Fibre East was the brainchild of a lady passionate about textile crafts, keeping these crafts alive and teaching future generations of the benefits of crafting.
Nine years ago there were very few ‘festivals’ promoting wool and textile crafts. This was especially the case with British wool and natural fibres and also concentrating of the art of spinning and weaving as well as knitting and crochet. There was certainly nothing in the East of England and so Fibre East was born. There are now many, many shows scattered around the country but we firmly believe that Fibre East remains one of the best and offers something a little bit different. Be it in its size, diversity of exhibitors or the reputation it has built and maintained.
Fibre East has diversified and following trends now has something for everyone. Fibre, knitting/crochet yarn (hand dyed, OOAK and exclusive, acrylic and colourful, commercial and handspun – you name it, we have it), spinning wheels, looms, beads, buttons, felting, dyeing, drop spindles, accessories, tools, needles and hooks, sock blockers, patterns, books, kits (including kits for Dorset button making), gifts galore and so much more!
There is opportunity to try a new craft with the guilds that attend which cover, knitting – both hand and machine, rag rugging, spinning, weaving, felting and knitting and crochet. There are examples of all of these crafts for you to see and feel.
Our aim initially was to celebrate the Best of British and this remains the core of everything we do but we hope to encourage and educate a whole new community of crafters with varying levels of experience and expertise. Ultimately what we want is for everyone that attends to be inspired and reinvigorated by what they’ve seen.
There truly is something for everyone no matter how inexperienced and we hope that even if you just come to browse, you will find something that interests you and opens up a whole new world.
Who should come?
There truly is something for everyone at Fibre East. Our visitors tend to have one thing in common – a passion for creating and crafts. We welcome newbies who have just begun to take an interest in their craft and want to learn more and buy some fabulous new supplies. We also welcome those who have long mastered their craft but want to share their expertise and again, stock up on beautiful supplies from the rich assortment of artisan makers that come to exhibit.
No one is too young or too old to try a new craft. At Fibre East we pride ourselves on being a welcoming and friendly place where you can have fun and laughter with like-minded people. ALL our exhibitors are approachable and helpful and are more than happy to share opinions and advice – all you have to do is ask! No question is too silly ….. ever. ……
We hope that by showcasing the very best of crafts and supplies available, we can provide inspiration and a generate a revitalised passion for a craft you already love; and who knows, you might develop an appetite for a totally new one!!
Originally the aim of Fibre East was to celebrate the Best of British with an emphasis on the best quality British wool and yarn made from a wide variety of British sheep breeds and reared by British farmers. This ethos still remains at the heart of the show but we appreciate that crafting has come a long way over the last nine years and that there are other wonderful yarns available. We aren’t yarn snobs! There is now such a plethora of quality yarn and fibre available and we are happy to provide as much as possible. Whether you want Alpaca, Wool, Yak, Bamboo, Tencel, Acrylic, Sari silk, Silk, we have it all.
Ultimately our AMBITION at Fibre East is to provide stimulation and inspiration. We want spinning, weaving, knitting, rag rugging, crochet, felting and all fibre crafts to CONTINUE. We want you to come and have fun but more over, we want you to come for a browse and leave full of enthusiasm.
Fibre-East has been proud to offer grants and awards over the past years, assisting individuals and schools to purchase equipment and/or supplies.
In 2019 however, this will change. Rather than offer grants, we will be putting crafts into hands wanting to try something new.
This will involve inviting members of the community to come along to pre-arranged ‘have a go’ days during the year. Here they can try weaving, spinning, learn to knit or crochet etc. Each of these will be for small numbers and reserving a space will be necessary.
If you would like to know more about when and where these days will take place, then please email stating which craft you would be interested in trying to Jan at janet2007 (at) me (dot)com – removing the (at) and (dot) and replacing them with the correct symbol.
Mary Dean Primary School, Portsmouth
We were more than thrilled to help the School with a rather ‘challenging’ project. The School have decided to have an Arts Week every year. Challenging because the person who decided to introduce drop spindling to the pupils, had not spindle spun before!
The drop spindle experience was for groups of 10 KS2 pupils (7-11 year olds). Fibre-East provided 10 ‘starter’ spindles made by Ian Tait and 1 kilo of Exmoor Blueface fibres from John Arbon.
The Art Week was a ‘huge success’!!
North Herts Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers.
Provision of an Ashford Katie Loom.
“Heart felt thanks for the superb Ashford Katie Loom. It was such a wonderful surprise and so kind of you to bring it to us personally. It will certainly be cherished and in constant use! With very best wishes.”
The (Kempston) Net Charitable Trust.
Materials and equipment for mixed media art work on canvas for 40 women at our group sessions.
LE – Student
Support to participate in an online workshop with Dionne Swift.
Previous recipients – 2015
The (Kempston) Net Charitable Trust.
Equipment for making Felted Bowls/vessels and bags with 2 groups of 15 people.
“I am writing to thank you so very to Fibre-East for the very generous funding given again to The Project. We feel so privileged to have your continued support this year. The ladies we work with loved the wet felting project earlier this term and now, thanks to your generosity, we will be able to encourage the girls to experiment with mixed media which I am sure they will love.”
Previous recipients – 2014
Holt Community Primary School, Norfolk.
Assistance requested to purchase basic knitting equipment/yarn to expand the school knitting group. A very successful group was started with the children and this club is to be expanded to include the parents.
“Thank you so much for the generous donation given to our knitting club from Fibre-East. We shall use the money to purchase needles and yarn ready to launch a club to involve parents and carers knitting alongside the children. I hope that we will be able to enthuse a generation that seemed to have missed out on learning the skill of knitting!…”
The (Kempston) Net Charitable Trust (Project 229).
Assistance requested for materials to make weaving frames for projects with 2 separate groups of around 15-20 people. Project 229 helps ladies who feel slightly dis-connected with the community for various reasons. This project will also involve a similar group set up to help men. The men at The Net will make the looms for the ladies!
“I am writing to thank you for the very generous donation to the Net Charitable Trust… We are so excited by the prospect of having looms available for both community and personal art projects at the Net groups. As you know from your visit, craft is an integral part of what we do here as we seek to create a relaxed atmosphere for the isolated women who are referred to us. It increases their confidence, encourages new skills and enables them to take steps towards friendship and working with others. Your gift will enable us to complete something very special and I am sure ‘M’ will ensure you receive photographs along the way… With gratitude… “
Previous recipients – 2013
Textile Department at Redborne School.
Fibre-East purchased an Ashford 20″ Knitters Loom, Stand and the three extra reeds, together with two books: Hands on Rigid Heddle Weaving and The Weavers Idea Book.
Bedfordshire Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers.
For assistance with the purchase of a 32” Ashford 4 Shaft Table Loom. Fibre-East were very pleased to purchase the loom for the Guild.
“On behalf of Bedfordshire Guild of WSD, I would like to thank Fibre-East for it’s most generous donation of a loom which I am quite sure the members will put to very good use in the future. Hopefully, we will also be able to find opportunities to demonstrate to the public the functions of the loom and the benefits of using it. Also, when we are familiar with it, some of our members will feel that they can also use it as a teaching aid in the wider community”
Michelle Dibdin, Feltmaker.
For assistance towards a Master Class with Andrea Graham via webcam.
“Just wanted to drop you a quick line to say ‘Thank you’ for the contribution to my Master Class with Andrea Graham. I am so excited! I just got back from holiday and it was a wonderful surprise! Thanks again and looking forward to the Event next year…”
Previous recipients – 2012
Lost her entire workshop in a fire and Fibre-East sourced and supplied a brand new spinning wheel for her personal use.
Miss YB (Milton Keynes).
Currently working on her C&G Hand Knitting 7716-16, the request was for help with either books or towards her Module 3. After making contact with Miss YB’s mentor, FE was very happy to donate sufficient to pay for her Module 3.
“I just wanted to thank the Directors of Fibre-East for their kind donation towards my next C&G Module. It is truly appreciated. Also I have noted the details of next year’s event. I’m looking forward to attending and bringing along my completed module.”
Local charitable group (Bedfordshire).
Providing an environment for women feeling isolated; whether by language, economic situation, domestic violence, mental illness or other circumstances. The request was for ‘fluff and stuff’ to run a felting workshop with these ladies. Fibre-East happily sent funds to help purchase supplies.
“I just wanted to say a really big thank you to Fibre-East for the donation you sent to us towards the cost of felt making equipment. We appreciate your support and very much look forward to sharing with you how the money has been used.”
Previous recipients – 2011
Fibre-East donated sufficient funds to the Guild of Long Draw Spinners to enable them to finally place their order with David Bryant to have a custom made Great Wheel. The Guild use this wheel to take to shows and demonstrations.
The money Fibre-East makes available for the Grant/Award scheme comes solely from our footfall money, so thank you to all who come and make this possible.
Acknowledgements and thanks to our volunteers and suppliers
We give huge thanks to our team of wonderful volunteers, some of them working all day every day from the Thursday right through to Sunday when we finish. Without them, the smooth running of the Event would not be possible.
Providing all our marquee requirements
Providing professionally prepared food from our Catering Marquee.
Fibre-East uses independent, qualified security personnel.
Providers of our security fencing and have been excellent to deal with.
Mick George – Waste Management and Recycling
First Aid and Fire Extinguishers
Always providing us with excellent quotations and excellent service! As well as providing us with our shiny new website!