Sakiori (saki=rag, oru=weaving) is one technique among the fine arts of resourcefulness and reuse. A worn out, damaged or otherwise ruined garment is torn to shreds and woven over a new warp to find another useful life. I know people who cringe when I tell them that I tear kimono apart, but this is something that the Japanese have always done when a garment was no longer wearable.
This is one of my favorite obi. Chocolate brown and soft, this hanhaba (half width) obi is easy and comfortable to wear, especially with the indigo blue ramie kimono and brown silk pinstripe hakama I like to sport these days. It has a single tear which we can use as an opportunity to examine the weaving more closely:
The silk for this obi likely came from a man’s kimono or hakama and has been torn into very narrow strips. The warp threads are a fine dark brown cotton or possibly silk. The obi has a wonderful feel and flows like… well, like heavy silk.
It may seem odd that I focus on the flaws of a piece, but I prefer to think of flaws as opportunities to see the how textiles wear and age. From these we can infer a bit about both the weaver and the wearer/user of the piece.
More vintage fabric packs will be in the shop today after I brave the 90-100 degree temperatures outside to take photos. I invite you to try your hand at some creative reuse of your own and give these textiles a new life.