24th March 2010
The world of natural fiber turns fast. New developments in the use of natural fibers fly in from a dizzing array of directions.
Australia's Wool Commission has formed the Carbon Wool Alliance to promote wool farmers' contributions to the global carbon exchange program. Check out their website. It seems wool fibers store LOTS of carbon which is good for the earth. The group also promotes use of wool in insulation, home decor and fashion. Keeping our homes and selves warmer with wool, slows global warming. wow!
Closer to home, 2 years ago I began an adventure with a Seattle furniture maker. See a Sept 08 article-"Green Sheep". The adventure has survived the meltdown of '09 and continues. Check out Eco Balanza-Artisan Furniture. The website is changing to reflect this urbanite's quest to support local farmers. A looseknit co-op of farmers raising Heritage wool breeds appropriate to specific uses is forming. Locally produced Wool batting will soon be trademarked. We continue in the research and development of a local felt product with the help of a rolling Feltcraft machine at Gretchen's Wool Mill, and the Needle Loom at Casa De Arboles Fine Fiber farm. We all know natural fibers are great crafter's and artist's mediums. But maybe the days of local fiber in local manufacturing are coming back? Who says natural fiber can't be both beautiful AND industrial?