WIFs for Earth Day Weaving

In honor of Earth Day 2021, I added 10 WIFs to the WIF library from our January/February 2018 issue that was focused on earth-friendly yarns.

Susan E. Horton Apr 19, 2021 - 3 min read

WIFs for Earth Day Weaving Primary Image

Deborah Jarchow’s Clasped-Weft pillow was woven on a rigid-heddle loom. She chose yarns known as “shoddy yarns” that are made out of shredded leftover garments and knitted fabrics of the fashion industry. All photos by George Boe

Recently I’ve been reading articles about the negative effect the fashion industry has on the environment in terms of pollution, adding to our already full landfills, and excessive water usage. With that in mind, and with Earth Day coming up on April 22, I decided to revisit one of my favorite issues of Handwoven, January/February 2018. The issue’s theme was earth-friendly yarns. We chose projects for the issue that were woven with yarns that could be considered better for the planet whether they were made from recycled materials, naturally-dyed cottons, or natural undyed wools. I tracked down the WIFs for the issue’s 10 multishaft projects and added them to the WIF library. Check out the projects here and in the issue. They are beautiful inside and out, and they may inspire you to try weaving with some yarns that you haven’t previously considered.

JF18 Gettman, Forrest, McKibben

On the left and in the middle, Linda Gettmann’s Berta Frey Crackle Towels in Sustainable Cotton and Katie Forrest’s American Maid Baby Wrap were both woven using naturally colored cottons. Kate Lange-McKibben wove her Sweet Dreams of Weaving pillowcases using an organic cotton.

graver, moncrief, williams 2

There were three scarves in the issue. Pattie Graver wove the Airy Scarf from Trashy Yarn on the left using a weft that was spun from plastic trash; Liz Moncrief wove her white Bubbles on Your Loom scarf using yarn made out waste from milk production that would normally simply be thrown away; and Linda Williams used recycled cashmere for the Blue Haze Cashmere Scarves.

kaestner, kornblum, Schneider jf18

The issue included three environmentally friendly colorful projects for the home. Tracy Kaestner used organic cotton for her Meditative Rep Runners, Julie Kornblum used plarn as pattern weft in the For the Love of Overshot wall hanging, and Angela K. Schneider wove with an organic cotton that is dyed with environmentally friendly dyes for her Winter’s End Huck Towels.


Finally, Elisabeth Hill wove the issue’s beautiful cover project using natural undyed wools from Peru in the Double Down Eco-Friendly Blanket.

Check out the issue for the first time or revisit it. Celebrate Earth Day 2021 by planning or weaving a project that’s good for the planet.

Weave well,

P.S. There are lots of sources of information about the effect of textiles and fast fashion on the environment. Here’s one.