A few months ago, I learned about this amazing project by a collective of farmers, mills, and wool/textile producers to create “a regionally grown and woven textile that was tied directly to reversing the effects of climate change by building soil health.” The organization, headquartered in California, is titled Fibershed, with the tagline “local fiber, local dye, local labor.” Their Community Supported Cloth program is intended to create a “regional and regenerative textile economic model that supports the ranchers and artisans and provides the people of our community supply-chain transparency.”
Fibershed focuses on the entire production chain, from healthy soil and carbon offsets at the sheep ranches, to the environmental impacts of scouring and spinning, to the details of textile design and weaving. I think of it as a CSA for environmentally responsible woven cloth, and I jumped at the chance to pre-order some yardage.
I purchased four yards, which was more than enough for my first sewing project – I have plenty left over for either another pair of pants or a skirt. I wanted a very simple pants pattern, so I chose Colette Clover pants. I can’t believe how well they turned out! The fit was perfect the first time around – I didn’t even have to go back and adjust the seams. I was a little nervous about the waistband and invisible zipper, but it was really quite easy. I sewed Version 1 in Size 12 (which seemed really big to me, since I usually wear a size 8 pants, but the measurements for size 12 matched mine, so I went with it – and was glad I did! I figure you can always take in your seams and make your apparel a little smaller, but it’s hard to go the other direction and make it bigger 🙂
I left off the pockets – frankly, I didn’t really see the point of tiny little front pockets, and I felt like they kind of messed up the clean line of the pants. I’m SO HAPPY with how they fit! The only downside is that I had hoped to wear them as spring/summer pants, but they are definitely woven wool, and as such, are a little heavier than I had anticipated. No matter – they’ll be perfect for cool summer nights and autumn!
Many people who are purchasing Community Supported Cloth are dyeing it – which I think would turn out beautifully, given the texture of the cloth. However, for at least this first project, I really loved the natural color of the woven wool; I think it’s a perfect neutral that will go with just about anything. I love how these came out so much that I was planning on a skirt, but I’m now considering dyeing the rest of the fabric and sewing up another pair of pants – maybe to complement the color of one of my upcoming fall sweater designs 🙂