Friday, October 18, 2013

What is a saori loom? For that matter what is Saori?

The studio is returning to some normalcy this week. Classes and student visits resume. One of my frequently asked  questions is"  how is a saori loom different different from other looms, and what is Saori"?

 Saori is a philosphy . more info  here saorisantacruz as well as equipment, and looms.
You approch weaving with out preconcived objectives or rules and start weaving in a stream that leads you down adventurous fun exciting avenues you never could have experienced by over thinking like in most  conventional weaving . "Humans over machines".
It was founded in Japan by Misao Jo in 1969. you can read more about it in the english Saori book "SAORI: SELF INOVATION THROUGH FREE WEAVING"  more book info  which has loads of inspirations , tecniques and sewing patterns for handwovens, and info on the saori looms and equipment and how to use it. A great book for anyone who weaves whether they have a saori loom or not.

Janice  and her husband visited California for a wedding and Saori Santa Cruz was on her list  of places to visit. she emailed me a few weeks before and we scheduled a visit/class.
She is a artist in her own right, she makes  lovely jewelry and crochets and knits , but is new to the weaving world. She and her husband came to the studio and she got to try out the various saori looms, the  classic saori 60, the folding wx60 wood with wheels , the wx60 with height extenders for taller weavers and the little Piccolo loom.
I explained the differences in saori looms and weaving approches. she travels for work so the piccolo was exiting for her to consider,but she really  loved the wx60 saori loom link and the brightly colored ready made warps rolls available for it along with it's versatility too.

She also tryed on some of my  hand woven ,sewn and designed by me  Saori pieces for sale. Here she is trying on the "parrots of telegraph hill jacket"
It was a nice visit,  her husband asked questions as well and they left with information and a better idea of how Saori looms work, and feel a very nice vist with very nice people.

Another student started a series of classes.
Kacie attended my open studio tour the week before and fell in love with the concept of weaving her own cloth. So she signed up for classes and is now learning how to wind her own warp,  and  dress the saori loom and weave a scarf from her color choices.

  Chosing your own color and textures of yarn is so very important and individual.

  In order to weave a few rules need to used like learning to wind a warp and make the porry cross to keep all the warps in order .
Saori warping frames/boards  with the  optional stand ( easel like base)   warping frame to allow it to be places any where are so easy to use .The large basket held her coned yarn that she chose form the shelves for her warp.

 Here Kacie is threading the reed . In Saori equipment you can use the  cross holder Saori cross holder in place of lease sticks and the  saori threading holder to sley the reed and thread the heddles comfortably and take them over to your loom a big back saver.
  until next week watch as her scarf becomes a reality...

Ariel recently moved and will be attending school and since her inroduction to Saori weaving she has wanted a saori loom. Because she is in small living situation she decided that the PICCOLO would be just right for now.
 She tried it out, and fell in love with it...

 It only weighs 15 pounds closes in a second or two to a 6" wide space and is ideal for travel / RV, weaving outside, and all types of situations where a larger looms may not be possible. It also adjusts to a lower setting for children as young as 4 to weave on, the only  floor loom made for that age of child so it is very versatile. Not all of the saori cool options and accessories fit on the piccolo however but you can get inside sets for it . That  allows you to switch out a in process weaving and put a new one on with out rethreading in about 10 minutes.

So very happy  a  new piccolo went home with her , with some accessories, bobbins shuttles etc and she  assembled it and was happily weaving on it in her home by the afternoon of the same day!

Ariel sent me a photo and this is what she has woven in less than 24 hours at home after getting her new saori piccolo loom!

Peaceful weaving in the redwoods
Jill Nickolene


  1. Lovely to hear of new people falling in love with weaving!

  2. I think the accessibility of weaving for all abilities is making a huge sea change allowing non weavers to not be intimidated by always having to wind a warp on a warping board for example . The advantage of the innovative designs that the Japanese are know for and applying it like in Saori looms and saori premade warps rolls to get small children , or dissabled weavers as well as just busy people happily weaving with out the dressingo the loom thing is opening this craft to many more who whould never have approched it.. The Less intimidating equipment and philosophies, from my point of view, is so refreshing . i agree i love seeing more new weavers!
    peaceful weaving


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