Fiber Revolution

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fiber revolutiuon sky has no borders by Benedicte Caneill.jpg
The Sky Has No Borders- by Benedicte Caneill (from Fiber Revolution)

I'm subject to obsessions. I'm in the midst of a 2 year search for US grown and milled cotton sheets. 30 years ago I could have walked into JC Penney's and bought them off the shelf. Now, it takes two years to find them.

As it turns out, I just happened to begin my obsessive search during one of our nations biggest industry declines. 80% of cotton fabric was milled in the US in 1985 and now it is about 5%. According to NPR:

Between 2006 and '09, U.S. cotton acreage dropped by 40 percent...
"The old world of cotton is probably dead," says Darren Hudson, director of the Cotton Economics Research Institute at Texas Tech University.

Now, I'm not hung up on cotton. I can't grow it here in Big Stone County anyway. So give me any old US grown and made fiber sheets- there's hemp, bamboo, flax makes linen.

I'm willing to save my pennies and buy some USA grown, milled and manufactured sheets. I've found some organic cotton sheets that are US made- start to finish. And they are expensive. But I consider that every single purchase I make a donation to the kind of world I want to live in. I vote with my pocket book. I could buy cheap sheets from Target and then pay higher taxes to support unemployed Americans who once worked in textile mills. We pay for this loss of capacity in many ways, besides workers dignity. We dismantle our ability to feed and clothes ourselves (as a nation) at our peril.

We need to keep making things-- real things that people need and use. Like sheets. I do not consider creating innovative investment instruments noble work. Bundling subprime mortgages into collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) creates nothing in this world but a mess- frankly.

There is a movement towards re-localization- local foods, local energy and now I think we need to start paying attention to local fiber. Mark my word- it's the next big thing.

Here in Big Stone County we can grow flax, alpaca, sheep, fancy goats with great soft fur. I'm hooked man. This could be a great place to start the Fiber Revolution.

6 Comments

Don't forget hemp fiber! It used to be grown out here as a fiber crop and some say it's superior to flax for durability. Someday I hope we don't have to import our hemp fiber from Canada. I hear it makes the best ropes, too. I'm with ya on the fiber revolution! Makes me want to clear away enough of the "to do's" on my list to make room for weaving again. I really miss it sometimes.

I have an alpaca jacket - I love it, so nice and warm! Thanks for the post, kath - love your blog

I agree if you pay a little more it is worth it. I always try to shop in my home town local family operated stores.

Love wool! Although I need to be careful...some of it is way too scratchy and itchy. I like it to be lined if it's going to be next to my skin! Or wear something under it....like a COTTON turtle-neck. Wool is sooo warm....nothing better! I need to ask the next time I buy cotton garments, just where the cotton was grown...think anyone will know? I went to a well-known women's clothing store recently and asked if they had any pants made of wool or part-wool...just guess the answer! They had some nice, heavy, part rayon and part nylon ones! Better get some sheep, and a spinning wheel, Kathy. I'm sure you can manage that in your spare time!!

PS....love the photo of the quilted piece...and the title!! Gorgeous!

Kathy, as you can see, last night I successfully switched your blog around. However, during the process I found some glitches with the Style chooser functionality. Hopefully we can fix it up this morning.

I also beefed up your spam catching settings. However, with doing this it might also label good messages as spam. It is a good idea to check your spam folder in the Comments section of your blog administration.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Shane
snackeru@umn.edu

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This page contains a single entry by Kathryn Draeger published on November 14, 2010 5:47 PM.

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