CNCHnet . . . The Textile Arts Webzine of the Conference of Northern California Handweavers

The Natural Fiber Fair Comes to Arcata

The Natural Fiber Fair is an annual fiber festival now in its 21st year.  Formerly a cozy gathering in the little town of Redway, it is expanding and moving to the North Coast college town of Arcata on September 10-11, 2011.
“We are excited about the move,” says Laura Doyle-Wilder, a basketmaker who has coordinated the fair for the last ten years.  “We expect to reach a wider audience, including the many young people who are interested in fiber.”

Cloaks and hats by Hope Rose of Hope Springs Botanicals

The Natural Fiber Fair is put on by members of the community and members of the Humboldt Handweavers and Spinners Guild. The mission is “to educate our community about natural fiber and related sustainable handcrafts by providing hands-on access to materials and information.”  Here you will find a Vendor Hall stocked with yarns, fibers, fabric, tools, and finished natural fiber products, as well as locally produced wool at the Fleece Market. Free hourly demos and classes are offered in a variety of topics including how to knit, make felt, choose a fleece, or make cordage from plant fibers.

Doug Elliot doing a spinning wheel tune-up

Half and full day workshops have been added this year, and registration is now open.  The wonderful lineup of instructors includes Carin Engen  teaching Nuno Felting, April Sproule with Shibori Dyeing Techniques, Linda Hartshorn teaching Warp Painting for Weavers, and Janet Finch with Beginning Spindle Spinning,  just to name a few. More workshops and details are listed at
You are encouraged to come for the whole weekend and to bring your knitting, weaving, stitching, hooking, or spinning, and join in the camaraderie of the Fiber Circle.  The Fiber Circle, sponsored by Humboldt Handweavers and Spinners, is a gathering place for the fiber community. It’s a great place to visit old friends or make new ones.

A birds-eye view of the Vendor Hall

The Natural Fiber Fair is pleased to present rug weaver Nancy Kennedy as this year’s Featured Artist.  Nancy’s beautiful handwoven shaft-switched rugs will be on display as you enter the fair.  There will also be a display of historical tools and contemporary textiles presented in the Fiber Artist’s Gallery.

The new venue, Arcata Community Center, is a lovely facility with lots of parking and easy access for everyone.  It’s family friendly, with projects for kids inside and a playground outside, and some fuzzy fibery animals for petting as well.  Everyone in the family will enjoy the wonderful organic meals and fresh baked goodies from the kitchen.
Admission to the Natural Fiber Fair is $5.  Hours are from 10 AM to 5 PM Saturday and Sunday, September 10 and 11.  For more info, visit the website at, check out the Facebook page, or call 707-599-2729.  Hope to see you there!

Read on for more ideas and different types of weaving.