Fleece and Fibre

Textile Producers of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands

By (author): Francine McCabe
ISBN 9781772034530
Softcover | Publication Date: October 10, 2023
Book Dimensions: 8.5 in. x 10 in.
224 Pages
$34.95 CAD
E-Book Price: $17.99 CAD

About the Book

Shortlisted, 2024 BC & Yukon Book Prizes – Bill Duthie Booksellers Choice Award

A BC Bestseller

A fascinating look at the world of small-scale textile farms along the Salish Sea and their pivotal role in sustainable, artisanal textile production and the slow fashion movement.

Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands are a part of a unique geographical region that can grow and process its own raw textile materials with transparency. This book explores the region’s vibrant fleece and fibre community and introduces the public to this growing land-based textile economy.

Richly illustrated with captivating photography, Fleece and Fibre presents the many fibre types produced along the Salish Sea—including sheep wool, llama, alpaca, mohair, cashmere, linen, flax, and hemp—and explains where and how they are currently being grown, processed, and used.

At a time when the global textile industry is one of the most unsustainable and exploitative industries on the planet, the public is looking for local alternatives to fast fashion. Part sourcebook, part stunning coffee table book, and part call to action, Fleece and Fibre creates new connections between farmers, raw materials, makers, designers, dyers, and wearers.

About the Author(s)

Francine McCabe is a mixed-blood Anishinaabe writer, fibre artist, and organic master gardener from Batchewana First Nation, living on the unceded traditional territory of the Stz'uminus First Nation with her partner and two sons. She holds a degree in Creative Writing from Vancouver Island University. She is an active member of the Vancouver Island Fibreshed network and has recently joined the Guild of Canadian Weavers. She is the past recipient of the Mary Garland Coleman Prize in Lyrical Poetry and was awarded the 2014 Pat Bevan Scholarship for Creative Writing. Her writing has appeared in Portal Magazine, CV Collective, and FOLKLIFE.


“This book is highly recommended for people wanting to learn more about the farming and land-based community of this region through the lens of fibre. Also recommended for those considering how to journey into their own home regions and meet the fibre farming community of their distinct regions.”
—Rebecca Burgess, founder of the Fibershed movement and author of Fibershed: Growing a Movement of Farmers, Fashion Activists, and Makers for a New Textile Economy
Fleece & Fibre is a beautiful and rigorous resource of the regional fibres in coastal BC. A guidebook like this should exist in every fibreshed across the country as a call to action for consumers, fibre artists and textile producers to work together to build up local textile economies.”
—Anna Hunter, author of Sheep, Shepherd & Land: Stories of Sheep Farmers Reinvigorating Canadian Wool
“It is difficult to localize our wardrobes when regional materials are hard to find. Fleece & Fibre is a linchpin that solves this problem, showing readers why materials matter and where, how, and with whom to find the best of them.”
—Stephany Wilkes, author of Raw Material: Working Wool in the West
Fleece & Fibre offers an inspiring peek into the fields and gardens of the islands, sharing the possibilities borne out of cultivating independent, hyper-local fibre economies.”
—Leanne Prain, author of The Creative Instigator’s Handbook and Strange Material: Storytelling Through Textiles
“An intimate portrait of the fibreshed of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. McCabe’s book provides much valuable information on breeds, wools, and fibres, but it is also a testament to the beauty and integrity of rural life. Anyone who works with fibre should have this book.”
—Charllotte Kwon, founder of Maiwa
“Visit the farms, people, plants, and animals of the Vancouver Island Fibreshed. More than an inventory, Fleece & Fibre is a snapshot of history and a call to action for local fibre ecosystems around the world.”
—Raven Ranson, Fibre farmer and author of Homegrown Linen: Transforming flaxseed to linen
“Wool enthusiasts and armchair travellers alike will be inspired by the world revealed within these pages. Beyond a resource book of regional fibre farmers, animals, and the plant possibilities for cloth, McCabe has gifted us with an important and beautiful book that documents the growing revolution underway: reconnecting our clothing to farming.”
—Sharon Kallis, author of Common Threads and director of EartHand Gleaners Society
Fleece & Fibre is a valuable resource for folks living on the West Coast and beyond. This delightful book will spark your interest in the farming, production, and the magic of locally sourced fibre.”
—Caitlin ffrench, artist and author of Gathering Colour