2019 Wool Symposium

Partnerships that Elevate

The 8th annual Fibershed Symposium will explore the role of partnership in elevating and activating right relationship with bioregional material culture.

From soil to skin, partnerships elevate our experience with fiber and dye systems, our opportunity to implement meaningful and vital work, our hope and resilience in a changing climate, and our potential to find common ground. At present, there are many points of disconnection between humans, plants, and animals, and from this separation stems confusion, ignorance, and even division in our human communities. Through partnering with one another we engage, we participate, we carry responsibility, and we are nurtured.

In this year’s Symposium, we will look into how we support one another in generating a vision, a practice, and in turn, an in-perpetuity culture invested in managing whole systems with heart, wisdom, and intellect. We will converse and ask questions about modern ideas of sustainability and deconstruct popular narratives whose time has come to be re-evaluated and elevated.

(Illustration by Nina and Sonya Montenegro of The Far Woods)

2018 Wool Symposium

Fire Ecology & Fiber Systems: wisdom to manage the natural and textile resources in our community

We deepened our understanding of human-led land management practices that include the use of fire as a tool for land regeneration. We heard from a spectrum of young women and men who are working diligently to restore ecological function in our farm, range, and open space districts by reintegrating fiber-producing animals into croplands. We learned more about the ‘functional use’ stage of a garment and hear from those that are seeking new ways to support us in retaining higher quality garments and textiles for much longer periods of time than what we see manifest in the throw away models promulgated by faster forms of fashion. (Illustration by Laurie Sawyer)

Videos of the presentations are available for viewing here.

2017 Wool Symposium

Nature’s Resilience: Illuminating the Cycles & Processes that Clothe Us

The 2017 Wool & Fine Fiber Symposium provided education to the general public about how current textile systems are impacting our health, water, carbon and genetic life and how the replication of decentralized, regional, transparent, and regeneratively produced Fibershed soil-to-skin value chains are a direct alternative to existing industrial models and the havoc these systems have imparted on our personal and global ecology. (Illustration by Hallie Rose Taylor)

Videos of the presentations are available for viewing here.




2016 Wool Symposium

For the Love of Place

Fibershed’s 2016 Wool Symposium panels and presentations focused on regional breeding strategies, biological and mechanical technology, Climate Beneficial Wool, ‘prosumption,’ true cost of raising sheep and making a garment by hand, the history of sheep production in our region, and a special visit by a distant Fibershed Affiliate community organizer who shared how their community is cross pollinating urban and rural sectors. (Illustration by Amanda Coen)

Videos of the presentations are available for viewing here.




2015 Wool Symposium

Our Soils & Our Second Skin

The Symposium featured presentations on collaborations between fiber farmers and designers, local RCDs and carbon farming, soil carbon sampling, drought tolerant sheep breeds: Navajo-Churro & Santa Cruz Island Sheep. (Illustration by Hallie Rose Taylor)

Videos of the presentations are available for viewing here.





2014 Wool Symposium

Enhancing Diversity — The Ecology of Wool

The Symposium featured informative presentations on breeding practices that build heirloom garments, plus predator- and pollinator-friendly practices that harmonize and blur the line between wild and domestic spaces, all bringing beauty and function to our fields and wardrobes. (Illustration by Alycia Lang)

Videos of the presentations are available for viewing here.





2013 Wool Symposium

Climate and the Clothes We Wear

Presentations included talks about the carbon cycle and how we can help reverse climate change through the management of our farmlands and rangelands, about modern day shepherding, about natural medicine for our animals, and about Fibershed’s research on the California Wool Mill Project and our findings on the six-month-long Fibershed wool inventory project. (Photo by Dustin Kahn)

Videos of the presentations are available for viewing here.