What is Saori?



Saori weaving was developed in the 60s by Misao Jo, who at the time was practicing traditional Japanese weaving.  As she wove, she made a “mistake” in her weaving. She found that she liked the way it looked and decided to create more “mistakes”, and began weaving in a way that felt natural to her, without conforming to the standards governing traditional weaving. Using this style of weaving, Misao taught people to nurture their innate creative spirit, and to encourage each person’s unique outlook.  

Saori is both a style of weaving and a philosophy.  Misao saw Saori as life-changing.  When people weave without concern for the correctness of the result, she found that they changed their outlook on life as well, and that their happiness with themselves increased.  

The most life changing part of Saori is the freedom from criticism the artist learns to feel. We say there are no mistakes in Saori.  Some of the most talented weavers are children and the mentally disabled, because they have never learned that there is a "right" way to do things: they do what is pleasing to them without fear. 


Consider the difference between man and machine

Machines are wonderfully efficient and can create many identical items in a short amount of time.  However, the most valued items are often one-of-a-kind creations.  We aren't machines. We have feelings and the freedom to veer from that rigid programming and express our feelings.  What we strive to do is create something uniquely human, weaving that requires a heart and soul. 

Often, when weaving Saori, we weave "without intent": without planning what our finished cloth will be.  This allows us to enjoy the process of creating without being concerned with what we or others will think about our creation. 


See with eyes that shine

Look around you at the world.  Nothing has that machine-like perfection.  In fact, we delight in the unique things around us.  The patterns of leaves on the ground, clouds in the sky, a bright mushroom growing on the forest floor.  Posters on a wall Seeing the unexpected beauty around us inspires us to see the beauty in the unexpected combinations and textures in our weaving.  That childlike delight is exactly how we should live. 


Be bold and fearless

Often when we create, we censor ourselves.  We worry about what others will think, whether what we make will be good enough.  Forget all that!  Whatever you create will be amazing!  Think back to drawing as a child.  We happily drew anything in our heart, convinced it was the best ever.  We didn't have an internal critic.  When we return to that state, we regain confidence and belief in ourself.  And we have a lot more fun. 

Inspire one another, and everyone in the group

We share with each other.  When we share our work and ideas, we gain more than we give.  Working alone can limit our courage in trying new techniques or combinations of yarns.  By supporting each other, the whole is more than the parts.  We en-courage and affirm each other.