Where is fiber grown & raised in your community? How is fabric made, and who sews, knits, or makes clothing?
Exploring these questions presents the opportunity to get to know your fibershed — the geographical landscape that defines and gives boundaries to a natural textile resource base. Awareness of this bioregional designation engenders appreciation, connectivity, and sensitivity for the life-giving resources within our homelands.
(at left, flax grows in a western Wisconsin field, part of the Three Rivers Fibershed. Photo by Andrea Myklebust.)
Fibershed Affiliates are grounded in place-based community organizing efforts that work to connect fiber farmers, processors and artisans. Fibershed offers Affiliate members ways to share stories, and enhance their organizing efforts, through online Webinars, social media, networking, and project feedback.
Explore the Fibershed Affiliate network and get involved in your bioregion by visiting the Affiliate Directory.
From design challenges to community education projects, the Fibershed Affiliate network includes over 40 groups worldwide with a diverse array of interests and a shared goal of strengthening regional fiber systems.
Examples of these efforts include:
- Organizing and publishing local fiber producer and artisan interviews, tours, and educational field trips (shown above, Affiliate organizer Shannon Welsh in the field with members of the Pacific Northwest Fibershed)
- Hosting natural dyeing and fiber arts classes that embrace or raise awareness for materials sourced locally
- Creating a short film that explores your fiber system, like ‘A Fibreshed for London‘ by Jessica Smulders Cohen of the Greater London Fibreshed Affiliate
- Challenging oneself to create a ‘totally local’ ensemble, as organized by the One Year One Outfit Affiliate (organizer Nicki Taylor, shown at right in Australian grown & sewn garments)
- Raising funds to bring fiber processing equipment and skills to your region, exemplified by Northern Minnesota Fibershed Affiliate organizer Keila McCracken, whose Hattersley Loom can bridge the gap between fiber farmers and clothing designers in her region (shown at lower right)
- Collaborating with fiber producers and artisans to create a runway show highlighting local fashion, such as the award-winning Peggy Sue Collection presentation which partnered with the Upper Canada Fibreshed
For those interested in creating a new Fibershed Affiliate group, please download the application for more details on the vision and application process: Affiliate Application 2016