Japanese patchwork

This type of needlework, like a patchwork, previously used only for the purpose of economy, in the modern world has acquired a new stylish shape. Patchwork has become a kind of fashion trend. Many designers use patchwork in their collections. Residents of European countries successfully apply this style in the design of furniture and, if necessary, independently restore the upholstery of such furniture. Even fabric manufacturing factories have included in their assortment of fabric with an image imitating stitched shreds.


There is no common opinion about the country in which patchwork was born. It was very common in Russia, also enjoyed success in Europe. And although the most famous is English patchwork, we turn to no less entertaining - Japanese sewing from fabric patches.

Japanese patchwork, like many other Japanese activities, is aimed at rest, relaxation, solitude. For the Japanese, patchwork is a kind of magic that does not accept sharp contrasts in color.


Patchwork did not immediately appear in Japan in its modern form. His embryos are reflected in quilted monastic robes sewn from rectangular patches that characterize rice fields.



By the way, it was the stitch that was a characteristic feature of Japanese patchwork. Special stitches were connected to several layers of fabric, thereby forming entertaining geometric patterns on clothing. As a rule, this technique was popular mainly because of the economy of material when repairing old clothes.

At that time, with the same goal of economy, the famous Japanese pillows or futon mattresses were sewn just in this very technique. The fact is that the futon was a rather expensive piece of furniture and they rarely changed.

Then the resourceful Japanese thought up to cover the worn-out places with new flaps, as a result of which the pillows looked like new and were suitable for further use.

But all this was only the makings, the prerequisites for the true art of patchwork, of course, were associated with savings, but a bit of a different kind.As in England, the appearance of Japanese patchwork contributed to restrictions from politicians on the importation of Chinese fabrics into the country.


Japanese patchwork


Then Japan experienced a terrible shortage, which ultimately influenced the development of the Japanese textile industry, but the habit of using the fabric only when absolutely necessary turned into a real tradition. Then no Japanese could afford to throw out even the smallest shred of fabric - everything had to go to work.

And since the patches were now used not for repair, but directly for sewing clothes, they were selected with special attention. Along with this, a new kind of manual creativity - kinusayg.

A distinctive feature of this needlework was the use of painting in textile art. It happened this way: on special wooden plates with the help of various color patches, pictures were made, and when the picture was ready, the patches were sewn together. Of course, it is worth noting that at that time this technique was no longer pursuing economic, but rather creative goals.

Japanese patchwork - features

At first glance, a person who has not previously encountered a patchwork, it seems that the Japanese technique is no different from the English version.



But in fact, Japanese patchwork has distinctive features:


  1. In Japanese patchwork, stitches and patchwork are used at the same time.
  2. The main motive of Japanese paintings from the very beginning were beautiful flowers and rice fields. Very fancy Japanese build geometric patterns of patches, eventually depicting blooming flowers.
  3. Japanese patchwork differs from English by the choice of fabrics used. In the traditional version, cotton shreds are selected, but Japanese patchwork consists mainly of silk fabrics.
  4. Japanese embroidery has its own embroidery technique - sashiko. Its essence is to use the stitch "forward needle".
  5. Products in the Japanese patchwork technique are usually decorated with tassels or fringe, which makes the product look more rich.


Different Japanese patchwork techniques


Sachiko Technique

As mentioned earlier, the stitch is one of the “business cards” of Japan patchwork. The stitch has a rather rich history. If it was originally used for thick quilts and outerwear, then it was discovered that clothing made with the help of the stitching technique can be perfectly used by the warriors as armor.

Indeed, the quilted armor perfectly protected the warriors from enemy arrows and sword strikes. It is worth noting that residents of Korea, China and India adopted the idea of ​​quilted vests.

The stitch in Japanese needlework is special, it is different from other countries. It performs not so much its functional task, as decorative. The stitch “forwards with a needle” can be performed in different directions (it is not at all necessary to make straight lines, as long as the length of each stitch is the same).

Also, a stitch can be made with threads different in color from the color of the main web. According to the shape of the stitch, it can be either plain or create painterly patterns on the fabric, as well as act as an application.

In other words, everything depends only on the imagination of the person who is engaged in patchwork, the main thing is that the product should be neat.


Japanese patchwork photo

Yosegir Technique

If we talk directly about patchwork in Japan, it is worth noting that this kind of needlework was not just a leisure activity, but also had a special meaning. Products made from different patches were bestowed with the aim of wishing a long life to those who were bestowed upon them, and the reworking of old things was considered to be the strengthening of the spirit.

In general, textile products in Japan have always been very respectful. According to the Shinto religion, fabrics, being inanimate objects, were endowed with a soul.

Also, because of the high cost and value, there were times when fabrics were used as a reward and even money, and the section of expensive silk was revered by women above jewelry and was considered the best gift.



But there was a period in the life of this country when expensive fabrics were banned and women had to invent various tricks in order to demonstrate their outfits. For this was used the method of "masking" when rich clothes were hidden under cheaper ones.

But the Japanese did not stop at this and came up with the idea that you can display expensive fabrics a little bit, i.e., sew in small patches.This technique is called yosegir.


This technique has become so widespread that it gradually became fashionable, and later became a national tradition. If initially the flaps were sewn on as they would, without any system, then later fashion women learned to add patterned pictures from them, which later became intertwined with the Sashiko technique and became known as Japanese patchwork.

It is interesting that on the basis of the Japanese patchwork, the modern trend of Crazy Patchwork is developing, the main task of which is to decorate the product with the pieces of fabric so that they look like decorated with embroidery or jewelry.


The main feature of the Japanese patchwork was and is the use of exclusively manual labor. Despite the abundance of mechanical machines capable of doing the same job much faster, Japanese women continue to perform the technique manually, counting. that this is the only way to make the product “real.”

That is why real Japanese clothing has a rather high price and is characterized by incomparable quality. Also, the alteration of old things and the renewal of them with the help of shreds of fabric remains a favorite Japanese tradition, which the people of the country can surely be proud of.

In general, it is worth noting that the Japanese patchwork in comparison with similar European and American techniques looks much more elegant and research.

Painstaking handicraft makes Japanese patchwork a real work of art that only a true Japanese can create, proudly preserving the traditions of his country.

The Japanese always knew how to distinguish their culture from the inhabitants of other countries by seeing the beautiful in everyday life and could create the beautiful, based on the will of their soul.

Related News

Patchwork pillow case with embroidery elements
And again boho: comfortable, stylish and practical. Patterns and patterns
What is Pi
Kulich Quick
Simple doll - motanka for fun kids
Glass pendant