Head over either river (the Hoosick or the Hudson) and through the woods to the 23rd Annual Washington County Fiber Tour in the famed agricultural land of Washington County the last weekend in April! Learn about which animals produce what fibers, talk with farmers and hand spinners about their craft or even try your hand at sheep shearing!
Washington County was recently found to have the most fiber-producing farms of any other county in New York State in a study conducted by Cornell University. It is also home to one of the longest running events of its type in the United States, The Fiber Tour! This year’s Fiber Tour will take place on April 25th and 26th, 2015 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. The tour will feature 15 farms and one large commercial yarn mill.
Both the animals and their products are featured on farms along the tour. Many choose to exhibit their yarns, shorn fiber and live animals along with other products at festivals and fairs around the state. They often will win major prizes at events like the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival, New England Cashmere Goat Show, the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival and the Eastern States Exposition.
Alpacas everywhere! Five farms on the tour will feature this elegant and woolly species. The Alpaca produces a luxury fiber that lends itself to some very stylish and warm clothing! The impossibly fluffy angora rabbits are also a fan-favorite on the Tour. Their soft fur is just begging to be pet! Cashmere goats and angora goats are also some of the highlighted animals seen on many of the farms.
Fiber Tour members promote their textile arts with demonstrations throughout the year. These demonstrations include clipping fur from angora rabbits, making felt, wool blending from different species and dyeing techniques.
This Fiber Tour is filled with activities! You can embark on a tour of the fiber mill, take a stab at goat cart driving, sheep shearing and sheepdog herding. Finger puppets will be available for children to enjoy. Also, keep an eye out for young animals providing entertainment with their own antics. Farms will individually offer for-sale breeding stock, fiber products and a wide variety of handcrafted items ranging from yarn to already-made clothing items!
This April event is a great way to spend a Spring weekend. We hope to see you the weekend of April 25th at the Washington County Fiber Tour!