Many of our beloved fiber festivals and yarn shows have been canceled or rescheduled this year, but that doesn’t mean you have to go without beautiful fleece and fibers in your life! Although we are sad that we won’t be seeing our fiber friends in person for the time being, we’re thrilled to see so many “virtual” experiences popping up to fill the fibery void, from fiber festivals to spin-ins which can be enjoyed from the comfort and safety of your own home. Today, we’ll share some of our favorite tips and resources for making sure you have plenty of fiber fun in your life!
Favorite Fiber Fest Vendors
Perhaps you have a few favorite vendors you visit at the fiber festival each year – why not check their website to see if they have listed their products for online purchase? We’ve noticed that several makers who previously didn’t sell their wares online have shifted to accommodate the need for doorstep delivery. If you are already familiar with their products, this makes shopping online a little easier, even though you can’t touch it and see it in person.
Love batts, but don’t have a Strauch drum carder at home? Check out our “Meet our Makers” series of blog profiles for lots of great indie businesses to support! Recently, we’ve profiled The Foldout Cat (pictured above), Hopkins Fiber Studio, Hobbledehoy Yarn & Fiber and Rock Mills Farm.
Indie Marketplace Sites
Smaller fiber producers who don’t already have a website (or aren’t ready to make the leap just yet!) often use selling sites such as Etsy for listing their small-batch fibers. You can find virtually everything you’d ever want to work with: natural fleece and locks, dyed fibers, silk cocoons, art batt additives, and even carded batts and prepared roving and spinning fiber, if you prefer to skip the fiber prep step and get right to the spnning! In addition to Etsy, sites like Fiber Artist Market, My Local Wool and Indie Untangled are great places to discover new-to-you fiber producers.
Your Local Fiber Arts Retailer
Many Strauch retailers also keep fleece, fiber and additives in stock for fiber artists, and we’re sure that they would appreciate the support right now! If they don’t have an online store, your local shop may offer virtual or phone shopping with the option to ship or pickup up locally if visiting the shop isn’t currently possible to COVID-19 restrictions. We recommend calling ahead to ask about current hours and policies – and don’t forget, if you need any Strauch equipment, your local retailer can arrange to have what you need shipped to your doorstep directly from our workshop here in Hickory, North Carolina!
Get your fiber direct from the source! Virtually any fiber-producing animal (not to mention, specific breeds of sheep) should have an association which can be found with a quick web search. Breeder association websites will most likely have a member directory or even a classified section where you can begin your search for fleece and fibers. Keep in mind that many of these growers will be selling you raw fleece or fiber, so you will most likely need to scour and process them yourself before you’ll be able to spin or felt with them. If you’re new to working with raw fibers, check out this post on cleaning and storing fleece her in our blog archive!
We hope this post gives you some helpful resources for sourcing the fibers you love from the comfort of your home! We’d love to see what you’re carding and spinning over on Instagram – be sure to share your photos using the #strauchfiber hashtag.
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