A unique textile handmade by disabled people may soon become hot fashion with the help of a local designer who plans to use it in her next collection. Designer Johanna Ho has promised the Arts with the Disabled Association that she will use the cloth - produced by a weaving method known as Saori - to design six outfits to mark the launch of the International Festival of Inclusive Arts 2006 in December, an event for all artists, including the disabled. Association vice-chairwoman Lena Lee Ying said Ho had also promised to invite professional models to volunteer for a catwalk show to auction the collection. It was expected to raise more than $60,000 for the charities that run two Saori workshops. 'We hope the fashion show will open a door for the Saori products to become a fashion trend both in Hong Kong and overseas,' Ms Lee said. Ho could not be reached for comment. The Saori method was founded in Japan in 1968. It involves the use of a simple device to knit the threads into pieces of cloth, so each piece is unique and has its own pattern. Considered an art in Japan, it has become a popular hobby among housewives. The association introduced Saori to welfare agencies in Hong Kong in 1998 to encourage the mentally disabled and elderly to learn the weaving skill. So far, the Salvation Army and the New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association have trained dozens of weavers. But the use of Saori cloth is limited at present to items like scarfs and pouches, which are sold mainly in the workshop showrooms. 'We believe Saori has a lot of potential to be more extensively used in other areas, such as fashion or interior design.' Ms Lee said. 'Saori cloth is usually very colourful, with attractive and eye-catching patterns - and is also excellent material for making tapestries' But she conceded a piece of Saori cloth could be expensive because of the craftsmanship, with scarves costing from $300 to $500. The quality of the thread determines the price. Ms Lee said it could take two weeks to weave a 5-metre-long piece of Saori cloth.