For our third challenge of the REPEAT design competition we were asked to draw on our life experience to create two prints. I wanted to create prints inspired by the time I spent living in Japan.
While studying at Kyoto Seika I would peruse the library for reference material and I loved checking out books filled with traditional patterns usually on Japanese textiles or paper.
Often these books were written in Japanese, but I still loved looking at the images. I thought it would be cool to incorporate designs from a traditional Japanese textile into my patterns this month. I went back to the RISD library to see if they had any books with Sashiko stitched fabric in it and they did! In fact they have a whole series of books featuring traditional Japanese textiles!
I checked out a few and was thrilled that the books had some captions in English! It turns out that this type of stitching is often used on garments typically worn by workers such as fisherman, farmers and woman divers. Sashiko is a very traditional stitching technique used to reinforce the fabric. Some of the designs were also seen as a talisman to protect woman divers from danger. How cool is that?
Anyways, I had no idea that this type of stitching had such a practical application, I just really loved the different patterns. All of these images are scanned from the book I checked out called: "Kogin and Sashiko Stitch" it's book #13 in the series. If you want to try sashiko yourself, there is an excellent tutorial over at The Purl Bee.
Here's some of the other color ways I thought about using for my Sashiko inspired print. If you haven't already head over to The Printed Bolt to check out all of the patterns for this round and vote!