I'll keep adding to this page in response to customer questions, so if there's anything you want to ask about my products, please contact me.
Q - Are all your products made in Japan?
A - Yes, at the moment. I always try to add the country of origin to every listing. If there are any missing, please let me know.
Q - Do you ship worldwide?
A - Yes! You will need to pay the appropriate import duties/customs charges when the parcel arrives in your country. Whenever possible, I send international parcels tracked and signed for, although for some countries, only tracked is possible.
Q - The edge of your sashiko panels is very narrow. Why?
A - The panels are designed with 9 1/2in and 4 1/2in squares, which include quarter inch seam allowances in them. I designed them this size so the larger squares are the same finished size as the quilt blocks in two of my books, ‘Japanese Quilt Blocks to Mix and Match’ and ‘Japanese Taupe Quilt Blocks’. The kamon crests were originally stitched for the first book, ‘Japanese Quilt Blocks to Mix and Match’, where the finished block size is 9in. To make best use of the maximum 60cm wide printing area (the size is dictated by the screen print screens), less complicated kamon were reduced in size for the central strip of 41/2in squares.
The lines separating the squares are therefore cutting lines but, if you wish to keep the fabric as a whole panel, you have the option of either stitching these or washing them out afterwards (all the lines wash out), which gives the effect of the sashiko patterns floating on the background. The idea is that you can use the panel in different ways, as individual blocks or as a whole panel.
The panels are hand screen printed, not roller printed, so there is a 1/2in gap between each panel on the bolt, so they can be cut apart for sale. You can include this narrow edge in your seam allowance if you decide to keep the panel complete and add a border, as shown in the photo below, where the cutting lines have been washed out after the panel was finished. There is ample space between the kamon edges and the border. If you want to stitch the cutting lines as well, I would suggest sewing your border fabric to the panel, pressing the seam towards the border fabric, and then adding sashiko on the outer vertical cutting line - so you can stitch that line right up against the border fabric. If you stitch it before adding the border, it is difficult not to accidentally seam over the sashiko line.
Q - Are Olympus Thread Mfg. Co. and 'Olympus' the same brand?
A - This is a bit complicated! You may have heard of products made in Japan by Olympus Thread Mfg. Co. referred to as 'Olympus'. Unfortunately, we can't use that name for thread in the UK (as I was informed by a trade mark lawyer on 9th October 2019), because UK wholesalers Habico trade marked it in 2010 for one of their Loweth acrylic knitting yarns, under section 23 'threads and yarns' of the UK's trademarks registration. Olympus Thread Mfg. Co. had the original trade mark for the name in the UK in 1969, but it was allowed to lapse. Although Olympus Thread Mfg. Co. applied to have the name registered for their products in 2018, Habico objected to their application, so we can't call the thread made by Olympus Thread Mfg. Co. 'Olympus sashiko thread' or 'Olympus kogin thread' (even though Habico don't make sashiko thread or kogin thread). The trade mark does not apply to Olympus Thread Mfg. Co.'s fabrics, needles etc. only their threads. This is despite Olympus Thread Mfg. Co. being established in 1908, their products sold in the UK since at least the mid 1990s, having their trade mark registered in Japan and other countries, and the two logos looking nothing like each other. I hope that explains it. All this information is in the public domain and you can search for trade marks freely on the UK government's website - https://trademarks.ipo.gov.uk/ipo-tmtext/page/Results