Japan Tour 2018 – Day 15

Japan Tour 2018 – Day 15 – We are in the town of Hirosaki which is sashiko country. The cloth is sometimes covered with stitching and sometimes white stitching in vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines. The stitching is done on one or more layers of cloth. Originally it was for mending and later to make cloth heavier for warmth. There are several types of designs and reading about all of this is terribly fascinating. We went to the Hirosaki Koginzashi Institute and saw a lovely collection of old kimonos and patterns.

The Institute is a place where local women bring in sashiko pieces they have been commissioned to stitch. Here are two women having their work checked in and recorded.

The women are given pieces cut carefully one by one by women at the Institute and assigned what designs to stitch at home. There is an enormous inventory there of stitched items to go to shops for retail from little coasters to buttons to larger bags.

This old kimono was once had white stitching on dark blue indigo cloth. After some aging it was completely over-dyed in indigo almost obliterating the intricate stitching pattern.

This is a pattern on a short kimono- like jacket that Cathy and I found in a little dusty antique shop. We are “fighting “ over who gets to have it. I saw it first but we agreed ahead of time if we both wanted the same thing we would flip a coin or negotiate. So we will see what else comes up and decide who gets it. I passionately want to have it. The indigo is a light shade because people couldn’t afford to pay for many dips in the dye to make a darker shade. And it fits me perfectly and is very wearable and the fabric is strong even though it is old. [see some Instagram comments below]

  • finniganh Peggy do you think this was done in part using the ikat method?
  • tludlowhunter Love it! I’m pulling for you to win !!
  • lisascenic I like the way this is both structured and unstructured.
  • shiborigirl Love the combo of kasuri, sashiko and indigo!
  • peggyoster@finniganh yes there is ikat too
  • ysabelladreamer A Solomonic solution, though I am not Solomon, would be to SHARE. It on a weekly monthly or yearly basis. Determine the time set dates and exchange it!!!! It would be the Solomon Ikat short kimono….
  • ysabelladreamer I must say it is a wonderfully executed gorgeous Ikat. The star pattern of stitching is extraordinary. It almost looks like a tie die. But you could not do tie-die and ikat on the same fabric, I think …. The shade of indigo is so perfect as an old looking piece. For you who knows so much about textiles, techniques of weaving, the process of indigo, tie dye, embroidery and much more: this is a found “gem” ( i would love to have it too!!!) Since you saw it first, i am rooting for you to have it (Solomonic solutions are puzzling but if you decide on it put it on writing it helps clear the mind) Does Cathy knowledge of textiles rivals yours?
  • peggyoster Yes she knows her stuff. Interesting way to settle this – will let you know.

3 thoughts on “Japan Tour 2018 – Day 15”

  1. I’ve heard of museums that get stuff on loan then refuse to return it…..my prediction is that you are several levels above that and will always put your friendship as the top priority 🙂


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