I really love the Saori ethic, and I think it can also be applied to the way we spin our weaving yarn. I use a spindle a lot of the time because it provides me with an oasis of calm and I feel very centred and connected with the process going through my fingers.I like my yarns to be soft and organic, so that people want to touch it, and this flows through to knitted garment.

Has anyone woven with their handspun, and can you bring the essence of handspun through to the woven item? I'm probably expressing this badly. Lots of weavers spin their own yarns, but it seems to me that once you have produced a weaving yarn and beaten it into submission, the beauty of the handspun has been all but hidden by the warp and weft pattern's progression, and its the formality of the yardage that then becomes all important, not the character of the yarn that made it.




I think I understand the distinction. I am currently weaving a length that incorporates handspun wool accents in a cotton fabric. They are sometimes uneven and may do something unpredictable when wet finished. The suspense has me excited!

jeannine (not verified)

hi  to all,

this is what i made with my homespun yarn.I made a weaving with a lot of spacing in the warp there you can see the handspun  on it own without interferance of the warp.


Caroline (not verified)

hi Jeannine, yes this is what I'm trying to say! The handspun retains its own characteristics, while working as part of the whole weaving, and  neither overpowers the other, and yes, I'd have my fingers twitching to have a quick touch! It looks inviting! 

For me, its like the difference between fleece, and some beautiful and fine, but soul-less merino tops thats have been so processed they no longer have any identifying characteristics - we believe its merino tops because thats what we are told, not what our senses tell us. I go for the fleece every time!

saorifun (not verified)

I learned how to spin on a spinning wheel a couple of years ago.  It is so calming, but I am a very very beginner. I spend time weaving rather than spinning.

Though I've used my spun yarn and I liked it. I can't spin a lot for a whole piece, so I mixed home spun yarn and regular weaving yarn.

I would like to spin free-form just like SAORI (this is just an excuse. I don't think I can be a very good spinner anyway), too and mix it with regular yarn.

Speaking of yarn, since SAORI focuses on colors and textures rather than techniques, I am having hard time finding tactile weaving yarn here in the U.S.

I purchase tactile yarn from SAORI factory in Japan.


suzyhok (not verified)

 What a wonderful wallhanging!  The holes and the spaced warp create a very interesting effect.  There's NOTHING like handspun!

I once went to a presentation of a sewer who felt it was important to rub your fingers from the needle down the thread several times saying to yourself "Beautiful thread, you are going to create a beautiful piece!"  Just think all the wonderful charma that is imbedded in handspun yarn!

Thanks for sharing!

lindaspins (not verified)

I've only done a couple of woven pieces with handspun, and am currently spinning for a weaving project.

What I've loved so far is the color effects that I get--I often choose to spin dyed top because the colors sing to me! There's no way I could get that effect with any other yarn.

My current spinning project is going to be pattern weft , most likely for overshot. While I can't say that it will preserve any special qualities of the yarn being handspun, I know that nothing else will ever repeat the look of this yarn in this project.

Someday I'm going to spin warp for a (SMALL) Navajo style weaving--I have a Navajo Churro fleece and a Navajo spindle--and I just want to know how it feels!



Cheekyredhead (not verified)

I've been spinning for longer than any of my other fiber addictions and yes I've always brought the Saori mind set to spinning even before I knew what Saori was.  One of my favorite ways to spin space dyed fiber is to pull it apart length wise into random widths to spin my singles and then navajo ply (chain ply) the yarn.  Then really love to use it for both warp and weft.  The fabric has a sort of plaid quality to it but there's nothing planned about it.  Currently I've been using my charka to spin cotton in various natural colors.  I also have some dyed cotton that needs to be carded into punis.  I'll be using the yarns I come up with for my first truly Saori woven cloth.

When I teach spinning I try to get my students into the right mindset so that they let go of any expectations of what their yarn may turn out to be.

SaoriSaltSpring (not verified)

I have found that Saori has a way of influencing many of the things that I do - not just my weaving.  My spinning, my crochet, my life....

I made a scarf using my handspun - some singles for the weft, two-ply for the warp.  I haven't done a lot of spinning either, but I also love the Saori approach and like the thick and thin of my inexperienced spinning.  I don't ever seem to have enough time to spin as I spend more time on my weaving - so when I made this scarf, it used up all of my handspun from various years and yarns.

Happy Weaving and Spinning,


dragondancer (not verified)

Hi!  This is my first post and I hope the photo display works!


This is a sample woven for a tapestry I currently weaving.  The weft is handspun Romney singles, dyed in the roving.  Most of the shapes are products of the yarn, not tapestry techniques.  I decided that, if I was going to add the extra time in spinning my tapestry yarns, the yarn was going to have to do much of the work for me:




So, yes, I do think that the characteristics of handspun can be maintained in weaving and can, in fact, enhance any woven piece. 




suzyhok (not verified)

Your tapestry is lovely!  The colors are delicious! .Did you dye your yarn in the wool or after you spun it? Thanks so much for sharing.

dragondancer (not verified)

Thank you.  I dye before I spin.  In some cases, I paint or dye the fibres in dramatic colour shifts. Sometimes, I dye gradations.  The fibre is then spun as singles, blocked on a pvc niddy noddy and woven as singles.

Dyeing in the roving gives me more random colours--I can simply go with whatever colour appears or I can exercise some control in the weaving by breaking off sections of the yarn.

I finished a larger tapestry this spring using the same principles with undyed colours in a mix of fibres.  I spun a variety of wools, alpaca and mohair and wove a freeform piece which emphasized the textures of the handspun yarns.  (I haven't been able to get a decent photograph of this tapestry, yet.)

It's important to me to consider the properties of handspun yarns when using them in woven pieces.  I think that handspun yarns should enhance a work, not detract from it or be suppressed by one's chosen technique.

suzyhok (not verified)

 It is obvious that the care you take with each and every fiber enhances the overall effect of your work.  You are painting with yarns.  It is even more impressive learning that you dye/paint your own fibers.  Would love to see you add this and your larger natural colored tapestry to your project page with some closer images as well!  Thank you -- your work is inspiring!

djfiberarts (not verified)

I am a spinner. I use top whorl drop spindle and takhli spindle.


fantasticfelter (not verified)

even if the handspunness so to speak is lost in the weaving appearance, the feel and drape, besides the "energy" emitting from the piece will translate and come across from using your hand spun yarn.

francorios (not verified)

Rabbitgeek.com is my website. My sons started in 4H rabbit project in 1999 and we had a wonderful time going to rabbit shows, fairs, national livestock shows and conventions, etc. My sons no longer show rabbits.

Until recently, we had angora rabbits. My lovely wife Tracy was the chief angora wrangler. Because of the rabbits, we learned to spin the fiber. We used to throw it away until we found out people would buy all we had for $5 or $6 per ounce!

Anyway, I learned to use a drop spindle. My lovely wife Tracy started out with needle felting, but soon was spinning with a Babe Electric Flyer electric spinning wheel. Then she discovered the Knifty Knitter knitting looms and knitted up a ton of scarves and hats.

I also designed a cardboard spinning wheel/charkha that can be built for under $20. www.rabbitgeek.com/charka.html

Once I started spinning yarn, I knitted a scarf. Then I decided to try weaving. I'm learning all I can about weaving now.

The rabbits started us out in fiber projects. We still have bags of fiber to spin and handspun yarn for weaving and knitting.

Have a good day!

Michele (not verified)

You have captured the airy open feel of your handspun beautifully!! It is like a living thing and in this piece I see it still breathes and looks alive!

Bless you for this gift - you have inspired me!



Michele (not verified)

Well said Caroline!

I am currently hand carding a romney fleece I hand washed and skirted. I have a drum carder but honestly use it for blending and preparing batts for felting more than anything else.

I enjoy the calming act of hand picking each lock and watching it fluff and bloom!

I dyed a selection of these rolags and have been attemping to spin them as I have heard Noro yarn is done...the colorchange is longer than my usualy hand painted wool, but I am as yet unsure if this is the method I will feel truely creates what I am seeking.

I have always dreamed of weaving like this, since the 80s when weaving caputred my heart until this last couple of years when I could finally get a loom (s). I have been exploring the Journey Loom and loving the Keyforms that are created on it - in addition to the deeply spiritual way the loom and the warp/weft is viewed. BUT is looks to me that with Saori - I have foudn what my heart has been looking for for YEARS!

Well - at 50, it's never too late!!

Michele in Southern California

SaoriSaltSpring (not verified)

Certainly at 50 is not too late at all!  Misao Jo who started the whole philosophy of Saori weaving in Japan was 57 at the time.  She's still weaving & teaching at 96.  LOTS of time!!

Happy Weaving,


Caroline (not verified)

I bought myself a Journey Loom a month ago, and its like having a portable Saori loom.

I must send off for a copy of the Saori book, as I don't think I can get it here in Australia, and one thing that Weavolution has done for me is crystallise how I feel about weaving and what I want to achieve. Meeting so many other weavers, reading what they have to say and seeing their work is fantastic and inspirational!

Its such an easy way to become grounded and at peace, its a wonder that doctors don't recommend it instead of Valium!

SaoriSaltSpring (not verified)

I just bought one too for the same reason.  The Saori looms are portable - but not 'take along in a backpack' portable.  I just received the delivery notice today so will be heading in to the post office to pick it up tomorrow!

The Saori book can be ordered from Japan - I can put you in touch with someone there if you like.

So great that Weavolution has helped you in that way!

Happy Weaving,


marywareodc (not verified)

I've only really woven with my handspun - apart from a couple of times with bought warp yarn.  I started weaving because I loved spinning so much and couldn't knit it all, and now I love to weave and I'm wandering around techniques learning new things all the time. (Haven't yet explored Saori). I think it gives double the pleasure to know that this piece of fabric started out as raw smelly fleece and you've done it all, and just handling the yarn in dressing the loom etc is part of that.  It can be a bit uneven but so's my weaving so that's OK.  There is a group here for weaving with handspun if you're interested.  No age is too late to learn and enjoy something new!

suzyhok (not verified)

I finally created a SAORI piece and blogged about it here...

SaoriSaltSpring (not verified)

YAY!  And welcome to Saori :)

Happy Weaving,


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