Denim Repair: Sashiko Stitch
Feb 4, 2015

We’ve all got rips in our jeans that grow and grow till we look undoubtedly homeless in our $400 swag. It doesn’t have to stay that way, neither do you have to look for a renowned tailor to sew some fabric on.

I see rips as opportunities to personalise my denim. As well as to learn something new. There are several ways to repair your denim, you could darn it, patch it, or just a crude stitch of both ends.

With patches, you could single needle stitch it, or you could do something a little different.

Today, I’ve decided to patch a rip on my Flat Head 3001-A with Sashiko stitching. I picked up some small textile cut outs from Kimonos dating back to the early – mid 1900s. They’re not thick, but do come in some very interesting patterns.

I don’t profess to be an expert at stitching at all. However, I didn’t find this stitch too difficult. All it required was a thicker needle and some thicker threads. If you ran a search for sashiko needles and threads, you might find a store near you. I had to purchase mine direct from Japan.

Sashiko stitching is more of an embroidery stitch these days. With a multitude of patterns that a practised hand could present, it is a beautiful art form that most find meditative. In terms of durability, the sheer thickness of the threads make them very hardy indeed. In fact, the thickness is what makes this stitch difficult to be accurate with.

When I’m pulling the thread through the fabric, there is plenty of resistance. I imagine the thicker the fabric, the harder this stitch will be. The same could go for a tightly woven fabric.

These days there are long needle machines that can produce a uniform sashiko stitch. However, where’s the charm or the fun in that? I think a hand stitched design gives it more soul.

So the next time you find a hole in your jeans, pull out a needle and some thread. You might find repairing your jeans on the fly both fun and a useful skill that could come in handy when you least expect it.

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