Standard sashiko thread has always been my go-to for sashiko and boro projects, but recently I thought I’d see how Eleganza perle cotton threads would work in sashiko stiching. Eleganza perle cottons are designed for decorative hand stiching (and sashiko is a type of decorative hand stitching), so perhaps I’d get comparable results.
I chose some perle 5 and perle 8 cottons from Sue Spargo’s Eleganza Perle Cotton Collection; the colour palette is lovely, bright and saturated.
Perle 8 thread is finer than sashiko thread, so I wanted to see how a complex design would work with a #8 and it is stunning—the thread is fine enough to work well in the close design. Additionally, separation between colours in the variegated threads are extra short, which allowed me to achieve intricate colour changes.
I used a variegated colour thread called Citrus Zest—orange and lime variegates—to stitch part of a pre-stencilled sashiko panel that required finer detail. The result was just beautiful to see, the finer thread allowing the design to display to its full potential.
I am converted to using perle 8 thread as a solution for more intense or complex sashiko designs. Overall I’ve found the Eleganza perle cottons beautiful to sew and easy to pull through the fabric, providing a stunning finish. I recommend using a mixture of perle 5 and and perle 8 for larger sashiko panels, or panels that feature both simple and complex sashiko patterns. Perle 5 cottons are of a similar thickness and weight to standard sashiko thread.
Eleganza perle threads are made from 100% Giza 88, which is the highest calibre extra long staple Egyptian cotton. Fibres spun from this result in a very soft, lustrous and strong thread. An extra 15% twist has been incorporated into the design, which makes the thread more stable and uniform. Eleganza is double gassed and mercerised to prevent build-up of lint and snub, allowing the thread to glide nicely through sashiko fabric.
I currently have two sizes of Eleganza perle cottons in the Indigo Niche store: perle 5, which is similar in thickness and weight to standard sashiko thread, and perle 8, which is finer than the perle 5.
For use with simple geometric patterns that would benefit from boldly defined stitches. For examples of these patterns please see Seigaiha, Asanoha, Nowaki Grasses or Seven Treasures in my Sashiko Samplers section.
If you wish to try both in one project, there are many Sashiko Panels that combine simple lines and geometric patterns with more complex arrangements.