Textiles and Travel – Kogin

by Markita Hall-Gumble

Welcome to my mini blog on my travels
which almost always include textiles
in some way.  I am Markita and I love
traveling the world while learning about
and collecting textiles.  This will be a
fairly regular blog although not in any
specific order of time or textile type.

Today let’s talk about KOGIN.  Kogin is a Japanese form of sashiko, it is a counted embroidery stitch technique.  The name ‘kogin’ comes from koginu (ko = small, ginu = wear), the name of a long work jacket that first used these stitches..  It originates in northern Japan and is an embroidery running stitch.  Traditionally worked with diamond patterns using  white thread on indigo (navy) dyed fabric.  As with many Japanese stitching techniques it was used both for decorative design as well as to strengthen and hide wear on garments. 

On my last trip to Japan, I searched out new to me fabric and craft stores.  I found a shop I had not been to before and they carried many types of sewing and craft supplies and kits.

This kit from Olympus Thread was my first introduction to Kogin.

Do I worry I can’t read all Japanese?  No! Google translate to the rescue.  While it maybe not totally accurate, the app uses your phone’s camera for input for a translation! 

Kogin patterns are numerous!  I found the blog of an Australian embroiderer, Carolyn Foley,  who has documented 700 patterns.  They are free on her blog at Kogin Patterns. She also has so many inspiring embroidery pieces. Ready to create your own Kogin?  You can find kits on Amazon or other online retailers, as well as books on the subject.  

Kits – Amazon Kogin Kits
Books – Amazon Kogin Books

My finished project.  Kogin is great for a project on the go!   Not sure yet how I will use these, but it was fun learning about the history of Kogin.

じゃまたね Ja Mata Ne ( See you then),


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3 thoughts on “Textiles and Travel – Kogin”

  1. So interesting!
    Thank you for sharing all your finds on your travels.
    Looking forward to read the next one.

  2. This was so interesting. I want to learn this type of embroidery because it is beautiful and may cover some moth holes. Have you tried it on knits?

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