Knitting with sari silk yarn has recently become quite fashionable. As Sari shops are quite plentiful in London, I thought that I would try to make my own sari yarn and weave with it using it as a weft yarn.
Narrow strips of pre-woven cloth are recylced and used in many forms of weaving, such as rag rugs, Finnish poppana or Japanese Sakiori. In Poppana, the cloth is cut on the bias, so that the fuzzy bits of the cloth become part of the design of the cloth, creating a chenille effect. In Sakiori the cloth is cut into narrow strips and rewoven to make kimono fabric. I purchased a 6 meter length of sari cloth. Using a rotary cutter, I cut the cloth into 1 inch wide strips. I think in future I will make the strips slightly narrower, perhaps 3/4″, to create a finer weight of cloth. You can experiment with the width of the yarn to see what works best for your project.
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I put a 6 yard warp onto my loom because I want to make a few different types of fabric using a variety of weft yarns. I am planning on using these fabrics to sew some purses or bags, each one slightly different. For warp, I used a 6 ply Finnish ‘Kalalanka’ yarn, cotton, 2100 ypp. You could subsitute this with another cotton yarn of a similar yardage.
- Warp: 6 yards – 6 ply Kalalanka
- Sett: 10 epi
- Warp Width: 20 inches
- # ends: 200
- Weft: 12 ppi
In addition to the ‘sari yarn’ I also used a single ply hemp singles. I wove the fabric using 2 shuttles, throwing the sari yarn as twill, and alternating with a tabby shot of hemp singles.
Recycled Sari cloth on the loom.
The variations in the original sari cloth give interesting effects when rewoven.
Recycled Sari cloth on loom
For the remaining warp I have used both a thick and a thin hemp yarn, varying the treadling. I used a 6 ply hemp for the twill shots and a hemp singles for the tabby shots.
Black Hemp Weft
Purple Hemp Weft
Here are a few patterns for sewing bags and purses, that can be used with your hand woven cloth.
Square Bottom Tote Bag Pattern
Placemat Purse Pattern
Clutch Purse Pattern Beaded Bag Knitting
Not woven – This is a knitted bag – which I included because I thought it was a cool technique.