Noren Hanging
This project was created by Sarah Greaves and Mayumi Goto, Janome Tokyo. Special thanks go to the Educators for their extensive knowledge and suggestions.
Noren are traditional Japanese Fabric Dividers hung between rooms, on walls, in doorways, or in windows. They are traditionally used by shops to advertise their wares and entice a shopper inside but can also be found in homes as a means of breaking up a room or adding beauty. This sewing project features Volume 1 of the Kiyomi Osawa Collection. A highly acclaimed embroidery artist, her designs are uniquely Japanese and ideally suited to the traditional Noren and the antique Kimono off cuts we have used. The new stitch creation function in Digitizer helped with the attaching of the pieces, providing beautiful and accurate results. Look at the Tip section for full instructions.

Janome Supplies Used

  • Memory Craft 11000
  • Osawa Collection Volume 1 Embroidery CD
  • Digitizer
  • ST Hoop
  • SQ Hoop
  • Embroidery foot P
  • Satin Stitch foot F
  • Zigzag foot A
  • Blue Tip Needle 75/11
Fabrics and Notions used

  • Janome Embroidery Thread
  • Janome Thread
  • Fabric - 2 x 46.5 cms by 160 cms (18.3" by 63"). For this project we used traditional hemp fabric.
  • Assorted scrap material pieces. For this project we
    used antique kimono off cuts
  • Tearaway stabilizer
  • Vilene
  • Air-soluble Marker (Always test the marker on your fabrics first to make sure it doesn't leave a stain)
  • Compass
  • Tracing paper and Cardboard (to make templates)

Using a Compass create 3 circles each with a 1 cm (0.4") hem on the Tracing paper, and 3 circles made from cardboard with no hem allowance. Mark an X in the middle to help with placement.

You will need:
  • 22cm (8.7") diameter - Dog Tooth Violet and Iris (due to the size you will not be able to use
    Digitzer to create a Blanket Stitch for these)
  • 20cm (7.9") diameter - African Daisy, Hollyhock, Spare
  • 15cm (5.9") diameter - Butterfly 1, Butterfly 2, Primrose, Violet, Spare
  1. Start by joining the pieces together. Using a Straight stitch, stitch 34.5cms (13.6") from the top down. Leave a 2 cm (0.8") hem.
  1. Hem the centre and the outside first, and then the bottoms. Leave the top unhemmed for the moment.
  1. Strengthen the join in the Noren by stitching in a triangle.
  1. Lay out the scraps on the Noren and decide the best arrangement taking into consideration the colours used in the embroidery. It’s a good idea to hang your Noren somewhere to get a better idea of what it will look like when up.
  1. Apply stabilizer to your scraps.
  1. After hooping, embroider scraps.
  1. Remove any excess stabilizer that you may have used. It is a good idea to leave at least one layer on the more delicate pieces.
  1. Place the Tracing paper template on the back of your embroidered piece and position. Mark an outline using an Air Soluble Marker. Slide the Cardboard template under the Tracing Paper and line it up. Take the Tracing Paper off and mark an outline around the Cardboard template.
  1. In Applications go to Gathering and select the Gathering Straight Stitch. Sew a line in the middle of the hem allowance on the back side of the embroidered piece. Leave about 10cms (3.9") of both top and bottom threads at the beginning and the end. Make sure that they do not overlap but are close together. It's a good idea to use two different colours so that you can tell them apart easily.
  1. Put the Cardboard template onto the back of the embroidered piece. Take the bottom thread of one end and gently pull it. The fabric will gather neatly around the circle. Do this with the other thread as well.
  1. Iron the pieces well and remove the template.
  1. Arrange the finished circles on the hemp fabric and pin in place.
  1. Hand sew the circles on using a Basting stitch. This will help keep the shape when you machine sew them onto the material.
  1. Attach circles using Blanket stitch No.18 in Quilting. Set the stitch length to 1.4. Or use the Digitizer Blanket Stitch function detailed in Tip.
  1. Using Sculpture Stitch No.9 in Quilting, stitch around the circles leaving a 1 cm (0.4") allowance.
  1. Stitch the top part of the Noren. After sewing the hem, fold the material over by 5.5 cms (2.2") and use Straight Stitch No.1 in Utility.
  1. Slide pole through and hang.
TIP: You can create your own Blanket Stitch by using Digitizer. To do this use Easy Design. Under Image select Scan. Preview and Trim as required before the final Scan. Select the hoop size.

Then select Applique.
Right click around your circle. Hit return and then Select All.
Left clicking twice will open up a box. Go to Applique and select Blanket Stitch. Make any necessary stitch adjustments here.
This is a great feature to use but you must make sure that your circles are exactly the same size as the templates in order to achieve the best results. If they are not then you could choose to select the Trim in Place option which will generate a cutting line. If you choose to generate a cutting line, place the fabric patch after the placement line has been stitched, then trim in position after the cutting line has been stitched.