Dyeing To Weave studio is an official and globally recognised SAORI weaving studio based in Clunes in the Central Highland of Victoria. Prue Simmons is the founder of Dyeing To Weave and is an accredited SAORI teacher and official distributor of SAORI looms, equipment and yarns. Prue is passionate about sustainability, self-discovery through free weaving and using natural fibres to create beautiful clothing and textiles.
Dyeing To Weave studio brings together the concepts of SAORI weaving, natural dye, upcycling and repurposing as well as using high quality local llama, alpaca and sheep fibre to produce unique clothing and soft furnishings with a minimal eco-footprint.
Dyeing To Weave is about engaging people with environmentally friendly textiles, a greater sense of sustainability and community and offer people an opportunity to discover their individual creativity and relaxation through workshops and studio sessions in the time-honoured activities of weaving and dye.
At Dyeing To Weave studio, people can learn and enjoy the benefits of SAORI weaving, relax, create and discover their individual expression through the loom! Workshops are held at the studio in Clunes and throughout the state at art studios, community centres and for groups and individual private sessions.
SAORI is a form of freestyle weaving originating from Japan, encouraging creativity and expression in a textile form. In Japanese, the ‘Sa-’ comes from the Zen word ‘sai’ meaning individuality and the ‘-ori’ the word for weaving. Free from the fear of making ‘mistakes’, it allows the weaver to discover easy enjoyment and creativity without the need for ‘perfection’. SAORI weaving encourages a freedom of creativity, appreciating the originality and character of each piece as it is woven. This makes Saori weaving accessible to all ages and abilities, as well as creating incredibly unique pieces of art, clothing and furnishings.
Whilst exploring the remote areas of Japan in 2007, Prue stumbled upon a village devoted to traditional Japanese handicrafts in the mountains of Honshu. Learning the Japanese art of Saori weaving and natural dye techniques, Prue remained in the mountains under the tutelage of Toyomi Harada, a renowned SAORI weaver.
Prue has returned to live at the Japanese village many times over the last 10 years, further honing her SAORI weaving skills and assisted with teaching weaving classes at the village. Prue draws her inspiration from the landscape, colours of nature, texture and natural fibres and dyes.
SAORI weaving is often like painting, the loom becomes the brush and the threads provide the palette of colours and textures.
As one of only three SAORI weaving teachers in Australia, Prue is excited to share the art of SAORI weaving with Australia and her new local community and across Victoria.
Along with her husband Stace, Prue has established a sustainable farm in Central Victoria called White Stone Farm. Here she raises llamas and promotes and educates about Holistic Living, getting people back in touch with the seasons, natural living, wholesome food, permaculture and sustainability.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) came out to White Stone Farm and did a great story on Prue’s SAORI weaving and the sustainable farming venture. Check out the video and story here.
SAORI weaving allows creativity to flow, the use of natural fibres and the production of beautiful items to wear, enjoy or just appreciate for their woven complexity.
With the White Stone Farm llamas for fleece production, Prue has a steady resource of beautiful natural fibre to weave her pieces. Combined with other local wool and alpaca fibre, handspun and woven on the loom, Prue’s weaving is the essence of local, sustainable and resourceful.
Each individual thread and woven piece in SAORI provides a great representation of how our world is woven together from many different individuals, colours and textures to become a rich and wondrous tapestry of Life.
In 2013, a surprise job redundancy in the environmental not-for-profit sector turned Prue’s world on its head – and finally provided the additional time and energy to open a weaving studio in earnest.
With the ability to turn adversity into opportunity, Prue was finally able to focus more attention, energy and commitment to her passion of sustainable textiles at White Stone Farm and Dyeing To Weave was born!
Follow Prue’s journey as she weaves colour, texture, and the philosophy of self-discovery through sustainable textiles and holistic living into the world!