Last year, I began my journey towards the October 2021 Montana Fibershed, Farm to Fashion Show. Unfortunately, this show was postponed due to COVID concerns, but rescheduled for October 8, 2022.
The yarns that I chose for my woven wool garment were from various websites of my Fibershed community. I was shopping for milled or handspun, hand-dyed wool yarns.
I had not woven with wool in an exceptionally long time, so seeing the choices of wool or blended yarns from various breeds of sheep, alpaca, etc. was a bit overwhelming. However, I went ahead and purchased the following yarns for this project:
Warp: Sweetgrass Wool (Yarn Scout)
Merino & Targee singles (lace weight)
Threaded – 8 block crackle – Diamond Block pattern
Weft: Thirteen Mile Wool Yarns- 2 ply
Dark Chocolate (Natural), Light Gray Heather (Natural)
Natural White (plant dyed - Yellow Clover – overdyed with Weld)
Natural White (plant dyed - Chokecherry)
Having researched the Pantone colors for 2021, Ultimate Gray & Illuminating Yellow, I had a good idea of the colors for one of my fashion show garments. Overdying the Yellow Clover with Weld gave the yarn a “pop” I was looking for in this fabric.
In the meantime,
As I previously stated, it had been an extremely long time since I worked with animal fibers, so I signed up for a workshop at Copper K Ranch in July 2021, where I learned about wool from the ground up. Now I felt more confident about the fibers I had chosen.
Also in July 2021, I set up my 8-harness loom and began weaving 3 yards of wool fabric with the yarns mentioned above. When I took the fabric off of the loom, I was very pleased with the feel and drape of this woven piece.
Since the Fashion Show had been cancelled, I took a bit if time thinking about the style of my garment, in preparation for the 2022 Fashion Show.
Is it a poncho, a jacket or other type of outer wear?
It is now 2022 and I have staged and restaged this garment on my dress form many times. I now plan to have this piece open in front with a collar and attach Elk antler buttons for the closure. There may be a bit of Montana Elk hide included as well by the time it hits the runway!
Update : October 2022
The Farm-To-Fashion Event at the Emerson Center for The Arts & Culture is now over and was deemed a great success. The professionally designed stage, choreographed procession, and the models themselves, excellently portrayed Montana wool garments in awesome fashion.
As the journey of my garment has ended, I am very pleased with the outcome and have shown below the final garment I modeled in the Fashion Show, a woven wool Capelet.
by Helen J. Harris, Traveling Thread, Fiber Artist, Ennis, MT