5 Ways to transfer a Sashiko design to fabric (1 of 5 use graphing fabric)

by Susan Fletcher

Sashiko Transfer graphing fabric

Using wash-away dotted graphing fabric to transfer a sashiko design to fabric

For those of you who want to go further than pre-printed sashiko fabrics, this is the first blog entry for 5 methods you can use get a sashiko design onto a fabric of your choice!

Say you want to do make your own design as I did when I drew and stitched this:

sashiko design

Many sashiko designs are representational/symbolic of things in the world so it is possible to make a sashiko project that contains a message. I designed these bags using the sun, clouds, rain, and diamond waves designs to make a sashiko image about the foggy and rainy West Coast where I was living. 

If the dotted graph fabric I am going to show you here had been available then, this would have been a lot easier to design!  And now it is!  This 100% cotton fabric is marked with tiny wash-away dots (6 dots per inch).

Use a ruler and chalk fabric pencil to draw onto the fabric. After your stitching is finished you can remove the tiny dots by rinsing in warm water. 

dotted graphing fabric for sashiko stitching

Olympus Manufacturing in Japan has been making sashiko products longer than any other brand I know, and this is a new one they released recently. I've been using their sashiko products for nearly 15 years and I know they were around decades before that.  My point being I trust them to have learned what works and what doesn't work in sashiko products.  

There are two types of this fabric available from Olympus.  The first, shown in the first photograph, is a mid weight smooth cotton fabric. It comes on a bolt and can be bought on my website in half meter increments.

The second, shown below, is printed on cotton in a 12" x 12" square. The 12" x 12" is a lighter weight fabric with a bit of texture, and comes with another 12" unprinted piece which you are meant to fold to the back so that you will be stitching through two fabric layers. 

dotted fabric for sashiko designing

(About the design on those bags in the first picture, I never did make a pattern for these, but feel free to buy some grid fabric and draw out the design for your use :-D) 

Pre-printed graphing fabric for sashiko designing, cut to order from the bolt, 42" wide, 100 % cotton fabric

12" x 12" pre-printed graphing fabric package 

Happy sashiko designing!


Susan Fletcher
Susan Fletcher


Owner A threaded Needle

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