Reinforced with 1 million high-strength stitches, using the ancient Japanese art of sashiko.
- Material made in Japan
- Reinforced with 5.5km of meta-aramid thread
- Built from 100% high-grade jacquard cotton
Rather than waiting until an item of clothing needs to be repaired, we’ve simply applied sashiko-style stitching in super-strong meta-aramid thread over the entire jacket at the start of its life. By combining high-grade jacquard cotton with 5.5 kilometres of high-strength stitching, we’ve created a jacket that’s as soft and comfortable as it is tough and durable. Every Sashiko Jacket takes a dedicated artisan three days to construct.
The sashiko method helped pioneer sustainable clothing
The technique of sashiko, or ‘little stabs,’ is a highly resilient form of embroidery developed during the Japanese Edo period to repair torn and damaged clothes. Instead of today’s invisible mending, sashiko highlighted the rips, tears, frays and fringes of a piece of clothing, reinventing it with stitching in a contrasting thread. This simple ‘running stitch’ technique, used in repeating or interlocking patterns, not only gave clothes individual style, but also made them warmer, stronger and longer-lasting.
Sashiko needles were like magic wands
A long, sharp sashiko needle was sometimes referred to as a ‘magic wand.’ A tool that could not only save a piece of clothing, but make it more beautiful at the same time. Grey or white stitches against an indigo blue background were the classic sashiko combination, sometimes recalling blue mountains covered in snow, or the whitecaps on The Great Wave off Kanagawa.
5.5 kilometres of stitching that takes 3 days
The traditional geometric patterns of sashiko included arrows, lightning and bamboo as popular motifs. Our stitching pattern is based on the Vollebak ‘V’. The engineered embroidery follows the body contours, with the stitching denser towards the hem of the jacket, and sparser at the elbows. This maximises movement and strengthens the areas where it’s needed most.
Based on a traditional Japanese style
The jacket comes with a high wrap around kimono-style neck reinforced with 5 lines of stitching, a 6cm collar, darted shoulders, and a 3-piece sleeve construction that moves just like your arm does. The cuffs and hem are also reinforced with 5 lines of stitching. And to build the jacket we worked with a mill that’s been supplying Japan with state-of-the-art cotton for more than 120 years.
Reinforced with 1 million meta-aramid stitches
High strength, flame-retardant aramid fibres are conventionally used to make clothing worn by military personnel, firefighters and industrial workers whose lives depend on protection against fires and electrical arcs. While we’ve used these materials to make some of our other ultra-tough clothing before, we’re pretty sure our Sashiko Jacket is the first time that a single piece of clothing has been reinforced with 1 million meta-aramid stitches.
It pioneers a new approach to creating highly durable clothing inspired by the ancient Japanese art of sashiko.
Ancient Edo society hated garbage
Garbage was almost non-existent in the Edo period. They didn’t just recycle and reuse. They understood that everything had a value and that living happily and within their means was a virtue. Repair and reuse businesses were everywhere. Enterprising samurai would turn busted bamboo umbrella frames into kindling, carefully unpicking oiled parasols and turning them into special wrapping paper. ‘Geta no haire,’ or wooden clog repairers, would travel door-to-door. And if your kettle or old pot sprung a leak, an ‘ikake,’ or metal repairer, was never far away.
It meant Japanese clothing wasn’t like western clothing
Clothing was the ultimate non-disposable product. Traditional kimonos were cut straight in equal proportions with no waste, so they were standardised goods – a significant point of difference with Western clothing. If Western clothes were disassembled they would be different sizes and could not be recycled the way kimonos were – effectively making them single-use items.
Buttons made from plants and vegetables
Sashiko jackets might have been utilitarian items of clothing, but they were still made with incredible attention to detail. So you’ll find three lined, twill patch pockets on the front of the jacket, and a fourth inside. The hem is finished with reinforced cotton herringbone tape. And the buttons on the cuffs and the placket are made of buffalo imitation bio-resin – a natural, non-toxic and water-based material we’ve produced by combining plant and vegetable waste with a polyester resin used by the aerospace industry.
SIze + Fit
The Sashiko Jacket is designed with a regular fit.
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