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Saori Woven Shibori Weekend

Woven shibori Saori style

Gail’s Saori Woven Shibori cloth at the unveiling.

That’s a mouthful – “Saori Woven Shibori”

But that’s what much of last weekend’s Saori cloth turned out to be. The full two day workshop was small but very inspiring and productive. It allowed more experimentation and the dyebath helped us along. As two of the participants were already Saori weavers and had done previous workshops it was time to step out again.

Woven shibori is shibori (tie-dye) using the loom and the weaving sheds to place the stitching threads to create resist marks on the cloth. This ‘stitiching’ is usually done with a more complex loom providing the pattern of the stitchers. (In traditional shibori stitching is done after the cloth is created.)With a two shaft Saori loom we manually pick up the stitching rows allowing a very improvisational, organic and potentially complex system of marks.

Woven Shibori Saori style

Marilyn’s Saori Woven Shibori cloth

Armed with a little knowledge about dyes and what they may or may not do we subjected the white woven cloth to the dyebath with great anticipation of the results. Woven shibori is a very exciting technique in this way. Gail and Marilyn choose a rusted brown as the dye colour.

We used a 10/2 white tencel warp base for the shibori. Although it seems stiff when taken off the loom it develops a sheeny, soft handle on finishing. Tencel is a cellulose fibre and any wool that was woven into the cloth didn’t overdye, leaving a fantastic textural quality that worked with the sheen of the tencel.

One would think that metres of woven shibori would be enough for a weekends work…but no!

Saori cloth

Pam’s first ever handwoven textile

Pam was a new weaver in the group and how great it is to have brand new weavers. Their sense of wonder is catching. They make me feel that I’m on the right track.

Up and weaving immediately, Pam had that real design sense with her colour choice and how she worked in inlays throughout her piece. Some rows of freestyle leno were thrown into the mix too. They always have that wow! factor. Weaving nearly 1.5 metres for a scarf she then decided to weave another necklet piece in the WWW technique and wear it home. So many ways to make those warp threads twist and turn.

Amongst all this weaving there was also opportunity for reviewing the warping process and using some of the particular features of the Saori warping board, cross box and threading holder.

WWW technique

Pam’s WWW technique weaving and scarf

Marilyn warped up a special warp to take home on her travelling inside set and Gail created a warp to stay in my studio waiting for someone to weave their own magic into it. This might become a new practice for me to share warp designs with others when visiting the studio.

Another great studio weekend. Special thank you to Gail, Pam and Marilyn.

warping on the Saori warping board

Warping and travelling with warps

A Note about Saori Woven Shibori. This method is an adaptation of ‘traditional’ woven shibori. In the Saori inspired spirit of weaving we are using improvisational pattern stitchers which are developed as the weaving progresses rather than pre-set in the pattern threading. The Saori concept is suited to this interpretive method of the technique, hence I have used the word ‘Saori’ to describe it. However I’m sure woven shibori is done this way by many without attaching the word Saori! It can be used in many weaving situations and is great fun. Here is a post on pick up shibori from the past.


blended colour weave

Marilyn’s blended colour weave

Weaving the Woven Shibori

Gail weaving the woven shibori


3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Gail Ellis #

    Thank you Kaz for that wonderful weekend journey. I left the workshop feeling so inspired.
    I am about to wind a new white! Warp and weave another length of shibori. Thanks so much to Pam and Marilyn for their company. We really did have a productive weekend.

    March 19, 2015
  2. Marilyn Rutledge #

    Thank you Kaz for another amazing workshop. Thoroughly enjoyed doing the saori woven shibori scarf. Also doing another warp was a fantastic refresher and loved so much doing the shadow blended colour weave.

    Thank you also to Dave for making us all such amazing herbal teas and cleaning up after us all.

    It was lovely to meet and spend time with Gail and Pam and hope to catch up with you both in the future.

    Look forward to another fun saori workshop with you in the future Kaz.


    March 28, 2015
  3. What wonderful, gorgeous creations from the Curious Weaver studio!! Well done gals! So very inspiring! 🙂

    April 7, 2015

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