“Fiber Web” On the Pacific Northwest Coast

Sheep farmers, wool mill owners and processors, yarn shop owners, and wool artisans on the not too far away Olympic Peninsula in Western Washington have banded together, with assistance from the Northwest Cooperative Development Center and the US Department of Agriculture’s Rural Community Development fund, to create the Pacific Northwest Fiber Web cooperative. This 12-minute documentary describes the state of the niche wool industry in that area and how the Fiber Web is making a difference by fostering mutual support among its members.

Their stated mission is to optimize local resource management of fiber production and create high quality, regionally branded merchandise to support the local fiber community by developing an Olympic Peninsula “fibershed”, providing fiber growers and artisans an economic return to help sustain their small farm wool raising and crafting traditions.

As a shop owner who finds it impossible to consistently source locally produced yarn, I think it be wonderful to have a local organization modeled on this one. Could we do it?

Becoming a Weaver

An inspiring and thought-provoking video. This four-part, 2010 documentary from the Crafts Council UK follows three individuals in their pioneering Hothouse program for emerging makers – fashion designer Holly Berry, ex-City business annalist Tref Davies and craft-writer Momtaz Begum-Hossain – as they are provided an opportunity not only learn to weave but to jump-start a weaving career.

The film does a good job of portraying how three weavers’ different attitudes and aptitudes toward the mechanics of weaving and the creative process either hamper and help as they learn to weave.

Not sure what became of Tref and Momtaz, but Holly Berry has become a proessional weaver and she is making a living in London with her craft. Check out her website and also find her on Instagram and Facebook.