I say any kind of fabric can be used for Sashiko. However, it doesn't mean "whatever is good". We do have very specific preference. The tightness, weight, thread, all of the consists of fabric affect the experience of Sashiko stitching. This is the best cotton fabric for Sashiko that we use for our daily crafting & stitching.
【Story of this Cotton Fabric】
We used to carry one specific Indigo Dye Sashiko Fabric (cotton 100%) that we used for pretty much all of the projects. The supply package for the workshop included the Indigo Dye Sashiko Fabric. In the winter of 2020, we received very unfortunate news that the fabric we completely depended on would not be manufactured any longer - another sad and unfortunate outcome of today's society.
Keiko and I spend good half-year to find the replacement. It has to bring a stitcher the "comfortableness" so that we can focus on running stitch (Unshin - 運針). Thanks to many support from our friends & artisans in Japan, we found a manufacture who can take over the production, and we have been testing to stitch on it. Now, we are ready to say "It is t he best fabric for Sashiko".
*In comparison to the previous fabric, this new fabric (SCR_100) is a bit "tighter". In general, the quality of fabric can be considered better when it is tightly and nicely woven. We feel it is a bit "better quality" as well in comparison to the previous fabric. However, as I mentioned above, we believe this fabric will bring the very similar experience.
Our BEST Cotton Fabric for Sashiko (SCR_100): Pricing by 24 inch / 61 cm or 1 yard. If you purchase 1 unit, I will send you a sheet of fabric of about 24" x 44.1 inch or 1 yard x the width.
The width of fabric is about 44 inch.
I prepared Cut fabrics for both sizes of 12" x 11" and 25" x 11" for more reasonable pricing & sampling. Sizes are best estimate since they are hand-cut.
The Previous Cotton Fabric Trial: We once custom-made the similar fabric to match the previous Fabric. However, it is too costly to carry it as regular items & the dye is not as stable as the previous one. It also has some shinny look. Pricing by 24 inch / 61 cm. If you purchase 1 unit, I will send you a sheet of fabric of about 24"+ x 44.1 inch - very limited amount is available. (For this fabric, we would recommend washing it before stitching if possible, since the color may/will come out more in comparison to the other fabrics).
*The previous fabric is now all gone from our shelves. Thank you for your support. If you would need the exact same fabric, please contact Atsushi so that we can check it in Japan. We cannot promise anything, but we will do our best to find the left-over.
The width of fabric is About 112cm (about 44.1 inch).
*2 - This fabric is NOT Hon-Aizome (本藍染）as the authentic Japanese Natural Indigo Dye. If you would like to purchase one, please contact me. I can arrange the order. It is expensive for us to carry as the inventory.
【Other Notes for this Sashiko Fabric】
What is Good Fabric for Sashiko Stitching?
It is going to be very long discussion to define what is "good fabric" for the Sashiko Stitching. I have been talkinga about it on SNS and Youtube. As a quick summary, here is a check list for choosing good fabric for Sashiko
Good thickness to practice on how to use a needle and a thimble in appropriate way.
Good weight and softness to enjoy the rhythm
The color that satisfy your project.
You should choose the fabric based on your project goal. Unlike the Sashiko thread (*1), we can use any kind of fabric based for Sashiko stitching. Here, on this website, we introduce one of the most common (yet very good quality) fabric. A combination of Indigo Dyed fabric and white thread is the traditional Sashiko stitching.
The fabrics we offer here have a good thickness and softness for Sashiko stitching. We use this fabric to many our projects as well as for the workshops Atsushi provides. If you are a graduate of Sashiko Workshop / Online Sashiko Class, this is the fabric you used on learning Sashiko.
If you take Atsushi's Class in 2021, the fabric you used is the previous one (Sashi.Co Reg - out of Stock & discontinued)
If you take Atsushi's Class after 2022, the faric may be this one (SCR_100). This fabric is as good as (very similar) as the previous Sashi.Co Reg. One.
Usually, there is no need to wash the fabric for the aligning purpose before you start stitching. However, if you are planning to stitch the very edge (like less than 1-inch from the edge) for Sashiko purpose, you may be careful to check the aligance. (There is no need to wash it for the tailering purpose).
The color of Indigo may/will come out a bit for the first few washing. Please hand-wash gently for the firest few times without other fabrics to avoid the color contamination. After you confirm no color comes out, you may wash with other cloths as well (I use washing machine after several washing). As long as the thread we offer is used, the indigo color from the fabric will not change the white color on the thread drastically in regular washing.