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Kudzu Culture: From wild vine to fine weaving fiber

  • Warren Wilson College 817 Warren Wilson Road Swannanoa, NC, 28778 United States (map)

Join us in exploring the surprising story kudzu has to tell us, and bring your ideas of how its fibers can be used for fiber art!

Instructors Justin Holt and Lauren Bacchus will guide workshop participants in hands-on kudzu vine processing throughout the morning. We will visit a nearby kudzu patch and discuss harvesting techniques, and do some hands-on harvesting if appropriate. We will then work together to rinse already retted fiber (retted means “rotted,” so prepare for a stink!) to prepare it for use in weaving. Wear clothes that you don't mind getting wet and a little messy.

During lunchtime we will hear the story of kudzu, an intriguing tale of many layers, and introduce the group to the culinary and medicinal benefits of kudzu roots, another valuable product of this useful plant. Participants will also get to try samples of dishes crafted with our own, locally made kudzu starch!

Throughout the afternoon, we will then work with processed kudzu fibers to explore how the material responds to various manipulations. Pre-processed fibers will be provided for participants to make a woven bookmark or bracelet on a d.i.y. cardboard loom. Feel free to bring a small loom or other spinning and weaving equipment to experiment with. Additional pre-processed fibers will be available for purchase.

Don't miss this unique workshop that encompasses ecology, sustainability, anthropology, fiber art, and so much more!

Workshop cost $180, materials fee $20