Local fibre artists and producers are organizing the second annual 100 Mile Fleece and Fibre Fair this weekend and are inviting everyone to see what can be done with locally made clothing and material.
“It’s great for anyone looking for alternatives to polyester and petroleum based clothing and materials,” summed up Karen Miller, one of the volunteer organizers.
Last year the first local fair of its kind was a huge success, standing room only, she said and this year they have even more tables and vendors from up and down the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island.
The use of local fibres from a variety of sheep, llama, alpaca, angora rabbits and others is an increasing trend shown through the popularity of things like the 100 mile diet, where people buy food produced as close to home as possible, Miller pointed out.
Organizers say buying locally produced clothes or making them yourself saves carbon by not shipping them from China, uses little or no chemicals to clean other than soap, and no animals are killed.
Their fleece needs to be shorn each year to keep the animals healthy.
There will be yarn and finished products for sale, displays, demonstrations and family friendly hands on activities to show how local fibres can be transformed from “fleece to finish” by local artisans.
Along with hand spinning and fleece judging demonstrations, everyone who attends the free event will be entered in a draw for a basket of vendor’s goods.
The fair is this Sunday, May 27 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Bradley Center on the Port Alberni Highway between Parksville and Coombs. Call Miller at 1-250-758-1303 for more information.
The Thursday Spinners organizing the fair also invite interested fibre artists to join them there every Thursday except holidays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.