Demonstrations and Talks
The following Guilds and groups will have ongoing demonstrations. Stop by and enjoy the heritage and diversity of fiber arts in eastern NC.
A. Tri-Tatters Guild
B. Sir Walter Raleigh Bobbin Lace Guild
C. Twisted Threads Fiber Arts Guild
D. Ol’ North State Knitting Guild
E. Rag Rugs
F. Triangle Machine Knitters Guild
G. Sheep to Shawl
H. Triangle Weavers Guild
Friday 1-5 pm – Demo Area A – “Fiber Arts and Crafts Using Non-Traditional Materials“ – This is a demonstration and display by Carolyn Kotlas showing how materials that might normally be discarded (old clothes, old nylons, videotape) and items that are found in hardware stores (nylon and polypropylene rope, sisal twine, wire) can be used for arts and crafts such as knitting, crochet, braiding, and weaving. New this year for children visiting the display will be braiding with candy laces.
Friday 1-6 pm – Demo Area C& G – Spinning All Day – Spinners will use a variety of spindles and spinning wheels, showing age-old techniques of making yarn from wool, cotton, and other natural fibers. There will be opportunities for visitors to hand card, and try spinning on both a wheel and a spindle. In addition, we’ll have sock knitting using historical patterns, and old skein-making techniques.
Friday 3pm- Demo Area C – Spinning Cotton off the Seed – Julie Moore uses her tahkli supported spindle to spin cotton directly out of the cotton boll. No processing necessary; saving a lot of time and effort. Julie will demonstrate her technique using cotton grown in her own back yard.
Saturday 10am – 2pm – Demo Area G – Sheep To Shawl – See how a finished shawl is crafted from the sheared sheep fleece. – watch artists card, spin and weave a shawl in a day.
Saturday 11am – 2pm – Demo Area H – Weaving for Kids – Hands on weaving activities for kids.
Saturday 3pm – Demo Area C – Montagnard Spinning – The Montagnard people are the indigenous population of Vietnam. They continue to live in the highland jungles unless they can escape. Jum Siu escaped Vietnam and immigrated to the US eight years ago; she will demonstrate spinning cotton on a traditional Montagnard spinning wheel called a Roi. You can watch her amazing technique and try out her wood and bamboo wheel. Several pieces of traditional Montagnard weaving will be displayed as well.
Bobbin Boy will be demonstrating (both days in booth #41) the 1830s setup of weaving & spinning equipment. They will be producing Civil War era three-shaft 2/1 jean material on the barn loom (which was known to have been used in Ashe County NC to produce material for Civil War uniforms). They will also demonstrate flax, wool & cotton spinning.
Rug Hooking & Needle Punch Demonstrations (both days – booth 11&12 – Check Mate Farm). Check at booth for specific times.
Needle Felting Demonstrations (both days – Booth 39 – Especially For Ewe) – Check at booth for specific times.
If you belong to a Fiber Arts Guild or group and would like to participate in the festival, please contact us at info@CarolinaFiberFest.org
Free Talks and Presentations
Join us for some exciting talks and presentation.
Friday 1:30-2:30 Selecting the Right Fleece for Your Project-Elaina Kenyon
In this interactive presentation, we’ll focus on the basics of selecting a sound fleece, as well one that is “fit for purpose”, as in suitable for a particular use. Participants are welcome to bring fleeces for evaluation and questions are encouraged. You will leave prepared to purchase a fleece at the Carolina Fiber Fest fleece sale.
Friday 3:30-4:30 Cotton in North Carolina- Keith Edmisten
Keith will present a brief history of cotton production in NC and pointers on growing cotton in a home garden.
5:30-6:30 Make It With Wool – Jean Thomas
Jean will present information and inspiration about the NC Make It With Wool Competition which is sponsored by NC Sheep Producers Association. The purpose of competition is to promote the use of wool fabric, yarns and fiber. Competition is open to all NC residents; all ages and levels of expertise are encouraged to compete. . She will tell us about opportunities for scholarships at the National Competition. The 2016 NC MIWW Competition- Saturday, September 10.
Saturday 9:30-10:30 Adding Color to your Yarn and Fiber- Jane Bynum
Jane will be discussing the basics of dyeing, including types of dyes, safety, and equipment.
11:00-11:45 Handspun Cashmere Yarn from Afghanistan: The Difference You Make-Susan Inglis
Afghanistan is rich in natural resources, including quantities of cashmere-producing goats, but impoverished by decades of war and conflict. From The Mountain works with a network of over 100 women in remote reaches of the country who are hand spinning exquisite yarns, providing them with a fair wage and knitters throughout the US with wonderful and important yarns. Learn the story from owner Susan Inglis – and feel the results.
12:00-12:30 Still Standing: The Real Story
This is a documentary about the textile industry in NC today. It will surprise you.
12:30-1:30 The Piedmont Fibershed: Building a Regional Textile Community One Garment at a Time- Diana Cathcart
Diana will discuss the Piedmont Fibershed Project, which is an affiliate program of the California-based nonprofit, Fibershed. Through her work with the Piedmont Fibershed, Diana seeks to build relationships between fiber producers and the greater Triangle community, and to highlight the importance of local, ethical, natural clothing. She is currently undertaking the task of constructing a children’s wardrobe of fibers sourced completely within 200 miles of her home in Durham, NC, sparked, in large part, by her interest in constructing clothing for her toddler son that is free from the use of chemicals, inhumane labor conditions, and that draws upon the vast resources available right in her “backyard”.
2:00-3:00 Bringing it Home-Claudia Townsend
Bringing It Home is a documentary created by Linda Booker & Blaire Johnson both North Carolina residents. Their film tells the story of hemp: past, present and future and a global industry that includes textiles, building materials, food/nutrition products, bio plastics, auto parts and so much more! This documentary is a call to action and is what lead Claudia to get involved in the hemp movement. She is excited to share this film and information about the current NC hemp legislation at the Carolina Fiber Fest!
Saturday 3:30 – 4:30 Getting Started with Fiber Animals-Elaina Kenyon
Have you thought about owning your own fiber animals such as sheep, angora goats or angora rabbits and wondered what it takes in terms of time and investment? This presentation will focus on the basic issues to consider if you are new to fiber animals in general, or considering the addition of a new species to your farmstead. We’ll talk about the basic characteristics and needs of these wonderful animals, and how they fit with various homesteading situations and fiber production goals. Questions are strongly encouraged.
Jane Bynum retired from a career in biochemistry and pharmaceutical research in 2009. Since then, she has been teaching and sharing her passion for fiber and textiles at NC and VA venues, including the NCSU Crafts Center. Since childhood, she has loved creating with many fiber arts, including quilting, smocking, needlepoint, embroidery, knitting, crochet, spinning, dyeing, and weaving. Never one to stop learning and expanding her knowledge Jane has taken the opportunity to study under many world-class spinning and weaving instructors, and shares what she has learned from them with her students.
Diana Cathcart’s interest in fiber crafts began when she was a student of Costume Production at UNC’s School of Dramatic Arts. She became obsessed with ethical fashion during her time at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, and her passion has only grown from there. She is a self-taught knitter, dyer, and macramé artist who enjoys spending time with the people and animals whose fibers provide the foundation for her design work. Diana has taught workshops in the Triangle region and she sells her goods at local markets and through Etsy.
Professor Keith Edmisten serves as the Extension Cotton Specialist for the NCSU Crop Science Department. He conducts applied research and teaches a variety of courses including CS 165 Cotton Production. Dr. Edmisten received his PhD from Virginia Tech in Crop Physiology in 1987. He served on the faculty at Mississippi State University and Auburn University prior to joining the Crop Science faculty here at NCSU in 1992. Dr. Edmisten was selected as the Extension Cotton Specialist of the year in 1997 and the Cotton Physiologist of the year in 2015.
Susan Inglis -The daughter of a weaver, Susan learned to weave at 7 years old. As a result, she learned early on, not only how things were made, but also to respect the time and skills it takes to make them. She now runs From the Mountain, a company in Chapel Hill that imports and sells cashmere yarn hand-spun by Afghan women.
Elaina Kenyon is shepherd-in-charge at Avillion Farm where they raise Shetland and Jacob sheep, colored and white angora goats, and German and French angora rabbits. Raised on a small farm in RI, I discovered spinning in college and from there it was only a matter of time until the fiber animals would follow starting in the mid-1990s. One of my greatest joys is experiencing the whole process from raising the animals themselves to producing finished goods, and sharing this joy with others.
Jean Thomas is a retired teacher, the NC Make It With Wool Director and longtime member of the NC Sheep Producers Association. She enjoys working with the Make It With Wool competition to promote the use of wool and is always excited to see the creativity in sewing, knitting, crocheting, spinning and weaving as the contestants exhibit and model their entries.
Claudia Townsend lives in WNC and is a hemp advocate. She works with the North Carolina Industrial Hemp Association and Hemp History Week to educate and share information about the benefits of hemp.