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Fabric, Fibre & Thread. Until September 26th 2022. Part II Louise Cook – Saori Weaver

The magic in the handwoven works of Louise Cook the Saori Weaver in my opinion lies in the details. The gallery above highlights some of these in the works currently on display in the gallery.

The basic nature of Saori style weaving is tabby or over under two shaft work. It is a time honoured way to create cloth – essentially just interlocking the horizontal and vertical threads. It can be done essentially on no equipment. Any loom device with lifting mechanisms makes the process faster than picking up every alternate thread by finger. Other aspects of the loom enable the threads to be kept at regular alternations and spaces so the cloth has a more predictable and possibly stable surface. The rhythm of the alternating up or down sequence of the threads is determined by threading through heddles. The spacing is achieved through the comb-like device called a reed. the reed usually sits in the beater and is used to pack down the horizontal rows of thread that gradually create the cloth. I should add here that there are users of the Saori Looms ( and other looms as well) that choose not to use the reed so they can free-style the thread spacings.

An example of the reed threaded with warp threads on a Saori style loom. the heddles are sitting behind the reed – shiny metallic pieces on 2 different racks.

As the fundamental structure of the cloth is the 2 shaft tabby the richness is introduced into the fabric surfaces through the use of textured yarns, spontaneous combinations of extra pieces being added, etc. In fact by manipulations of the regular flat face of the fabric in any way that comes into the weaver’s mind as they are working with the materials. This “spontaneity” can also be carefully planned to achieved a desired outcome for a pre-designed work.

Louise’s works have a wide range of wonderful materials in them – cashmere, wool, silk, antique fabrics etc etc. Many of these have been created for saori practitioners and are supplied through the Saori network.

Her garments carry her hallmark whimsy and connection to the natural world with found wild objects used as fasteners or detail pieces..

Her hat collection is a very distinctive body of work and well worth a visit to the gallery to see up close and personal.

Louise maintains a very active workshop and demonstration profile in spreading her love for the freedom she finds in the Saori style weaving. She is resident at the gallery in Opunake from 15th -26th September 2022 and will be working on her looms then. Her artist page on the website is .

Louise is also offering a workshop to show people how to take their handwoven cloth and make it into low waste garments. Here is the link for the workshop and all the registration details.

Her instagram handle is

Her website is

Her facebook page is

Check these out for a feast of images and her updates.