 Reasons I'm Obsessed With This Japanese Embroidery Technique

Plus, it's super therapeutic.

If you've ever ripped a pair of jeans, then you know the crushing agony of having to throw away an otherwise perfectly good pair of pants.

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To help, let me introduce you to sashiko stitching, a type of traditional Japanese stitchery that, besides beautifying your clothing and fabric goods, also functions as an alternative to patching. ☝️

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Sashiko stitching has its origins in 17th-century Japan, when it was borne out of the rural poor's need to make the most of their scarce resources. It was originally a technique for making cloth thicker, warmer, and more durable, but fulfills more of a decorative role these days.

You can use sashiko stitching to decorate accessories, tablecloths, sheets, and honestly any other material good you can fit a needle through.

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Anything that you would stick a pin in or embroider your name on is fair game for sashiko stitching. And obviously, you can and should use it to patch up and save damaged clothing from the throw-away pile.

If you want to learn some basics, here's a good simple pattern and picture-by-picture guide to get you started. And here's a guide to patching jeans.

Here's some inspiration to give you an idea of all the patterns and colors you can use to sashiko-stitch your life:

1. Use sashiko to make celestial tapestries:

2. Pick a bright color to upgrade your jeans and repair them at the same time.

3. Even if your stitching isn't perfectly straight, it'll honestly still look pretty cool.

4. Got an inner-thigh rip? Patch it up with some stars!

5. Or mix it up with multiple patches, because when life gives you lemons, you go overboard and show it that you actually friggin' love lemons!

6. And why stop at jeans? You can even sashiko-stitch a pretty patch onto a sweater or shirt.

7. If you're a little more advanced, you can try out some more complex stitching and use different colors.

8. Look at these waves!

9. And these carp streamers!

10. If you've got a jean jacket, you've just found yourself a giant canvas for all your sashiko designs.

11. You don't even have to fill up the whole space.

12. Small accessories like coin purses are also great for small, endearing sashiko stitching designs.

13. Pencil cases work too.

14. You can also sashiko-stitch a linen cloth and use it to wrap up and carry a lunch box.

15. Coasters, handkerchiefs, and washcloths can all be transformed from drab household essentials to personalized, life-giving objects.

16. Marie Kondo would approve of this joy-sparking pillow.

17. And finally, you'll know you're a true sashiko-stitching expert when you can make stunning artwork out of it. ✨