Fiber specialist leads 'Local Cloth' program at Smokey House Center Nov 10

Vermont Business Magazine Come to the Natural Fiber Lab at Smokey House Center for a discussion of the processes involved in turning locally grown plant fibers into finished cloth with Smokey House Center’s Natural Fibers Researcher, Andrea Myklebust. This Explore Smokey House Series titled, “Local Cloth” will be held Friday, November 10 from 5pm - 7pm. Participants will learn about the tools and materials used in transforming bast fibers (flax and hemp) from raw straw to spinnable fiber, spun yarn, and woven cloth. Andrea will discuss her work at the Smokey House Natural Fiber Lab, our ongoing fiber hemp research projects with UVM, and current work being undertaken regionally to revive local bast fiber textile production. 

“I began growing flax more than ten years ago but 2023 marked my first year growing fiber hemp aimed at textile uses. There’s a lot of grassroots initiatives underway in our region and beyond to re-localize an economy of natural fiber textile production. It’s an exciting time to be working with these materials, and the partnerships we are building suggest that a number of critical parts of the infrastructure puzzle may be coming together now.” said Andrea. “Bast fibers, both flax and hemp, have a centuries-long history of being grown in New England, but these crops are largely unknown here now. My work involves both looking into the past to understand historic agronomic and processing practices, and an active engagement with contemporary technologies and supply chains to revitalize these crops as part of our working landscapes.”

All ages welcome. This event is free and open to the public. Those wanting to attend should meet at the Conference Barn and park near the pond. 

This educational series, Explore Smokey House Center is an initiative supported through the Living Lab, the new keystone program at Smokey House Center dedicated to using their wonderful 5,000 acre landscape to conduct applied research and learning around farming and forestry.  At Smokey House Center there is a lot to discover from bird species, to mushrooms, to forest trails, wildlife and even the night sky. See individual Facebook events for specific information on dates and times or on their website at


(Flax, the plant that makes linen, grown at Smokey House Center dew retting in stooks along the field) 

About Smokey House Center:

With an almost 50 year history, Smokey House Center’s fundamental purpose is to maintain a working landscape that promotes sustainable agricultural and forestry practices while engaging people in meaningful ways. 

About Living Lab:

The Living Lab at Smokey House Center exists to conduct applied research and demonstration that focuses on better understanding the ecological, economic, and social impacts of farming and forestry. This work is approached through a collaborative lens that emphasizes the importance of long-term partnerships, cross-disciplinary collaboration, and bottom-up local capacity building. Research, education, and outreach efforts at the Living Lab aim to build ecological and economic resiliency into regional food and forest systems in a way that demonstrates global solutions while securing local community benefits. At the core of this approach is our dedication to continuing the legacy of hands-on learning and work opportunities for underserved youth that has been so central to Smokey House's mission since its genesis. 

About Andrea Myklebust:

Andrea is a shepherd, flax farmer, and fiber arts teacher based in Danby, Vermont. She and her husband, Stanton Sears, have created more than seventy public art projects for sites across the United States. Her work in natural fibers has focused on the revitalization of local and regional textile production systems as a means to confront climate change and revitalize rural economies. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Northern New England Fibershed, and was the recipient of a 2017/18 USDA SARE grant exploring the growing and processing of flax fiber for community-scale linen production. Her present research includes work on carbon sequestration in wool production and the development of bast fibers (flax, textile hemp) in New England. She is a graduate of Macalester College, St. Paul, MN.

Source: 11.3.2023. Danby, VT— Smokey House Center

Event Location

United States

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