Saturday, May 11, 2013

Saori weaving

I mentioned Saori weaving in my last post and thought it worth taking a little further as I was rather grumpy last week!

I did sit and use the two shaft loom and it is very light and free moving, in fact lovely to weave on though the shed wasn't very wide.  Plus the loom closes up meaning storage is not a problem in small spaces.  A four shaft loom has been manufactured but it wasn't available to try and I'm just presuming one could weave any four shaft pattern on it.  I do admire the textural cloth, colour patterns including meet and separate and some of the fun things being woven.

My biggest bug bare was the selvedges.  To be encouraging weaving with every thread sticking out from the cloth and calling it free and beautiful - well, no.  And the second antsy was large areas of deliberate skipped threads making the cloth structurally unsound.  As Doe said in a comment on the last post many weavers who have taken to Saori are experienced weavers.  In a way this practise is subverting the skills and standards many of us have taken many years to develop and it will reflect on us in the long run.

Some years ago when we ran a motor camp I had my loom in the office/shop and a shelf of work for sale.  I remember a lady from Europe asking 'is this the stuff that falls apart'.  I was very quick to assure her it wasn't.  At the time someone was marketing scarves by weaving wide cloth and cutting it apart into scarves etc with no finishing on the edges and word had got as far as Germany to avoid it.

I think from now on I'll just talk about my own work on this blog and, boy have I been in a pickle this week.  More later.


  1. Well done for having a go at saori weaving before making a judgement . . . interested in your comments. . . so it's not just me then! (I'm also feeling a little bit like that about shrinky-dink stuff at the moment. I can, but do I want to? (Goodness, I must be getting old.)

  2. Hi,
    I have just discovered this post while trawling the internet regarding Saori weaving. I have exactly the same thoughts about it as you! The trouble is that most people - myself included - are attracted by the textures and colours produced. It also "looks hand woven" to the average non-weaver and my carefully woven lambswool scarf done on a multi shaft loom looks like something commercially made. I have asked about the structural integrity of the cloth produced and been told that they do wash the cloth. But I honestly can't see from some of the pictures on the internet that this is always the case. My big problem with "traditional" weaving at the moment is my inability to make decisions about what to weave and with what yarn! Too much choice and I get nothing done. I'm thinking of putting a solid colour warp on my loom and just having a play with colour and not worrying too much about design theory! What do you think? I like the work done by Sue at Avalanche Looms especially her rag weaves. Have a look and see what you think, it's better than Saori weacving!

    1. Hi Rachel, Nice to know I'm not preaching to the wilderness.
      I too am attracted to the texture and colour of Saori weaving but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be woven in a proper manner. Most of the techniques used can and are done on a regular loom.
      I suggest you put a warp on your loom and play. Maybe a point twill or rosepath would give many options to explore colour and pattern. When I started weaving I wove placemats, every set a different weave structure but a great learning exercise. Don't worry, just weave, and see where it takes you.

    2. Great minds think alike! I've just put a black lambswool warp on my loom to be threaded in a rosepath twill which I will use between lots of plain weave. Regarding Saori weaving the phrase "shoddy" comes to mind!
      Happy weaving!