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        The Art of Making Wool | Photo Essay | Global Oneness Project

        Local textile cultures called "fibersheds" offer an alternative to mass production by seeking to utilize regional agriculture, enhance ecological balance, and strengthen communities.

        Students view a photo essay, "The Art of Making Wool," by Mark Andrew Boyer, depicting the story of a sheep farmer in California who educates the public about wool and fiber arts. 

        In this lesson, students examine natural and synthetic fibers. Students explore the photo essay in groups and discuss how the sheep farmer offers an alternative to mass production with a focus on the themes of resiliency and sustainability. As an activity, students are asked to bring to class one sample of a natural fabric and one sample of a synthetic fabric. Reflective writing prompts are also included for students to demonstrate their understanding of the story.

         

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        The Art of Making Wool | Global Oneness Project

        Photographer Mark Andrew Boyer follows Mimi Luebberman who raises sheep at Windrush Farm in Petaluma, California. In the accompanying lesson, Rethinking the Fabrics We Wear, students view the photo essay and examine how Luebberman offers an alternative to mass production.

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        Mimi Luebbermann with Her Sheep | Global Oneness Project

        Mimi Luebbermann with her sheep at Windrush Farm in Petaluma, CA.

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        Corredale and Shetland Sheep | Global Oneness Project

        Windrush Farm is home to Corredale and Shetland sheep, who have been bred for their rich fur colors.

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        Making Things From Scratch | Global Oneness Project

        "Anything that I make from scratch is very appealing," says Luebbermann, "I went overboard. I bought a farm so I could raise the sheep, so I could spin the wool and knit the sweaters."

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        Zero Waste | Global Oneness Project

        Windrush Farm operates on a zero waste model and Luebbermann strives to reuse everything that comes onto her land.

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        Raw Wool is Ready to be Spun | Global Oneness Project

        Raw sheep's wool waiting to be carded and spun.

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        People are Hungry for Real Fiber | Global Oneness Project

        "Fiber is so tactile and people are so hungry to touch real fiber," explains Luebbermann, "It's as if the cells know the difference between polyester and wool off a sheep's back."

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        The Benefits of Wool | Global Oneness Project

        "Wool is a fabulous fiber. It keeps you warm, it insulates, it wicks moisture, it can get wet," says Luebbermann.

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        Sheep's Wool Doesn't Need Pesticides or Chemicals to Process | Global Oneness Project

        "Most sheep grow wool throughout the year and are typically sheared each spring. Unlike other fibers, sheep's wool doesn't require pesticides to grow or chemicals to process."

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        The Challenge of Spinning | Global Oneness Project

        Windrush Farm offers beginning spinning classes twice a year. "Spinning is challenging," says Luebbermann, "it can take years to learn but the process is very rewarding."

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        Spinning Wool | Global Oneness Project

        "In order to have the wool hold together, it needs to be twisted together. Once it twists together, it grabs hold and is strong, explains Luebbermann. "It's the spinning that's the magic."

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        The Rhythm of Spinning | Global Oneness Project

        "Spinning has a natural rhythm to it," explains Marlie de Swart, Luebbermann's longtime business partner, "it is very meditative."

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        Spinning Raw Wool into Yarn | Global Oneness Project

        Spinning raw sheep's wool into yarn.

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        Community Supported Agriculture | Global Oneness Project

        Mimi Luebbermann and her business partner Marlie de Swart have started a wool CSA called Local Pastures that supplies knitters with yarn from shepherds within a fifty-mile radius.

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        Know Where Your Fiber Comes From | Global Oneness Project

        Through their wool CSA, Luebbermann and de Swart hope to increase the demand for local wool in Northern California and beyond. "Knowing where your fiber comes from is just as important as knowing where your food comes from," says Leubberman.

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        Natural Fiber Yarn | Global Oneness Project

        "People don't realize that as much as they're hungry for real food, instead of plastic food, they're hungry for real fiber," says Luebbermann.

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        Luebbermann Spins Wool in Her Barn | Global Oneness Project

        Luebbermann carefully spins wool in her barn.

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        Windrush Farm at Twilight | Global Oneness Project

        Windrush Farm at twilight.

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