The Wonder 500

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Sashiko-ori (Fabric stitched with decorative reinforcement Sashiko stitching)

Textiles & Leather
Sashiko is an old technique from the Tohoku region that entails hand stitching layered cloth together for reinforcement and warmth. Sashiko-ori is this technique expressed using a machine. Using an old-fashioned power loom, the shuttle rotates nearly 100 times per minute, creating a nice texture, and the equipment only rarely malfunctions, but about 1 meter of cloth can be produced per hour. Because a momentary lapse in technique can completely change the character of the fabric, Kenichi Ohazama requires full concentration to control the equipment. He began studying under the textile dyer Yoshitaka Yanagi, the nephew of Muneyoshi Yanagi, who started Mingei, the Japanese folk art movement, cultivating a straightforward technique. The world of geometrically woven shapes is not simply beautiful, but practical and honest. This collector’s item sublimates the Tohoku area’s history, climate, and knowledge of the commoners into an art, communicating the spirit of Mingei down to this day.