Keeping your Sashiko thread collection organized and ready to use is easy with Sashiko thread braids. Once assembled, the braids give you easy access to pre-cut strands of thread that are the perfect length for stitching.
Sashiko thread is a soft cotton thread commonly used in traditional Japanese Sashiko embroidery. Olympus brand Sashiko thread is color-safe and will not bleed when washed, so it can also be used for big stitch quilting or hand embroidery projects. Unlike standard 6-strand embroidery floss, Sashiko thread is a single, non-divisible strand. It has a thickness similar to size 5 perle cotton but does not have the sheen commonly found other embroidery threads. My favorite way to organize my Sashiko thread collection is with thread braids. They are easy to make and will keep your thread tangle-free and ready to use.
To make your Sashiko braids you will need to gather…
Open up the skein and gently shake it out to find the small piece of thread that ties the skein into a loop.
This will be the top of your braid. Grab your washi tape and place a piece of tape over the top of this loop to secure the skein onto a flat surface.
Now find the opposite end of the loop and snip through all the strands. This creates a bundle of equal length strands held together by the small piece of thread that is beneath your washi tape.
Divide the strands into 3 groups and begin braiding the strands together.
Work your way all the way to the bottom of the strands. Because of the matte finish of the cotton thread, the braid will hold its shape without needing to tie off the end of the braid. So, just let the finished braid tail hang freely.
To use your thread braid, pull a single strand out from the top of the braid with one hand, while holding the braid in your other hand.
Gently tug on the single strand to pull it loose from the rest of the braid.
You are now ready to thread your needle and start stitching!
I keep my braids on a large O-ring that is easy to store in a project bag or hang on a hook in my sewing room.
Sashiko embroidery is one of my favorite “on the go” projects. You do not need an embroidery hoop to do it, so your supplies are easy to carry in almost any bag. The repetitive and rhythmic nature of the stitches is rather meditative and relaxing too. If you are ready to give it a try, visit the Sashiko section of the shop to pick from a wide range of pre-printed samplers and kits.