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The Fleece Tent: Showcasing the Best of Maine Fiber and Details for Fiber Producers

If you are looking to purchase fleece, want to learn more about fleece, or are an avid fiber enthusiast, the Fleece Tent is the place for you. It is a destination point for fairgoers looking for the best of Maine-produced fiber.

As always, fairgoers will have an abundance of sheep fleeces from which to choose for
purchase—white and colored; fine, medium and long staple; plus fleeces from “primitive” or dual-coat breeds. The fleeces will be organized initially by color and then grade, with each grower’s fleeces grouped together within the respective category. Specialty fibers, including llama, alpaca, mohair, cashmere and angora, will also have ample space. We invite fiber artists to show off what you made with last year’s Fleece Tent purchases!

Kate Henry and Susanne Grosjean will once again put together their amazing exhibit of breeds and fiber samples with information about uses of different types—whether for spinning beautiful yarn or creating fabulous felt. And there will be educational information on hand about the growers and farms selling fleece, and fiber-related groups in Maine.

Throughout the weekend, spinners and growers will be available to answer questions. Find yourself with one too many fleeces to process yourself? We’ll have contact information for Maine’s fiber processing mills. In addition, the schedule will include talks all three days—at the speakers tent right outside the Fleece Tent and at the Wednesday Spinners Tent—with subjects ranging from choosing the right fleece for spinning to raising sheep on Maine’s islands. Please see the Fairbook schedule for details and times.

The Fleece Tent is a major component of the growing presence of fiber at the Fair that includes the Wednesday Spinners, several Maine vendors in the adjacent Fiber Marketplace, and the many farms and vendors at the Maine Fiber Farms and Maine Ag Products areas nearby. Enjoy a journey from fleece to finished product, with many stops along the way!

Details for Fiber Producers

Fleece Show: The Fleece Show on Saturday will include both wool and specialty fibers. Wool judging will start at 10 a.m., and specialty fibers judging will follow. For 2010, wool growers may submit one fleece in each of the following categories: white or colored; and within those divisions, fine, medium, long; and primitive/dual-coated. Specialty fiber growers may submit one fleece in each of the following categories: alpaca and llama—white, colored, and cria (under one year at time of shearing); goat—adult and kid mohair, cashmere, pygora, and cashgora. The fee for each entry is $3. Angora rabbit fiber in appropriate containers may be submitted for a fee of $1.50 per container. For further information about submitting fiber to the sale and/or show, please contact Penelope Olson at 785-2784 (Appleton) or mizoly@midcoast.com.

Fleece Sale: Knowing that variety is the key to a good sale, the Spinners encourage all interested growers to take part. Growers wishing to pre-register should contact Penelope Olson, 785-2784 or mizoly@midcoast.com, to let us know how many fleeces you plan to submit so we can send you the right number of tags and registration forms. When you get them, please fill out the tags and forms as completely as possible. We recommend the use of return address labels or the equivalent to expedite the form completion. There is no need to return anything. The tags should be attached to the fleece bags. Simply submit the forms when you deliver your fleeces to the Fleece Tent.

Fleeces may be submitted from 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 22nd, and will also be accepted at any other time during the Fair. During the weekend, cars may be driven onto the Fairgrounds only until 8:00 a.m. for delivery of fleeces, and they must off the grounds by 8:30 a.m. For those unable to pre-register, there will be a supply of registration materials available at the Fleece Tent throughout the weekend.

For more information about the Fleece Tent and/or Fleece Sale, contact:

Penelope Olson



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