It’s time to resurrect last year’s Cool Tools series with a few more entries. In this series we will be looking at the more unusual items that can be found in a sewer/quilter/bag maker’s toolbox, in some cases at things that the original inventors never intended to see in anything related to sewing, but nonetheless have a very useful purpose.

This week, we’re looking at washi tape, beloved of paper crafters and journallers:

So what exactly is washi tape?

Despite the fact that it can now be found everywhere from the local pound shop to the poshest of stationers, washi tape was only launched for the first time in 2006 by Kamoi Kakoshi Co., Ltd. under the name MT masking tape. And that’s exactly what it is, smooth masking tape in pretty colours. The pretty colours came about after a group of japanes crafters contacted the company following the publication of a book they’d written incorporating all the industrial masking tapes that the company produced, but requesting more colours ahead of a second book coming out. What’s available now is so much more fun than the bog standard slightly textured cream or blue stuff we normally associate with masking tape, but if you’re a bit broke, regular masking tape would suffice for the below tips ;o)

Where can I use washi tape?

My favourite uses for washi tape are:

  • Putting temporary markings on my sewing machine bed for things such as unusual seam allowances, or pivot points for certain things, eg machine sewing hexies to ensure I don’t stitch too far
  • Marking quilting lines on quilt tops
  • Marking stitching lines on materials that can’t be pinned or ironed such as vinyl, cork or laminated fabrics when bag making
  • Holding materials in place that can’t be pinned or clipped in place when bag making, eg holding handle ends in place in the middle of the side of a bag

Have you got any other fabulous uses for washi tape in sewing? Let me know in the comments!