I am so glad that I have completed this piece before the SAORI conference so I can wear it for the fashion show next week. Every time I lead my Japan tour to visit several SAORI studios in Japan or I attend SAORI gatherings, I work hard to make new garments for myself so I won’t end up wearing same clothing in pictures. It’s a good challenge for me to make new clothing to showcase teachers and friends among SAORI weavers.
I chose several different textured white yarn and a space dyed yarn (blue and white) for warp. As soon as I started weaving, I felt that I needed something new. I took the reed off completely from the warp. I used a long ruler for beating. I remembered that Kenzo had showed me how to use cloth pins to bunch up heddles in order to make warp threads’ movement. I took a handful wooden cloth pins and pinch heddles together with them.
I also needed to put some pins on harness frames so heddles won’t slide back to where they were. Then after a while, I move those pins to different sections. That’s why this fabric shows the similar effect as the one we get with a comb reed. However, I prefer this way. At first it was a pain in the neck to put the ruler to beat a weft each shed I made. But eventually it became a part of weaving rhythm and I was not bothered by it at all.
“Don’t make yardage for clothing. Always weave a tapestry. Then, when it’s done, think how to make clothing out of the piece.” The words of Masako Kida came to me. She is the last direct student of Misao and a renowned SAORI cloth making expert. ” I am not making beautiful piece. I am doing SAORI. I am weaving differences between hand weaving and machine weaving.” SO I started making holes. I made five holes which vary sizes in the middle and I made four more holes at the end .
I knew I didn’t want to use any patterns from books or newsletters. I wanted to make my own. I wrapped the fabric around me in front of a mirror, stretched arms, moved the end of fabric over the shoulder, and found one thing. ” I want to use a hole as a armhole.” I cut a section even though I didn’t decide the whole design yet. However, I knew without stepping forward I could not get the whole design from my own experience.
To my surprise, it took a very short time to come to the idea which I liked very much. I wish I can get ideas like this all the time……