Sunday, September 10, 2023

Saeksilnubi: the craft of traditional Korean quilting

This weekend, I treated myself to a virtual class on Saeksilnubi, Korean quilting. The class instructor was the delightful textile artist, Youngmin Lee, who introduced students to this traditional craft. Here is the progress of my class project after the two-hour workshop.

Beginning the saeksilnubi technique on a 7" square of linen fabric.

Saeksilnubi, a traditional Korean craft, uses two pieces of fabric that sandwich a hanji cording made from twisted and rolled strips of mulberry paper. Colorful threads are used to hand stitch the channels that hold the paper cording in place. It is similar to the “stuffed” look of trapunto and bouti, but the process is slightly different.

A beautifully and thoughtfully packaged kit accompanied the class.

Class kit for Saeksilnubi.

With a little pre-work rolling the hanji paper cords, students had all the materials to hit the ground running when the online class began.

Saeksilnubi kit contents.

Saeksilnubi is a slow stitching process that should be savored and not rushed. Although it is a craft for items with utilitarian purposes, the focus is on the making—the stitching process—not the urgent haste to finish. Youngmin encouraged her students to instill good thoughts and happiness into every stitch.

Youngmin Lee, textile artist and instructor.
This virtual workshop was hosted by Tatter.

This quilting technique requires minimal tools and materials… and is very portable. I look forward to the hand stitching process and being part of keeping this Korean handcraft tradition alive. 

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