Sashiko-ish: A Contemporary Take on Japanese Embroidery with Aoi Yoshizawa
In Conjunction with our Textile Talks Lecture

Presented by JICC, Embassy of Japan

Join us for a special workshop on a contemporary take on Japanese embroidery with the JICC’s guest artist, Aoi Yoshizawa. To read more about our corresponding lecture, Textile Talks with Aoi Yoshizawa & Virginia Soenksen, click here.

Sashiko (刺し子; lit. “little stabs”) is a type of traditional Japanese embroidery known for its elegant simplicity. While sashiko is now enjoyed as a form of ornamental embroidery, it originally served a dual purpose of decoration as well as reinforcement to strengthen or mend homespun, homemade fabric. This form of needlework involves hand-stitching geometric patterns traditionally using white threads on typically indigo-dyed cotton. Today, sashiko has evolved into an art form celebrated for its geometric beauty, striking simplicity, and cultural significance.

Bridging the gap between traditional sashiko and contemporary textile design, Yoshizawa, a textile artist hailing from Japan and now based in Finland, brings a fresh perspective to this ancient craft. Although she does not strictly adhere to traditional sashiko practices, Yoshizawa incorporates elements of sashiko into her creative endeavors. In this workshop, she will demonstrate her contemporary take on the traditional art of sashiko.

The workshop will run approximately 1.5 to 2 hours.

Due to limited capacity, registration is required. Please cancel your registration if you cannot attend.


Aoi Yoshizawa is a textile artist and designer based in Helsinki, Finland. Originally from Japan, Aoi Yoshizawa has lived in Nordic countries since 2006. She graduated from Aalto University in 2015 with an MA in Textile Art and Design, and from the Bergen National Academy of Arts in 2011 with a BFA in Textile Art. She currently works in a studio on the small island of Harakka in Helsinki. As of September and October 2023, she is currently an artist in residence at the Finnish Cultural Institute in New York

Currently, Yoshizawa works with her own custom looms in the long-term project I AM A WEAVER – an artistic research and technical experiment in hand weaving. In this project, she has been investigating traditional weaving methods and reinterpreting them into contemporary practices. Her loom installations are created by combining different ancient techniques with various materials.

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