Saori weaving is a freestyle weaving technique invented in Osaka by Misao Jo, a Japanese woman who promotes the beauty of imperfect handwoven textiles. The rules in Saori weaving is having no rules, to relax and follow no direction different to your creativity, to find your true uniqueness through the thread and loom.
The centre of Saori weaving, Saorinomori, lands in Osaka. This is where the Saori looms are built and the space where anyone, regardless of their abilities can learn this technique. Nevertheless, Saori has become popular around the world. People often come to Japan to learn about it and there are also certified centres in other countries. People love it so much because of its technical simplicity and the rather small size of the looms.
If you are in Tokyo, there is a lovely place in Jiyugaoka/Kichijoji dedicated to Saori weaving called Jota 28, where you can visit anytime, enroll as a student or just join a one day workshop. The Jiyugaoka branch is where these photos were taken.
Two friends and I decided to spent a day weaving, so when we found ourselves in a room full of colour threads, sunlight coming through the windows, relaxing music and a kettle on, we knew it was going to be brilliant. Memories of using small looms as a little girl at school suddenly came back and I let myself go. Four hours later, my mind came back to Japan, back to the Saori workshop where I made this:
This was another day dedicated to creativity and to a journey through japanese textiles. I haven’t decided what I’ll do with my final piece, so for now is hanging proudly on my wall.
If you are an experienced weaver or have tried Saori AND traditional weaving, I’d love to hear what you think about both!