Author Event | Raw Material: Working Wool in the West
Monday November 5, 2018: 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Downtown Library: 4th Floor Meeting Room
Follow a sweater with an “Italian Merino” label back far enough and chances are its life began not in Milan, but in Montana. Many people want to look behind the label and know where their clothes come from, but the textile supply chain – one of the most toxic on the planet — remains largely invisible. In Raw Material: Working Wool in the West, Stephany Wilkes tells the story of American wool through her own journey to becoming a certified sheep shearer.
What begins as a search for local yarn becomes a dirty, unlikely, and irresistible side job. Wilkes leaves her tech job for a way of life considered long dead in the American West. Along the way, she meets ornery sheep that weigh more than she does, carbon-sequestering ranchers, landless grazing operators, rare breed stewards, and small-batch yarn makers struggling with drought, unfair trade agreements, and faceless bureaucracies as they work to bring eco-friendly fleece to market.
Stephany Wilkes is a sheep shearer certified by the University of California Hopland Research and Extension Center, a wool classer certified by the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI), and the President of the Northern California Fibershed Cooperative. Her writing has appeared in The Billfold, The Ag Mag, Hobby Farms, Midwestern Gothic, and other publications. Stephany speaks about sheep and wool terroir at numerous yarn shops, fiber festivals, guild meetings, schools, and events. A Michigan native, she lives in San Francisco.
This event is in partnership with Spun. It includes a book signing and books will be for sale.