Monday, May 21, 2012

Handwoven: SAORI Ladder Scarf

SAORI is a weaving philosophy from Japan. "SA" means "self, inner spirit" and "ORI" means "weaving". So SAORI is weaving with self-expression. It explores a wealth of different techniques and experiments. There are no rules in SAORI except to honor and respect the creativity within each of us.

Last October I took a SAORI workshop from Mihoko from Saori Worcester Studio. She's an amazing teacher, patient and encouraging. The others in the workshop had no problem "letting go" and weaving freestyle, but it was a struggle for me to put aside all the rigid constraints of traditional weaving and just weave in a freeform way. I eventually began to relax and enjoy myself, drawing on childhood memories of creating random freeform art with crayons and paper.

Another aspect of SAORI is the combination of various materials - different yarns, cloth, beads, fiber... anything goes.

I wove this scarf a few weeks ago. I combined several different weights of cotton threads in the warp as well as a novelty ladder yarn. I sleyed the reed in a random fashion - some dents were left empty, some were crowded with many threads. Then I used the novelty ladder yarn as the weft throughout the piece. When I washed it, the ladder yarn created wonderful movement and open spaces.

I really like the wavy undulation, and the chain-like structure in the crowded thread sections. The scarf is soft and drapes nicely.

This piece was a structure exploration. Others will be experiments in color. Looking forward to exploring further!


  1. Beautiful!! Love all the colors and texture ;o)

    1. Thank you, Cyndy! I'm loving the texture too. :)


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