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Ambacht in Beeld Festival 21 & 22 September 2024
NDSM Loods, Amsterdam-Noord

| Sashiko & Boro, visible mending

Helly Coppens - Saturday 23 september & Sunday 24 september
2 hours
€ 25
Minimum age:
8 years
Saturday 23 september
Sunday 24 september

Have you always wanted to know more about the ancient Japanese repair technique Sashiko and what beautiful things you can make with it? This is your chance to get started.


During this workshop, you will learn the basics of the Sashiko technique, and with it, you can turn your jeans (with holes and scuffs) into a wearable and unique work of art! Don’t have a pair of suitable jeans? No problem; you can also make a ready-made patch or a collage of pieces of denim and other woven textiles. You can bring your own or not. Needles and thread will be provided. After the workshop, you will have turned your jeans into a unique piece of art. Or your own ‘unique textile art’, for yourself or to give as a present to someone close to you. For you have made it with love and attention.


Sashiko is an ancient embroidery technique originating from northern Japan. Sashiko (pronounced Sash-ko) is a running stitch and means prick or stitch. Boro refers to rags and worn textiles and is a form of visible repair using the Sashiko basting technique. Sashiko & Boro, perfect and imperfect. There can be Sashiko without Boro, but no Boro without Sashiko.


Sashiko is a sustainable way to repair and upcycle worn-out denim. By using the Sashiko technique, you add value back to worn-out jeans.


By hand sewing, stitch by stitch, patches of fabric over and under worn spots, the textile always gets a unique look. There is no sewing machine involved; everything is done by hand.


For this workshop, you do not need any experience, just an interest and some manual dexterity. Yarn, needles and practice materials will be provided, but feel free to bring your own jeans or woven fabrics (no jersey/tricot). You can also make a collage from patches of denim, cotton or linen, to frame or serve as the basis for a bag or other project.


With her company Yukkuri Studio, Helly Coppens focuses mainly on upcycling denim, giving new value to discarded jeans. There is no straightforward translation for many Japanese words. This also applies to Yukkuri. It means something like slow speed, without hurry, at ease, restful. This fits perfectly with her drive to create sustainably, working with textiles, mainly denim. Yukkuri products are unique and handmade as a response to mass and overproduced clothing globally.


Helly enjoys working with tangible materials, with needles and thread. It is mainly old-craft Japanese repair techniques that inspire her, where quality always precedes quantity. This way of working is Slow Design, which is very calming. This is a welcome effect because our world is fast and fleeting. It is always a challenge to make something new out of leftovers. It gives new value to worn-out or discarded clothes. Repairing jeans and reusing denim instead of throwing them away and replacing them. And thus reduce waste. Working with residual materials comes with limitations. It is precisely these limitations that determine her design choices and ensure that her creativity is constantly challenged.

Wall Hanging Sashiko stitches on denim

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