Sashiko is a striking hand-sewing technique that originated in ancient Japan. In Japanese, its name means “little stabs”—a reference to the plain running stitch that makes up sashiko’s geometric, all-over patterns. Sashiko is usually described as a kind of embroidery, but to me, this fails to capture its true complexity. Sashiko patterns are very pleasing, with their regular stitches and precise use of space. But aesthetics are only one aspect of sashiko.