Sashiko (Pronounced: SA-SHEE-KOE) is a form of embroidery / stitching originating from Japan. Centuries ago, Japanese peasants practised a running-stitch technique called “little stabs” to patch torn or worn fabric & clothes over winter. Mending was vital as fabric and thread were scarce and therefore valuable. When white cotton thread became available, this was used for patching indigo blue garments, and this gave Sashiko its distinctive appearance.
Many Sashiko patterns were derived from Chinese designs, but just as many were developed by the Japanese themselves. Sashiko patterns are predominantly geometric and fall into two categories, those formed from long lines of running stitches and those where the pattern emerges from the alignment of single stitches made on a grid. (Information taken from en.wikipedia.org)