Kogin Zashi needle-work
Kogin Zashi is one of the 3 top techniques of Japanese traditional decorative reinforcement stiching that originated in current Aomori Prefecture in northern Japan in the Edo Period (1603-1867).
Its characteritic lies in the geometric designs that stiches cotton thread so as to close the rough texture of hemp fabric. Hemp was used for workwear "Kogin" as it was the only material that was self sufficient in the northern part of Japan. Besides, farmers were not allowed to wear silk or cotton fabric due to the "frugality order". It is said that they started to stich the hemp clothes to add even a slight durability and heat retention.
Nowadays, Kogin Zashi is seen on coin purses, coasters, pen cases, make-up pouchs to name a few.