Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Find fleeces galore in the Fleece Tent. English photo

Showcasing the Best of Maine Fiber

If you are looking to purchase fleece, want to learn more about fleece, or are an avid fiber enthusiast, the Fleece Tent is the place for you. It is a destination for fairgoers looking for the best of Maine-produced fiber.

As always, fairgoers will have an abundance of sheep fleeces from which to choose for purchase – white and colored; fine, medium and long staple; plus fleeces from "primitive" or dual-coat breeds. The fleeces will be organized initially by color and then grade, with each grower’s fleeces grouped together within the respective category. Specialty fibers, including llama, alpaca, mohair, cashmere and angora, will also have ample space. We invite fiber artists to show off what you made with last year’s Fleece Tent purchases!

Kate Henry and Susanne Grosjean will once again put together their amazing exhibit of breeds and fiber samples with information about uses of different types—whether for spinning beautiful yarn or creating fabulous felt. And there will be educational information on hand about the growers and farms selling fleece, and fiber-related groups in Maine.

Throughout the weekend, spinners and growers will be available to answer questions. Find yourself with one too many fleeces to process yourself? We’ll have contact information for Maine’s fiber processing mills. In addition the schedule will include talks all three days – at the Speakers Tent right outside the Fleece Tent – on a wide array of subjects, including choosing the right fleece for spinning, processing fleece, raising and spinning alpaca, and harvesting fiber from Angora rabbits. Peter Hagerty of Peace Fleece will speak on Sunday afternoon on the Navajo Wool Buy. Please see the Fairbook schedule for details and times.

The Fleece Tent is a major component of the abundant presence of fiber at the Fair that includes the Wednesday Spinners, several Maine vendors in the adjacent Fiber Marketplace and the many farms and vendors at the Maine Fiber Farms and Maine Ag Products areas nearby. Enjoy a journey from fleece to finished product, with many stops along the way!

Details for Fiber Producers

Fleece Sale: Knowing that variety is the key to a good sale, the Fleece Tent coordinators encourage all interested growers to take part. Growers wishing to pre-register should contact Penelope Olson, 785-2784 or [email protected], to let us know how many fleeces you plan to submit so that we can send you the right number of tags and registration forms. The packet includes a detailed cover letter. When you receive your packet, please fill out the tags and forms as completely as possible. We recommend the use of return address labels or a rubber stamp to expedite the form completion. There is no need to return anything. The tags should be firmly attached to the fleece bags. Simply submit the forms when you deliver your fleeces to the Fleece Tent.

Fleeces – from this year’s clip only – should be submitted starting no earlier than 1 p.m. on Thursday and should come in no later than 5:30. Fleeces must be well-skirted and as free of vegetable matter and other contaminants as possible. The coordinators reserve the right to assess fleeces for quality and appearance as they come in. Please remember that the emphasis of this sale is on the best in handspinning fleeces.

Fleeces may be submitted on other days during the Fair, but only before 8 a.m. Cars may be driven onto the Fairgrounds only until 8 a.m. for delivery of fleeces, and they must be off the grounds by 8:30 a.m. For those unable to pre-register, a supply of registration materials will be available at the Fleece Tent throughout the weekend. Please be advised that Friday morning can be incredibly busy, making on-the-spot registration difficult. We strongly encourage pre-registration of fleeces AND delivery on Thursday.

Fleece Show: The Fleece Show on Saturday will include both wool and specialty fibers. Wool judging will start at 10 a.m., and specialty fibers judging will follow. Wool growers may submit one fleece – from this year's clip only – in each of the following categories: white or colored; and within those divisions, fine, medium, long; and primitive/dual-coated. Specialty fiber growers may submit one fleece in each of the following categories: alpaca and llama – white, colored and cria (under one year at time of shearing); goat – adult and kid mohair, cashmere, pygora and cashgora. The fee for each entry is $3. Angora rabbit fiber may be submitted as follows: one fleece each of plucked, white and colored; and clipped, white and colored. The fee for each container is $1.50. For further information about submitting fiber to the sale and/or show, please contact Penelope Olson at 785-2784 or [email protected]