Fibrefest 2013

18th Annual Fibrefest

The Mississippi Valley Textile Museum’s highly anticipated Fibrefest is returning for its 18th annual event on September 7th and 8th, 2013, and it will be bigger and better than ever. At three locations—the MVTM, the Almonte Arena and the Almonte Curling Club—visitors will find more than seventy vendors, coupled with demonstrations, exhibits and much, much more—a full two-day festival of textiles and fibre arts!

Throughout Fibrefest, local guilds will be on hand to demonstrate the arts of knitting, lacemaking, smocking, weaving, spinning, quilting, penny rugs, and more. The Friends of the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum will again be providing tea room services, featuring homemade goodies, beverages and sandwiches all available at a reasonable price.

The Ottawa Valley Button Club is again hosting Button Mania. As well as having vendors selling a huge variety of buttons and button-related items, the club will mount displays of beautiful glass buttons and historic uniform buttons. Bring your old buttons to the button ID clinic to find out the history of your special items!

New this Year: Vintage Clothing Show and Sale!

We are very excited about this new addition to Fibrefest. The Almonte Curling Club will be the site of a vintage clothing event, which will include a museum-quality display—The History of Fashion—designed to raise appreciation of the beauty, workmanship and creative potential of vintage and collectible clothing. Thirty juried vintage clothing dealers will also be offering quality fashions for viewing and purchase. This is a unique opportunity to enjoy a huge variety of vintage fashions all in one location.

Featured Artist: Noelle Hamlyn – Textile Artist

Noelle is intrigued by the possibilities of textiles—of using textures and fibres to evoke emotion. She believes that our sense of touch is one of our most powerful, and is therefore drawn to things with strong tactile qualities. Using a wide range of unusual materials, she creates works that explore concepts such as memory and attachments, as well as cultural, family and personal narratives.

“Sweetness of the Work” is a collection of pieces created in homage to hand work—usually completed by women—that seeks to showcase the accumulated stitches, labour and hours invested in traditional women’s hand work. Many pieces have been washed and treated to encourage the formation of salt crystals that are like the sweat and salt tears of the seamstress—a gentle meditation on the loss of these traditional skills, the repetitive nature of hand work, and the social role of women.

The “tools of the trade,” from sewing machines, spinning wheels, and scissors, to buttons, bobbins and pins are cast with Japanese gampi paper to create ghost-like references to the hands that used and abandoned these “old fashioned” methods.

Graduating from Sheridan Institute’s Crafts and Design Program (Textiles), and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Noelle has represented Canada at the International Craft Biennale in Cheongju, South Korea and the Love Lace International Lace Competition at the Power House Museum in Sydney, Australia. She showed at the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad and has work in the permanent collections of the Cambridge Art Gallery, the Peel Board of Education and the Cleveland University Hospitals. In March she mounted a small show at the Art Gallery of Mississauga and participated in the Biennale Internationale Du Lin de Portneuf in June.

At the Museum: Two World-Class Exhibitions

While Fibrefest is in full swing, the gallery at the Textile Museum will be featuring “Inner Vision,” a display of vibrant modern tapestries by prize-winning Peruvian artist/weaver Maximo Laura, along with “Naked Coptic Dancers” a collection of Christian Egyptian tapestries from the 3rd to 12th century. You won’t want to miss a chance to see these outstanding collections.

I Say, Don’t Miss the Tweed Ride

Local cycling enthusiasts will again be donning their poshest period biking duds (plus fours encouraged) to create the spirit of a bygone era in Almonte’s Tweed Ride. Riders will meet at the Fairgrounds on Saturday September 7 at 11 a.m. and will take a merry jaunt around town to the various Fibrefest locations. While any bike is acceptable, classic models are naturally encouraged.

Tweed Rides are a worldwide phenomenon that began in London in 2009 to celebrate the bike and raise money for a good cause. Proceeds from the Almonte Tweed Ride are directed towards education in Haiti.

Whether you are interested in art, history, clothing, textile crafts, or just a great day out and about, Fibrefest will have something of interest for everyone.

Admission to Fibrefest is $5.00 per day, which includes access to all sites. Fibrefest runs on Saturday September 7 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday September 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Almonte, just 45 minutes west of downtown Ottawa. Venues are the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum, located at 3 Rosamond Street East in Almonte; and the Almonte Arena and Almonte Curling Club, located at 182 Bridge St. For more information contact the Museum at 613-256-3754 ext. 7 or

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