New community loom at Yampa Valley Fiberworks weaves people together
Visitors to the natural fiber mill north of Craig are invited to try their hands at weaving
September 7, 2016
Craig — A donated 1960s four-shaft jack handloom, used to weave yarn into fabric, sits on the patio of Yampa Valley Fiberworks, a natural fiber mill located north of Craig, where the community is invited to try their hand at the age-old tradition of making cloth from fiber.
"In a community spirit of sharing, it came to us as a gift, so we want to gift back a chance for people to weave," said Lorrae Moon, who with her family, owns and operates the natural fiber mill. "This is the first and only community loom in the Yampa Valley and possibly the first in the state of Colorado."
As an art form the process of weaving creates connections within strand of fiber and the community loom is creating connections between people.
"When weaving you have multiple strands that have to be brought together and that is reminiscent of community with the individual weaver's story coming together with the greater community to make one finished piece of fine art," said Genevieve Yazzie a local artist gaining national attention for her ceramic art.
Children and adults have been waiting through road construction delays, since June, to drop by and try the loom.
"The amount of people who have sat down to try it is amazing. People are kind of intimidated at first, but a few minutes at the loom and they seem to love it," said Fiberworks owner-operator Lewis Moon.
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The loom has been so popular that people have begun to place orders for smaller handlooms of their own. The Moons are supplying the demand with hand made looms from Boulder based Schacht Spindle Company.
"Cricket looms can sit on your lap," said Lorrae Moon. "We've sold out of the first four and have more coming later this month. We have also started hosting regular weaving classes and will be offering a pattern a month."
Once fiber is weaved on the loom, the resulting fabric may be used for a number of projects.
"When I make a piece of fabric I know there is nothing else like it on the planet.
You are making fabric and then make other items, jackets, bags or whatever you can think up," said fiber artist Susan Domer.
Fabric made on the community loom will be used to give back to communities in need.
"Well be making placemats with the weaving, and we'll sell those with the profits going to purchase goats, sheep and other animals for people in third world countries," Lorrae Moon said.