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

The Natural Fiber Fair Celebrates its 23rd Year

The Natural Fiber Fair celebrates its 23rd year on September 7 and 8.  The annual event takes place at the Arcata Community Center in the northcoast college town of Arcata, California.

Laura Doyle-Wilder, a skilled basketmaker, has produced the Natural Fiber Fair for the last twelve years. “We are very excited about this year’s fair,” she says. “It continues to grow and is becoming more diverse, including all kinds of fiber and fiber arts.”

Fiber circle spinning Contest

Fiber Circle spinning contest

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.

There is always so much going on at the Fiber Fair, and it is a great place to learn a new skill. Free demos are offered every hour in a variety of topics including how to card wool, make felt, weave a basket, and caring for angora rabbits.

Silk Painting at the Fiber Fair

Silk Painting at the Fiber Fair

Consider taking a half or full day workshop, registration is open now.  The great lineup of instructors includes April Sproule with Fabric Stenciling, Linda Hartshorn teaching Indigo for Blues and Greens, Tracy Shapiro with Viking Knitting, and Janet Finch with Barefoot Backstrap Weaving,  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.

Carin Engen in her booth

Carin Engen in her booth

The Natural Fiber Fair always features interesting exhibits. This year’s displays include the Fiber Artist Gallery, showcasing creations of the local fiber community, and Textiles of Guatemala, fabulous handweaving from Central American weavers.

The venue, Arcata Community Center, is a lovely facility with lots of parking and easy access for everyone.  This is a family friendly event, with a great Kid’s Craft Zone and a playground outside.  Everyone will enjoy the wonderful organic meals and fresh baked goodies from the kitchen.

Admission to the Natural Fiber Fair is $5. Children and students are admitted free.  Hours are from 10 AM to 5 PM Saturday and Sunday, September 7 and 8.  For more info, visit the website at, check out the Facebook page, or call 707-599-2729.  Hope to see you there!

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