Weaving SAORI style

A beginner's weaving experience with the SAORI weaving loom.

SAORI RUANA

I've been weaving for about a year now. Since I am mostly self-taught, each warp is an experiment where I ask myself...'I wonder what would happen if...'

On this one, I decided to try changing the weft color frequently and see how the colors could be combined to make patterns and textures. 

I started with a narrow warp - about 12" wide - which was a good width for hand weaving with the bobbins. I wove about 7 yards and liked the effect. However, after washing and drying I found that I did not have enough fabric to make what I had in mind.

 Hand weaving with bobbins.  

Hand weaving with bobbins.  

So I set up the loom again in the same way and wove another 7 yards but made it wider so after washing it was 11" wide. So now I had 14 yards of fairly narrow cloth. I was talking to my friend Johnnie about this fabric. I said I was thinking of making a jacket to go over my other tops that I have woven.

She showed me her wool ruana from Ecuador that had a nice drape and was easy to put on and take off.  So after much scribbling and figuring on paper, I cut the two lengths of fabric and sewed them together into a big rectangle with a curved neck opening just like her ruana.

Then I had just the right amount of fabric left to make a scarf which i attached to the back and side of the neck opening, leaving most of the scarf free to tie together or flip over the shoulder. I am delighted with the result!  

 I love how this ruana feels. The cotton and silk SAORI thread makes a fabric that hugs and drapes me comfortably without being too bulky.

I love how this ruana feels. The cotton and silk SAORI thread makes a fabric that hugs and drapes me comfortably without being too bulky.

 We thought about putting buttons on the sides to keep the ruana closed in the wind, but decided that it looked great in motion and not to complicate the process of putting it on and taking it off. Here Johnnie demonstrates flipping the scarf over the shoulder and taking off on an adventure!

We thought about putting buttons on the sides to keep the ruana closed in the wind, but decided that it looked great in motion and not to complicate the process of putting it on and taking it off. Here Johnnie demonstrates flipping the scarf over the shoulder and taking off on an adventure!

 The back shows the panels of different widths that were used. The outermost panels were made by cutting one panel in half and using half on each side. Later I realized that this created a bookend effect and tied the whole piece together visually (which you can see better in the first picture of me).

The back shows the panels of different widths that were used. The outermost panels were made by cutting one panel in half and using half on each side. Later I realized that this created a bookend effect and tied the whole piece together visually (which you can see better in the first picture of me).