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Indi-go-go Upcycling is inspired by the history and practice of traditional and contemporary Sashiko and Boro textile art, slow stitching, the ideas of Kintsukuroi and Wabi-Sabi, and simply the colors and designs of threads and fabrics

Sashiko (刺し子, lit. ’little stabs’) and Boro are Japanese folk arts, used for the decorative and/or functional reinforcement of cloth and clothing.

Boro jacket



Sashiko and Boro first came into existence in the Edo period (1603–1867). At that time, cloth was a precious commodity, and since spinning fabric is a time-intensive task, worn out clothes were pieced together to make new durable garments.


No scrap of fabric was wasted; garments were continually mended and passed down over generations. Each additional scrap of fabric—with its own unique story—would come to map the family’s history and heritage.

Sashiko vs Boro. Sashiko refers to the style of embroidery used to put the textiles together and add to it. Boro means rags or tattered cloth and refers to the patchworking practice.

Stitching Style / Materials

Traditionally using white cotton thread on indigo-dyed garments, a simple running stitch reinforces already-patched clothing around points of wear, but also can be used to attach the patches and layers to clothing, making the fabric ultimately stronger and warmer. Sashiko designs typically derive from nature; often waves flowers, mountains, and interlocking geometric shapes. Contemporary sashiko artists use and combine more colors. We especially like to use variegated sashiko threads.

We use mostly Japanese textiles, some antique, others by contemporary Japanese designers and are often based on traditional motifs and kimono designs.

Common Motifs/Images

Lotus The lotus flower is revered in Japan for its ability to rise from the dirty, murky waters to bloom into a beautiful flower, and is a symbol of resilience, and rebirth. Touching a flower reminds us that we are part of nature.

Seigaiha A wave pattern of layered concentric circles creating arches, representing tranquility, resilience and surges of good luck. This pattern can be found in costumes worn by dancers in an ancient Japanese court.

Karakusa (Winding Plant) Originating in China, this pattern has become ubiquitous in Japan as a symbol of luck and prosperity. The twisting spirals of the pattern look like vines stretching in all directions and also represents legacy or family lineage.

Cats and cat motifs are very popular in Japanese culture.

Asanoha The triangle denotes protection against evil, and Asanoha, an aggregate of triangles, conveys a meaning of strength and beauty.

This stitching pattern is worn by Nezuko, the heroine of a popular Japanese anime character “Kimetsu no yaiba,” or “Demon Slayer”.

jeans with Sashiko


Care of Garments:

Turn inside out and wash on gentle cycle in cold water. If your item includes denim patches or dye, wash at least once without any other items, just in case.

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