Images via Koron007

Centuries ago, fabric was a rare and precious commodity only the wealthy could afford. So people treasured old and worn-out pieces of clothing to recycle and reuse in order to make new clothes. Thus the sakiori was born.

Sakiori comes from the word “saki which means to tear up or rip and “ori” which means weave. Recycling old fabric remnants into sakiori weavings follows the Japanese indispensable concept of “mottainai” or not wasting precious cloth that can prolong the fabric’s useful life through recycling and reuse. 

Weaving all these remnants of fabric was immensely hard work back then, however very rewarding and worth the effort as clothing made from repurposed cotton was vastly warmer, softer, and more durable than the rough linens that could be made from Japan’s natural fibers. 

Sakiori was mostly used to make rugs and covers, but also clothes – mostly jackets and vests. Today, the technique is experiencing a resurgence as a “green”, ethical and economical art form.

 

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Sources I used to write this post:  Sakiori History, Sakiori Weaving, Sakiori Bag.

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