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Heritage House Publishing Fall 2023

Fleece and Fibre
Textile Producers of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands
By (author): Francine McCabe
Francine McCabe


Heritage House - Victoria



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Flaps


General Trade
Oct 10, 2023
$34.95 CAD


10in x 8.5 in

Page Count:

224 pages


colour photographs
Heritage House
CRAFTS & HOBBIES / Fiber Arts & Textiles
Textile artworks|Fashion and textile design|Rural communities|Apparel, garment and textile industries|Textiles and fibres|Traditional trades, crafts and skills|Sustainable agriculture|Animal husbandry|Spinning and weaving|Rural crafts
British Columbia
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.

  • This book highlights the rich practice of fibre production that is taking place on small-scale farms on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, profiling individual farms.
  • Both animal-based fibres (sheep, alpaca, llama, angora, mohair, cashmere) and cellulose-based fibres (flax, hemp, invasive plants) are included.
  • Author identifies as Indigenous: a mixed-blood Anishinaabe from Batchewana First Nations.
  • At a time when people are looking for more local, sustainable alternatives to fast fashion, this book presents the art and industry of ecological textile production and helps connect consumers and makers in the region with local farmers.
  • Includes detailed explanations of the types of fibres, animal breeds, and local sources, along with current and historic cultivation and use.
  • Filled with beautiful, colour photography of farms, landscapes, livestock, and textiles, offering an intimate snapshot of the farms and people who work them.
  • The author is a self-taught fibre artist who is passionate about supporting local businesses and sustainable textile production.
  • Author is involved in local fibreshed and fibre arts organizations on Vancouver Island.
  • Tentative launch event with Knit City Vancouver (September 2023).

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.


  • Pitches to print, online, and broadcast media for features, excerpts, interviews, and review coverage, including CBC, Globe and Mail, Global BC, Quill and Quire, Canadian Living, Chatelaine, Elle Canada, CityNews1130, CHEK TV, CTV Vancouver Island, Boulevard Magazine, Alive magazine, BC BookWorld, BCNature, MONTECRISTO, Georgia Straight, CFAX 1070, YAM Magazine.
  • Pitch to subject-specific publications (environmental, socially-engaged, agricultural, textile production) such as The Tyee, Cascadia Magazine, The Discourse, A\J Alternatives Journal, The Narwal, National Observer, Country Life in BC (BC), Agri-Pulse, EcoCult (USA), Sourcing Journal (USA), One Earth (USA).
  • Location-specific pitches to outlets based on featured farms in the book, including: Victoria Times-Colonist; Gulf Island Driftwood; Ladysmith Chronicle; Saanich News; Sooke News Mirror; Victoria News; Lake Cowichan Gazette; Monday Magazine (Victoria); Nanaimo Magazine; Nanaimo News Bulletin; Cowichan Valley Citizen (Duncan); Comox Valley Record.
  • Pitch to art, textile, fibre-related publications, such as Vogue magazine, Digits and Threads (CAN), Fibre Focus (ON), Fibre Art Now (USA), C Magazine (CAN), Rewilding Magazine (CAN), For The Wild Podcast, Island Arts Magazine (BC), Northern Knits podcast, The Unravelling podcast, Fiber Talk podcast.
  • Promote though cross-Canada and PNW Fibreshed networks and socially-engaged organizations, such as: BC Sheep Federation; Canadian Co-operative Wool Growers Collective; Vancouver Island Llama and Alpaca Club; Eartheart Gleaners.
  • Publicity and promotion in conjunction with author's speaking engagements with local fibre groups, arts councils, and events.
  • Online promotion through influencer outreach to Canadian users posting fibre-related content as well as PNW fibreshed accounts.
  • Paid digital advertising on Instagram and Facebook.
  • Award submissions to BC and Yukon Book Prizes, Indigenous Voices Awards, Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-fiction, Governor General's Literary Awards, First Nation Communities READ award, Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association (PNBA) Book Award.
  • Confirmed excerpt in SOAR, magazine of Pacific Coastal Airways, Spring 2024.
  • Confirmed article forthcoming in FOLKLIFE magazine, Spring 2023.
  • Excerpt in Times-Colonist.
  • Tentative launch event with Knit City Vancouver (September 2023) and speaking engagement with West Coast Knitters Guild.


  • Rebecca Burgess (founder of the Fibershed movement)
  • Anna Hunter (owner of Long Way Homestead, author of Sheep, Shepherd & Land)
  • Clara Parkes (author, speaker, wool advocate)
  • Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, the YarnHarlot (Canadian writer, knitter, blogger)
  • Sylvia Olsen (author of Unravelling Canada)
  • Leanne Prain (author of The Creative Instigator’s Handbook, Yarn Bombing, Strange Material, and Hoopla)
  • (USA) Peggy Orenstein (author of Unraveling)
  • Charlotte Kwon (founder of Maiwa)
  • (USA) Stephany Wilkes (president, Northern California Fibershed Co-operative)

For more information contact
[email protected]

“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

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