Artisan Producers

Celebrating Our Fibershed

Our store isn’t called Healdsburg “SHED” by accident. Rather, we honor SHED as a suffix, a signifier of demarcation. A way to claim place.

The term “SHED” comes up in all of our pursuits. We are passionate about our foodshed, certainly. Fiercely protective of our local watershed, too. We see our store as a toolshed of sorts that you can go to for your essential needs. But perhaps lesser known is the role the fibershed plays in our community.

Locally, our fibershed stretches from the Pacific Ocean to the edges of California’s Central Valley. It’s where sheep and goats are raised for their milk, their meat, and their wool. Where textiles circle soil to soil.

It’s even a movement. The concept of a fibershed was formalized in 2010 when Marin County’s Rebecca Burgess set herself the task of creating and wearing a wardrobe solely drawn from textiles, dyes, and labor contained within a 150-mile footprint of her home.

It was nearly impossible to do then, and it’s not much easier today — but Rebecca started something significant by looking for local solutions.

Textile production is a gross polluter; inexpensive clothing has an enormous cost. From poor wages to environmental concerns, from working conditions to transportation obstacles, the mass global production of inexpensive throw-away stuff is expensive in a way that has nothing to do with our wallets.

As with so many other concerns of the global economy, the best answer to issues surrounding textiles is literally beneath our feet. Bring it back to the local community.

We define our local fibershed as the network of farmers, ranchers, designers, sewers, weavers, knitters, felters, spinners, mill owners and natural dyers living and working in Northern California.

And we’re proud to support their work in our store, both online and in Healdsburg.

Our producers and collaborators include Mary Pettis-Sarley of Twirl Yarn; Lily Reid of Apprentice Studio; indigo farmer Craig Wilkinson; artist Sasha Duerr; the textile producers at Caseri Ranch; artist and teacher Chelsea Heffner; and natural dye artist Chelsea Wills.

We celebrate our fibershed twice this month with special events.

Join us on Friday, Dec. 2, for a PomPom Party with Apprentice Studio’s Lily Reid, where we’ll use Mary Pettis-Sarley’s Twirl Yarn to make fun, festive decorations that are equally at home adorning your holiday tree as they are your winter cap.

Plan to return on Sunday, Dec. 11, for an all-day Fibershed Pop-Up Shop upstairs in our Modern Grange space. There you can meet eight artisans contributing to our local fibershed, support their work with your purchases, get something unique and delightful for yourself or someone on your holiday list, and learn more about why going soil to soil makes a difference to your clothes.

Learn more about the Fibershed project on their extensive press page.

Featured image courtesy of Lily Reid, Apprentice Studio