Saturday, September 12, 2009

KOREAN PATCHWORK (Pojagi)

Front of patchwork held up to the light.

Place 2 pieces of fabric together with wrong sides facing each other. Sew an overhand stitch just under 1/4".
When overhand stitch is completed, turn the fabric so that the 2 pieces are now facing with right sides together. You then do a running stitch so that your overhand stitch is encased between the right sides of the fabric.

The final step is to open up the fabric with the back side facing you and hem stitch that 1/4" encased seam down. The right side of the fabric will just show the tiny hem stitches. The back side of the fabric will show the running stitches.

Ever since 2007, I have become fascinated with this ancient type of Korean patchwork and have done lots of research to try and learn how it is done. There aren't any books in the USA (that I could find) that actually describe the procedure. I have gotten hints from many different sources and have done lots of experimenting. I think I finally have gotten it right.
The word pojagi refers to square hemmed cloth of various sizes, colors, and designs, which Koreans used to wrap, store, or carry things. Pojagi was not only for practical and versatile items in the daily lives of Koreans, but was also very artistic. Most of the pieces are done with sheer silks, linens, and cottons that are transparent and, therefore, the seams becme part of the design when held up to the light. If you are interested in reading more about this, research the words pojagi, bojagi, chokakpo and gekki stitching.
I am posting some pictures with explanations of how this is done. Feel free to e-mail me if you want to try this and my explanation is not clear.

5 comments:

Diana said...

You have accomplished much with your self directed research and experimentation. Congratulations!

I, too, sought the correct way to make pojagi and finally was fortunate to take a class with Chunghie Lee in July at Peters Valley Craft Center in NJ.

Briefly, you have correctly identified one form of seam that is used. The Korean term for the seam that you show is maleobakki. We know it as French seam. There are two more seams that we learned from Chunghie Lee. One is geobeobakki, known in our terms as flat felled seam. The third type is kekki, which is a rolled seam, very narrow, stitched, then rolled on itself again and stitched with a straight stitch.

If anyone ever has the opportunity to study with Chunghie Lee, I highly recommend it. You will not regret a moment!

Diana in Ohio

deanna7trees said...

Thank you so much for your very informative comment, Diana.

Martha-Del Sol Quilts said...

Hi Deanna, I'm going to try a small project with the pojagi technique, thank you for the tutorial. And next time I'm in Temple I will visit the Czech museum.

ZenCrafter said...

Thank you so much for sharing your research and experimentation in this technique! I have been looking for books as well (in English) on the pojagi seams and haven't had much luck. I just bought a Japanese craft book on pojagi, thinking that the diagrams might be easy enough to follow. They are not! I also noticed that Chunghie Lee, who teaches at RISD, is teaching a pojagi course at Penland School of Crafts this summer. http://www.penland.org/classes/summer/summer_textiles.html.

Would it be OK to link to this tutorial on my blog?

Kaylene said...

Hi,

I am so glad I can across your blog as I am interested in Pojagi and just need the inspiration to start.

Thank you for the instructions.

Cheers

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