About Hishizashi

Nanbu Hishizashi - Nanbu diamond stitch - is traditional stitching of Nanbu region, the northeast part of Mainland of Japan. Originally invented to reinforce the clothes to endure the cold winter, Nanbu Hishizashi evolved as a rural domestic craft in northern farming communities during the Edo period (1603-1868). As the only material farmers were allowed to wear was hemp and cotton's only permitted use was as thread at that time, women stitched hemp clothes with cotton thread for reinforcement. Nanbu Hishizashi was born from the wisdom and aesthetic of farmers.

Nanbu Hishizashi uses diamond motifs exclusively and there are approximately 400 patterns. A variety of designs can be made by combining different patterns and thread with different colours. Each hishizashi pattern is made from even numbers of stitches on the weft, while kogin (traditional stitching of Tsugaru region, the northwest part of the Mainland of Japan) pattern is made from odd numbers of stitches.