October 8th and 9th at Craft Central
Each year for the past 5 years, The Festival of Natural Fibres has aimed to create a welcoming space for all those enthusiastic, entranced, or simply curious about natural fibres. A community of farmers, researchers, designers, makers, activists and entrepreneurs will come together to present panel discussions, screenings, craft workshops, stalls and an exhibition – and we would love for you to join our gentle call to action: learn about natural fibres such as hemp, nettle, flax, wool and cotton, engage in discussions, discover traditional craft processes, plant seeds for potential collaborations, and directly experience the wondrous potential of natural fibres.
Saturday at the Festival
The weekend will begin with an inauguration, followed by a communal spinning ‘orchestra’ with portable spinning wheels and spindles. Our focus on Saturday will be on the intricacies of the value chain including: Growing, Processing, Making & Designing. We will be joined by industry experts to those planting the very first seeds in their natural fibre journeys, including Jennifer Hunter and Andy Wear from Fernhill Farm working with conservation, regenerative agriculture, rural skills and natural fibres, Amit Dalvi working on building an indigenous cotton-to-cloth system on the ground in rural India, and Rachel Sheila Kan of Ecosystem Incubator, a collaborative community working towards new economic values. The day will round off with a Town Hall Meeting entitled ‘Creating Textile Connections’ where we will discuss implementing natural fibre education into curriculums, sustainable textile tourism, and more.
On Sunday, we will open up our discussion to ‘Regenerative & New Economies’ talking about everything from Doughnut Economy to degrowth, to the principles of a non-violent economy, and their relations to natural fibres. We will be screening ‘The Last Weavers of Kotpad’ documenting a village with unbroken traditional knowledge of natural dyeing and weaving. We are especially excited to announce a premiere screening of ‘The Nettle Dress’,a film by nettle expert, Allan Brown and director, Dylan Howitt, who take us through Allan’s meticulous and symbolic production of a dress, from foraging nettle fibres, to learning to handspin and weave, followed by a Q&A.
Throughout the weekend, we will host a series of craft workshops including hand-spinning workshops on a peti-charkha led by social activist and generational handspinner Asha Buch, saori weaving workshops led by Erna Janine of Freeweaver SAORI Studio, embroidery and beadwork workshops sponsored by Sabrang Arts, our on-going communal patchwork project, a mending workshop with Nadia from TLZ Movement, and block-printing. We welcome you, whether beginner or expert, to join us in diving into tactility. Links for these paid and donation-based workshops will be available through Eventbrite.
A curated natural fibre exhibition will also showcase projects such as Allan Brown’s nettle dress, a travelling exhibition of indigenous cotton, wool, silk and jute by Freeweaver Saori Studio, to a graduation project exploring the potential of waste eggshells by Saumya Singh. We will have an array of stalls each selling beautiful, handcrafted natural fibre goods including clothing, ceramics and homeware from the likes of Contemporary Hempery and Caravan Sarai, and a curation of books by Chelsea Green Publishing – a wonderful chance to pick up some early Christmas gifts for loved ones at the same time as supporting sustainable, independent designers and makers.
We very much look forward to welcoming you to the Festival of Natural Fibres 2022, and hope for another fruitful gathering of learning, inspiration and collaboration.
Khadi London started as a social enterprise to support ethical fashion designers and small to medium enterprises that produce ethical fashion and homewares. It is now transiting to a charity to support action, research and education programmes for regenerative textiles and textile products.
Khadi London is a founding member of the Khadi Initiative, which was formed to organise ‘A Way Ahead: Ethical Khadi’ at the Fashion & Textile Museum, London, in 2017. Success of the event established a network of those actively involved in addressing issues around ethical fashion and fabrics. The conversations and actions continue. www.khadi.london
Freeweaver SAORI Studio is London’s registered Japanese SAORI weaving studio, with workshops + more led by Erna Janine from her studio at Craft Central. www.freeweaver.co.uk
Rose Bradbury Prints
Emelie Sandy Photography
Sameer from Kakaddara village
Craft Central is providing the perfect venue for October’s event at its home in the Forge – a magnificent Grade 2 listed building, – part of 19th Century ship and girder bridge building history – which now contains an architect-designed free-standing birchwood construction housing business studios, workspaces, meeting rooms and a large exhibition space. www.craftcentral.org.uk
5 minutes walk from Mudchute DLR / 10 minutes walk from Island Gardens DLR
10 minutes walk from Greenwich Foot Tunnel / 20 minutes walk from Canary Wharf
2 minutes walk from Clipper services at Masthouse Terrace Pier
Frequent buses from Canary Wharf, Limehouse, Highbury and Islington, Old Street, and Stratford
Jubilee Line and Elizabeth Line meet the DLR at Canary Wharf
EVENT Festival of Natural Fibres, 2022
DATE / TIME Saturday 8th – Sunday 9th October, 2022 / 10am-5pm
VENUE Craft Central, The Forge, 397-411 Westferry Rd, London E14 3AE
CONTENT Market / Exhibition / Panels / Craft Workshops / Screenings / Refreshments
Online: £7.50/£5 (Concessions) + booking fee
On the Door: £9/£5 (Concessions)
Links to Blogs on Past Festivals
The Festival of Natural Fibres 2021
Spinning A Yarn: Clicks that Tell a Tale