Jun 3, 2016

hand stitching my way through Japan!

Teresa Duryea Wong. White Rain. Antique Japanese cotton. White cotton sashiko thread. Hand stitched. 2016.
Finished! My hand-stitched collection of antique Japanese textiles. These worn and beautiful remnants of antique cotton represent so many different parts of Japan... and many different eras of handcrafted textiles. I've been collecting them for a couple of years.

Aomori... Tokyo... Chiba... Niigata... Osaka... Kyoto... Hiroshima... Kurashiki... Yonezawa... treasures from these beautiful areas are forever preserved.

I stitched this using 100% cotton sashiko thread that I purchased in Yonezawa - at the home of a sashiko master. There's almost 300 meters of thread in here! The Mt. Fuji patch is part of a vintage advertising banner - incredibly thick cotton canvas, quite worn and weathered.

The center fabric above is the strikingly beautiful katazome - one of Japan's beloved and most recognizable styles of antique cottons. Katazome is typically made using a combination of stencils and paste resist and indigo dye. The chrysanthemum is one of the most popular images. Love it!

The fabulous Akiko Ike - owner of a gallery, shop and school - Niigata Ginka Gallery - in the northern part of Japan - Niigata. I feel so fortunate to have met her and spent an afternoon with her. She is at the forefront of a type of stitching she calls chiku chiku - kind of a crazy, random running stitch. A variation of formal sashiko. Her stitching style was my inspiration.

Here's a photo of her beautiful shop.

This red, paper thin cotton (below) is very old and its from the Aomori region - in the far north. Red was once a rare and special commodity. I loved stitching these old pieces into the faded indigos and woven cottons.

I titled this piece "White Rain" ... I love the way these running stitches resemble a gentle rain over the surface of these beautiful textiles.

Linking up with Off the Wall Fridays and Finish it Up Friday


  1. I was going to say it looked like rain before I even got to the bottom of your post--just simply beautiful work..I love that stitching--like looking at the fabrics through a veil or a mist..very atmospheric...hugs, Julierose

    1. Hi Julierose. Thanks for the nice comments. You are a no=reply blogger, so I hope you get my reply. I'm so glad you see the rain too. This was such a special piece and I appreciate the encouragement and kind words. Take care! Teresa

  2. I agree. I immediately saw rain. I like how you left the edges and how you put tabs on the top. Wonderful piece!

  3. Absolutely stunning!! This is a treasure!!

  4. Wonderful work and a beautiful way to give those special textiles a new life.