The Blue Ridge Blankets Project
Connecting fiber farmers, processors, dyers and weavers together, to produce locally sourced and crafted blankets in Western North Carolina.
We have a rich history of textile excellence in the Blue Ridge Fibershed, and it's time to revitalize our fiber economy. The Blue Ridge Blankets project provides a local market for our region's fiber farmers, provides fair compensation to our weavers and dyers, and gives local consumers an opportunity to purchase a beautiful locally sourced product. The project will be an ongoing and self-sustaining enterprise, bringing cloth firmly to the table of the buy local movement in the south.
Our project began in 2021, with funding from a Natural and Cultural Resources grant from The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina.
14 different farms provided fiber (wool, alpaca and mohair), from locations across western NC, including Asheville, Barnardsville, Candler, Fairview, Fines Creek, Leicester, Mills River, Tryon Vale and Weaverville, NC. Two Roots Fiber Mill in Greeneville, TN, one of the few remaining fiber mills in the region, spun the fiber into yarn.
The Natural Dye Interest Group of the Local Cloth Studio dyed the yarn, using a palette of colors exclusively sourced from plants readily grown in the region. Heather K. Powers, a textile designer hailing from the former Churchill Weavers, one of the oldest weaving mills in the US, acted as lead consultant on the blanket designs. Student weavers from the Textile Program at Haywood Community College, and from the Fiber Arts Program at Warren Wilson College under the guidance of Director Melanie Wilder, wove the yarn into sample blankets showcasing 19 different designs.
Blue Ridge Blankets on Tour!
The project's premier run of locally sourced and crafted blankets will be on tour Fall 2022 - Winter 2023. Tour stops include the Craft Fair of the Southern Highlands on October 13-16, the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair on October 21-23, and the Grovewood Gallery at Historic Grovewood Village in mid-February at the National Arts & Crafts Conference and Show.
At each tour stop, the community will be invited to view the blankets and vote on their favorite designs. The blankets are samples of the 19 designs created by our design team, and brought to life by our weavers. The designs are named for the towns and cities where the farmers, dyers designers and weavers for the project reside, as well as the watersheds that grace our region.
When not on tour, the blankets will be on display at the Local Cloth Studio in the River Arts District of Asheville, NC. Following the blanket tour and the community design campaign, the next round of fiber will be spun, dyed and woven and blankets will be up for sale by late 2023.
Online Voting Available for the Blankets! Follow the link here to view the blankets and vote for your top 3! Thank you!
Curly Cove Farm Good Fibrations
Jasperwood Farm Jehovah Raah Farm
Myco Rhizing Farm Princess Ridge Farm
Follow the story!
Read blog posts about the project, by Susette Shiver:
Get involved! Are you a fiber farmer or fiber artist and want to get involved? Would you like to host the Blue Ridge Blankets during the Fall 2022 - Winter 2023 Tour? Contact us