One of the highlights of the Festival is the Fleece Show and Sale, where fibre farmers compete in several classes for the honour of champion fleece, and where avid spinners and felters get to examine and buy whole raw fleeces. The show includes wool from many breeds of sheep as well as angora goat fleeces.
Our judge this year is Susie Gourlay. Each fleece will be thoroughly inspected by her, detailed information recorded, and marks awarded. The resulting tally sheet provides valuable information to both the producer and the buyer.
It is very satisfying to see relationships building between local producers and appreciative crafters. Return customers know their favourite farm, the qualities of the wool from different breeds, and sometimes even know the sheep by name. Our fleece show has fostered valuable connections, supported the local economy, and resulted in some fabulous creations, from hard wearing socks to ethereal shawls.
If you are a fibre farmer, please consider entering fleeces in the show. And if you are a visitor to the Festival be sure to spend some time looking at the fleeces on display. Perhaps this is the year you will tackle the satisfying project of taking a fleece from the raw state to a finished product. The silent auction runs until 3:00 pm on Saturday.
Tempted to acquire your first fleece? There are a few spaces left in Susie Gourlay’s class “Fleece to Finish” on Friday evening, where Susie takes the fear out of buying and processing fleeces. She will teach you what to look for in a fleece, what to avoid, and how to read the information on a judging card at the show, so you can peruse the show tables with confidence.
See you at the Show!