Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Vanishing Fleece: Adventures in American Wool

Vanishing Fleece: Adventures in American Wool is a very entertaining and informative narrative by fibre writer Clara Parkes. It chronicles the crowd-funded journey of a bale (676 pounds) of merino wool from the sheep to the dyed finished skeins. Released 1st Oct 2019 by Abrams, it's 192 pages and available in hardcover and ebook formats.

I have enjoyed the author's other books and enjoy fibre-arts writing and subjects in general, so I anticipated that I would like this one as well.  I did, very much. I like her conversational writing and the addition of the genesis of the project to the narrative added some background and setting.

The bale of yarn duly purchased, it was split into fourths and the story follows each of those fourths through processing and dyeing into skeins of yarn. The author makes a lot of good points in the book about everything from the impermanence and breakneck speed of the fashion knitwear industry, to vanishing manufacturing inside the fibre arts.

This would make a really diverting read for fibrecrafters who like reading books about fibrearts as well as anyone who enjoys 'how it's made' type books. I am a fan of the author and the subject matter, so I really enjoyed it and found it enlightening. It should be noted, however, that the author delineates quite specifically in the book that the American fibre industry is disappearing as the global market forces and aging mill owners retire. For people who really love their wool, it's an alarming time.  Additionally, I think the book could've used some photos/illustrations. It's worth noting that I was provided an early eARC of the book and have not compared it to the final release. It's possible that there -are- photos in the final release version of the book which weren't included in the eARC I received.

Five stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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