As we “Stitch Together” we practice to reuse, repair, and mend.
Japanese textile traditions have for generations focused on the practice of reuse, repair, and mending. Hence stitching has become a notable handcraft in Japan for different types of embroidery and patchwork. Sashiko is the practice of stitching (it means “little stabs” in Japanese), where fabric scraps are sewn onto larger garments or textiles. The stitches are often uneven, of varying size, certainly visible, and intended to reinforce older fabrics. This form of embroidery started out of need, where working class people had to mend clothing rather than buy new.
All of the stitching for Sashiko led to Boro, which are the garments or textiles that have been sewn with patches and scraps over and over from mending. (Boroboro in Japanese means something tattered that has been repaired). Indigo dyes for textiles has also long been a tradition and are featured in many Japanese garments, also due to economic conditions and ease of access and use.
With advancements in society and moving towards a more modern age, many of these techniques have been left to history. However, Sashiko and Boro are popular today due to the desire for sewing and working with ones hands in the digital age, as well as embracing sustainability and scrap culture. Additionally, they embody the beauty of textiles that have been worn and softened with time. Textiles, and gestures like sewing and mending, are also incredibly powerful metaphors for making whole what is needed most, as well as providing comfort and emotional repair.
We’ve compiled a palette of products that reflect this design principle to help you curate your space.
Royce Epstein is the A&D Design Director for Mohawk Group.
As the face to A&D, Royce shares her passion and vision for design, cultural trends, and the meaning of materials in a broad context. Her role is to evolve and share Mohawk Group’s Design Vision with the A&D community, and to leverage product design with what A&D desires in the field. Constantly on the watch for new trends in all aspects of design and culture, Royce feeds this insight to all our industry’s touch points.
A veteran materials and product specialist, Royce spent two decades working in A&D firms before working with Mohawk. She was named the 2015 Designer of the Year by Interiors and Sources Magazine, and received a HiP award for Rising Star from Interior Design Magazine at Neocon 2016. Royce lives in Philadelphia where she is active in the design, art, and music scenes. She is a board member of Collab at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.