On Sunday, October 10, 2021 fiber farms will open to the public to visitors. Join us for the inaugural Maine Fiber Trail and Tours!
Visitors can tour open houses, farms, meet local makers, and explore the craft of local fiber production. This inaugural event aims to help visitors learn more about Maine-grown fiber. Take a visit to any of the hosts along the statewide trail, and get to know more about the techniques and skill involved to produce local fiber!
Tips for your visit:
- Use Real Maine’s online trip itinerary tool to find a site to visit! (Read our tips on how to use this tool.)
- Most sites are open 10 AM to 3 PM 10/10/2021. We recommend contacting the hosts for hours and activities – each host is different
- Check local listings as you plan your trip – some may offer extended hours and days
- Bring your questions about fiber production in Maine, and your taste for outdoor adventure for this rain or shine activity!
- Make a day of it! Round out your Maine farm business explorations while enjoying Maine’s scenic autumn landscape! There’s lots to see and do.
Things to see and do on the Maine fiber trail and tours…
What happens when you go on the fiber trail? Each host is different! For example, some raise different animals, like sheep, alpaca or rabbits. The farmers keep detailed records of animal health, fiber quality and proper care and cleanliness for the animals. These farms help ensure there is a Maine source of quality, raw fiber materials such as wool and hair. They also provide other businesses a local selection of non-synthetic materials for finished products.
Some businesses and hobbyists in Maine fiber production focus on processing. They transform a variety of raw fiber materials so it is easily used to craft a finished product. For example, they may provide different varieties of yarn that a hobbyist or other business can turn into sweaters, hats, blankets, and other clothing and durable textiles like rugs and felted slippers. They may do the sorting and classifying of materials, and use special techniques to prepare the raw fiber into roving, or yarn, which can have different purposes. There are many different products and uses for natural fibers.
Many hosts are a full cycle business; they do it all! This includes raising the animals, processing the raw materials, and designing home goods, textiles, crafts or art, to sell a finished product directly to customers! These sites will be a great place to shop, and see firsthand the ways farms and fiber production intersect to create local jobs and preserve farmland and landscapes that contribute to Maine’s iconic beauty.
However you choose to explore the Maine Fiber Trail and Tours, it will be a great way to support these Maine businesses! You can get a head start by reading about Maine’s fibershed in Real Maine’s fall publication.
The time-honored craft and business of fiber production has been a milestone in Maine’s heritage, and remains an important part of working landscapes. When you visit a stop on the Maine Fiber Trail and Tours, you’ll begin to see how interwoven (pun intended!) these Maine businesses are to the past and the future of Maine textile production. Enjoy your trip, and bring a friend or two!