Instagram is my learning and inspiration place for weaving. This time I found a couple of Japanese ladies posting interesting weaving that looked kinda like tapestry, but very abstract. Both weavers have 2-shaft looms, as evidenced in their Instagram accounts, and I knew that with 2 shafts it is not possible to weave such mosaic with traditional plain weave.
So, looking at the tags they used, I noticed a word “saori”. Since we live in an age of instant googling, that’s what I did.
And it turned out to be a cool technique, invented by a 57-year old Japanese weaver four decades ago. It goes against the traditional weaving principles: traditionally, the flaws in woven fabric like missed warp thread, missed threading steps that skew the pattern, or uneven weaving are bad. They are considered to be a sign of low skills.
In Saori, these are the tools to unleash a weaver’s expression of their individuality and creativity. A free-hand weaving means that you can mess the threading, intentionally or accidentally skip dents in the reed, and do other things that are a big no-no in the traditional school of weaving.
Since I am personally very conservative by nature, I am not ready to weave a fabric with random holes in it. But I wanted to try Saori-way of working with 2 wefts, and decided to do the rugs in Saori style. (The desire to rule in the stash overflow may be a hidden motif as well).
Here is my loom, dressed and with the Saori rug started. I use pompon yarn as accent weft, with the grey rayon chenille as main weft.