1. What is Saoriweaving ?
Saori is a recent Japanese weaving technique invented by Misao Jo en 1957.
Sa = has the meaning of Zen in Japanese, Ori = Weaving.
On the contrary to conventional weaving, Saori is a kind of “free-form” technique. No pattern, no rules, no schemes to follow. Instead Saori encourage to play, to experiment, to explore, to mix different materials and couleurs without fear and without intention.
In Saori all is about creativity and free expression, about coming into the ‘flow”. It’s a kind of ‘non-technique’, even a kind of meditation.
And it’s a kind of weaving anyone can enjoy. In fact, the less you know about weaving the easier it will be to explore !
Saori is meant to be accessible for everyone, no matter the age, gender or ability and it’s driven by the idea that all human beings are creative and wants to express this creativity in a personal way without being chained by patterns or rules.
So, rather than approaching weaving with ideas of structure and set up as in conventional weaving, in Saori you focus only on the way and the movement without planing before or ahead.
The founder of Saoriweaving is Misao Jo, born in 1913 in Osaka, Japan. She passed away in 2018 at the age of 104! Misao started her Saori adventure at the age of 57 in 1969 after studying and teaching Ikebana and raising a family.
Today Saori is practiced worldwide. By textile and fashion designers, handweavers, artists and crafters but also by people with disabilities, art therapists, in hospitals, for meditative sessions, in schools and for corporate team building.
- Avoid neatly arranged patternareas
- Combine different types of yarns, thicknesses, textures
- Beat wefts with varying pressure
- Weave in waste threads or even other matierials
- Clasped weft technique
- Tapestry style techniques
- Leave a window of the warp unwoven
- Skip some dents when threading the reed.
- Use rya knots in the weave.
- Extend some wefts beyond the selvages to create fringe
- use handspun, handspun, handspun!!
Normally you can weave Saori style on every possible loom. I weave it for exemple myself on a Riggid Heddle Loom.
Nevertheless there are today special Saorilooms: they are true floor looms with treadles, but they are foldable and portable. You can buy even prewarped beams for them to make warping even easier and faster!
6. I do it “my way”
And for me?
On one hand I’m not a trained Saoriweaver, I don’t have a Saoriloom, I even started to weave this way without knowing it exists a name for it. I’m not a fan of Saoriclothing either, they are “too much” for me. So overall I’m not an expert and I could never weave only in this way…
On the other hand Saoriweaving is a kind of playground for me.
But I found some other uses that really enhances the beauty of these fabrics… at least I hope so…
Saorifabric is for me perfect for:
- bags and pouches
- artpanels/ wallhangings
Some of my realisations to give you an impressions below.
And: Especially the use of my own handspun yarn is the icing of the cake for me!!