Pojagi has been around for thousands of years, so it was originally hand stitched with natural fibres.
The fabrics used varied from large pieces of specially embroidered silk that might have been used by an aristocrat or small pieces of coarse ramie patched together by a peasant.
In the west, it can be difficult to find Korean silk or ramie, so other types of silk and linen are good substitutes. The main thing to look for in fabric is that it can hold a crease well. This is a problem with most polyesters. The same traits that make them great to wear without wrinkling make them difficult to use in pojagi.
Threads should match the weight of the fabric. If you are using fine silk fabric, fine silk thread is the best choice. I personally don’t use the super-fine silk thread that is used for machine quilting. It is too fine for hand work. Something like size 30 or 16 is best.
If you are using ramie or linen, Perle cotton is a great choice. For light handkerchief linen, use size 12 or 8. For coarser linen, use size 5. Try samples and see what you like. In the end, it’s your project, so see what you like.
In traditional pojagi, the stitching is part of the design, so it is normal to use a contrasting colour of thread so they are very visible.
There are only a few basic tools for pojagi. You need a small ruler, pins, needles, scissors, and most of all a Hera marker. A Hera marker is used to crease the fabric for easy folding. Once you try it, you will probably think of all different types of uses in other sewing and crafts as well.
There are two main types of seams used in pojagi projects – lined and unlined.
Lined pojagi is similar to western quilting. Raw edges of seams are pressed to the inside and there is a backing to hide them. They may or may not have a batting depending on the purpose of the piece.
Unlined pojagi is just a single layer of fabric and is reversible. The seams are totally finished on both sides, so there are no raw edges exposed.
There are many embellishments that are unique to pojagi. They are fun to try and can be used in all different types of patchwork and embroidery.
If you want to try these techniques in small projects, the Christmas countdown projects are a great place to start.