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Exploring the Art of Japanese Embroidery

With Rob Jones

4 September - 6 September

As part of ‘Japan Week’, the first of our regular international spotlights on arts and culture, we are offering this three-day intensive course in exploring the art of Japanese embroidery techniques, taught by textiles expert Rob Jones.

Throughout this three-day course, you will be immersed into this meditative and highly-skilled practice, learning Sashiko stitching and Boro mending, as well as Kogin-counted thread embroidery – a practice which Rob is currently the only the only teacher of in the UK.

Itinerary – Exploring the Art of Japanese Embroidery Techniques

Day 1 – Moyozashi and Hitomezashi Sashiko embroidery – focusing on Moyozashi Sashiko (pattern sashiko) where the patterns change direction to make a larger one and Hitomezashi Sashiko (one-stitch sashiko) where the patterns are stitched to a grid.

Day 2 – Kogin counted thread embroidery – includes a full runthrough of the basic techniques including creating border patterns and sewing a selection of Modoko Kogin patterns, as well how to start out making your own designs.

Day 3 – Boro mending – finishing off with a session on starting your own Boro quilted project, so you have a keepsake from the weekend to continue at home.

The pace of classes and the retreat-like atmosphere of Clayhill Arts will allow you the time and space to complete larger pieces across the 3 days. By the end of this course you will have developed new insight and practical skills. Under Rob’s guidance, you may even gain the confidence to create your own designs using these ancient techniques.

We have also set up a payment plan, so that you can spread the cost of the sessions over the next 4 months. You will find the option for doing this as you enter the checkout page.


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Exploring the Art of Japanese Embroidery without accommodation
£ 385.00
12 available
Exploring the Art of Japanese Embroidery with accommodation
£ 545.00
7 available


Rob Jones is a textile artist and teacher, who takes his inspiration from Japanese Textiles traditions including Shibori, Katagami stencilling and Sashiko embroidery and Boro. Having discovered Shibori, the ancient Japanese art of resist dyeing, at West Dean college in 2011, Rob went on to study in Japan under indigo guru, Bryan Whitehead.

In 2018, Rob returned to Japan to expand his Japanese textiles skills, visiting Ise, the home of Katagami stencilling and buying supplies. Rob set up his own teaching practice back in the UK and has been teaching Japanese textiles crafts since 2015.

About the processes:
Textiles crafts have a long-established pedigree in Japan with examples of patterned fabric having been found in tombs in Nara as early as 756 AD. The poorer farming communities in Japan were forbidden to wear cotton (and silk!) and had to make and constantly mend their clothing using scraps, which is where the traditions of Boro mending and Sashiko embroidery originated.

Clothes and bedding, whilst serving a practical purpose, were also embellished with stitch, creating something both aesthetically pleasing and practical, as the stitching added a layer of warmth to garments. Kogin embroidery, originating in the Northern part of Japan in Aomori prefecture, is a type of counted thread work. The name “Kogin” derives from the Japanese word “koginu”, “ko” being “small” and ginu meaning “wear”, the name of a long Japanese jacket, which was often decorated with this technique.



Safety is paramount and we have take a number of precautions here at our venue. During this course, we will be making use of a hand-held camera, which will be connected to a large screen in the room so your tutor will be able to demonstrate the intricacies of the crafts and to safely instruct your own work at a safe 2m distance.

Who is this course suitable for?
Anyone with an interest in textiles/art/crafts or Japanese culture, with desire to learn new techniques.

What’s included with this course?

As part of every Clayhill Arts course, you will also be invited to join our exclusive ‘Clayhill Connect’ Facebook group where you will be able to chat with course attendees, share your experiences, and maintain that all important connection with each other for as long as you like.

Is this course catered?

Yes! We provide refreshments throughout the day and a home-cooked lunch which is freshly prepared in our Granary kitchen. Lunch is served around our communal dining table, offering you a great chance to get to know everyone on the course and share in the making processes you have been developing throughout the day.

Please advise us of any dietary requirements before arrival.

Can I stay? 

Yes! We can provide accommodation with this course in one of our on site bedrooms. All rooms are en-suite with linen, towels and bathroom products provided. A continental breakfast is also included along with lunch, dinner and refreshments throughout your stay with us.

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