What I Learned in My Saori Weaving Class (Other Than How to Weave)

Last weekend I took a Saori class at the Middle Tennessee Fiber Festival at the Dickson Fairgrounds. I had never used a loom before and after two and a half hours, I had a beautiful new textile that I plan to use as a scarf.

Saori is a Japanese style of weaving that began in the 20th century. In fact, the woman who founded it is in her 90s and still weaving today. It extends beyond a craft, into a philosophy.

Leave in mistakes. If you skip a thread it's ok. And actually you should intentionally leave gaps and make mistakes. See what happens when you tie a knot in your thread, play with the tension.

Add treasures. Throw in crumbly bits of yarn and ribbon and see what happens. Add in something you wouldn't think would go.

Don't follow a pattern. You can change colors and techniques throughout. They look different every time. The pattern only comes when you assemble your textiles into a garment.

Learn from another person. They encourage you to take a class from an experienced artisan rather than watch online tutorials. When possible, that's the best way to pass on a skill.

Whether or not I do more Saori Weaving, I plan to use what I've learned to inspire my creativity. The idiosyncrasies are what makes handmade special. Sometimes you have to put the perfectionist aside and create chaos to find beauty.

Sign up for a class at my teacher, Sarah's Huntsville studio http://www.handmadesaori.com