Fiber Fest: Enroll in Fiber U!

Liz Mitchko, coordinator for Fiber U, spoke with me about this great fiber festival. Starting in 2010, Fiber U has worked to educate and make resources readily available for any fiber enthusiast in the Midwest. Fiber U sets up in Lebanon, Missouri and draws the top fiber enthusiast from all eight surrounding states. The Midwest Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association organize this event, but you will find a market place bringing with all kinds of luscious fibers. Register and get ready for Fiber U this July!


Gus: Tell me about the history of Fiber U?

Liz: Fiber “U” began in 2010 to help promote fiber arts education in the Midwest by offering an assortment of fiber arts classes, vendors, demos and resources in the fiber industry. We publish (every other year) for attendees a ‘Midwest Fiber Resource Directory’ of sources and resources in fiber arts from Missouri and her 8 surrounding states, listing not just stores, but shearers, guilds and instructors too. We also offer a fiber collection area for several different organizations that pick up from our event, which helps our growers save on freight costs.

Gus: Pretend you talking to someone who has never been to your fiber festival, what would you highlight as your “WOW” attractions?

Liz: Small, intimate classes with great student/teacher ratio, vendors, demos and fiber artists’ showcase all under one air conditioned roof on Historic Route 66. On average we offer around 40 classes based on student evaluations and specific requests from attendees. All of our vendors and instructors are from the Midwest so that if students or customers want more classes or supplies, they are easy to get to. Our Fiber Artists showcase is for everyone to show techniques – many have learned at Fiber “U” and the public is encouraged to view the creativity that abounds.

fiber u

One of the many classes in progress at Fiber “U”

Our vendors love us because they each get to drive right to their booth to unload and load their booths in comfort in July. We don’t give out goodie bags, but have state tables where attendees can bring and place their own items and indicate on a map where they are from- this allows interested parties to pick and choose only the information they wish to take. We have 4 different hotels offering attendees discounted room rates- all of them within 2 miles of the venue.

Vendors bring a wide assortment for shoppers

Gus: What are your biggest festival do’s and don’ts for enjoying your fiber festival?

Liz: Pre-registration is a must “do” as seats are limited and classes fill up fast.

Don’t expect to register for any classes at the event- it is pre-registration only.

Don’t forget to bring a sweater…the air conditioning is great in the Cowan Civic Center.

Don’t like stairs? Not a problem as the Civic Center is ADA compliant

Check our website, Fiber-u.com for businesses or organizations that are doing fiber collections

Do look at the great assortment of vendors to enable you to continue with your fiber arts!


Fiber U

Cowan Civic Center
500 e. Elm Street
Lebanon, MO

July 15, 2017 8:00am – 6:00pm
July 16, 2017 8:00am – 3:00pm

Register for the event and classes at: http://www.mopaca.org/fiber-u/

Have a fiber festival we need to know about? Let us know in the comments! Find a list of festivals in the United States and Canada at www.spinweave.org/news-events/festivals. Find related Interweave posts on Fiber Festivals!


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