Updated: Nov 4, 2021
Fibreshed is a nonprofit organization created in California by Rebecca Burgess in order to create a bio-regional textile and fibre community that shares skills and thrives on principles of ecological balance, local economy, and regional organic agriculture. These fibreshed communities aim to use their resources to make permanent and long lasting systems of production as well as take in account their creation’s lifecycle so that they are ecologically responsible. This organization has groups throughout America, Canada, Europe, and Australia.
In Canada, as of 2017, we have fibresheds in the following locations:
Sunshine Coast: https://sunshinecoastfibreshed.ca/
Atlantic Canada: www.facebook.com/atlanticcanadafibreshed
Upper Canada: uppercanadafibreshed.ca
Each of these fibresheds share similar mandates and are devoted to cultivating and supporting local fibre artisans, mills, spinners, dyers, and fibre supplier. There are some differences in terms of radius considered includes in each fibreshed.
The Upper Canada Fibreshed is a great place to begin if you want to learn about this movement. It has a fabulous website that lists it member producers. It also hosts workshops such as Farm to Felt – Felted Slippers, a day-long workshop in which participants learn about felt making using wool from local farms in the Upper Canada Fibreshed.
Also the Upper Canada Fibreshed store sells lots of lovely goodies for felt artists: Pelts, yarns, raw fleece, and batts.
BC’s Sunshine Coast Fibreshed also has a great list of resources. You can find anything you need from information about fibreshed founder, Rebecca Burgess, to information about farms supplying fleece, roving, batting, natural coloured yarn to the name of a great shearer. It also has information about the local weaving guild, resources for fibre producers. and a wealth of information on natural dyeing. Their directory is also very helpful. It contains names of local artisans, producers, and vendors.
Each of these organizations is a treasure trove of information for those eager to use ecologically sound fibre and textiles. They all post upcoming events that are intriguing for those who love fibre. Take an hour or two on a quiet afternoon to learn what they have to offer. You won’t be disappointed.