Fiber Arts: Spinning, Dying, Weaving, Knitting, etc.

by Catherine Haug

With the advent of mass-produced garments, blankets and rugs, we have largely grown to take these items for granted. But as fuel becomes scarce and prices rise, we may no longer be able to have these items trucked into our stores from distant factories.

As little as three generations ago, it was not uncommon for people to weave their own cloth and sew their own garments. Nearly every home had a loom, and the more fortunate had a treadle sewing machine. Anticipated shortages in our future may bring back these old traditions and provide opportunities for entrepreneurial enterprise in the making of cloth and garments.

Fiber arts are becoming popular today, as wearable art and gifts. Yarn stores are thriving as people learn how to knit, crochet and weave. People are raising alpaca, llama and sheep for their valuable wool. And ESP is planning a gathering next year on weaving and spinning, presented by the Alpine Spinning and Weaving Guild.

My friend Kevynne in Portland, belongs to a group of weavers and spinners, and writes about their doings in her blog. Her most recent entry was about dying wool using natural dyes: chamomile, pecan leaves, dodder, indigo and cochineal. This includes wonderful photos.  Check it out: Another Good Day to Dye.

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