National Alpaca Week across Australia, celebration of the Navajos' churro sheep, and two major events in Frankfurt, Germany...
Farm gates open for National Alpaca Week
During National Alpaca Week, which runs from 2-10 May, the Australian Alpaca Association's 2 100 members in 14 regions will open their farm gates to the general public. The first alpacas arrived in Australia in 1858. Today the country has a flourishing alpaca breeding industry, with the national flock estimated at around 40 000 animals. Several Australian companies are now also manufacturing alpaca garments and yarn.
Shepherd's harvest celebration
The largest sheep and wool event in the US state of Minnesota gets under way on 9 May at Lake Elmo. This year's Shepherd's Harvest Sheep and Wool Festival - which boasts "some of the finest sheep, angora rabbit and alpaca fleece in the Upper Midwest" - offers 36 courses on subjects such as spinning wheel basics, lacemaking, wool dyeing, needle felting, raising angora rabbits and marketing fibre arts.
Wool gathering in Swiss mountains
Cernier, the capital of the Val-de-Ruz district in Switzerland, is hosting a European meeting on "Wool from here and other places". The event is sponsored by ATELIER, an association made up of breeders, shearers and animal fibre users that, for 20 years, has fostered local wool initiatives across Europe. The programme includes a wool fashion show and forums on sheep health and fibre measurement technology.
Coir business in Turkey
A two-day seminar in Kerala, India, will explore opportunities for exports of coir mats and mattings to Turkey. Organized by Alappuzha Business Development Services, the seminar covers market research of the Turkey market, the role of internet in doing business there, price patterns, distribution channels, major importers of doormats and mattings, import duties, transport costs, payment terms and consumer tastes.
European Animal Fibre Week
The town of Biella in northern Italy, which lies at the heart of the country's wool processing and textile industry, is the ideal venue for May's European Animal Fibre Week. Representatives from the world of wool, cashmere and alpaca fibre will participate in four days of events, seeking to "open new horizons for the use of natural fibres and their suppliers around the world, giving particular priority to wool which for centuries contributed to the growth of Europe."
Conference on European hemp
The European Industrial Hemp Association's 6th International Conference brings together experts in hemp cultivation, primary processing and marketing, and prospective investors in hemp enterprises. Each year, farmers in the European Union produce around 24 000 tonnes of hemp fibres, destined mainly for pulp and paper, and 48 000 tonnes of shives, used in animal bedding, particle boards and furniture.
Fundamental biology of plant fibres
The Russian Academy of Sciences' Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics hosts a symposium on Plant fibres: view of fundamental biology. The symposium will examine plant fibre genomics and proteomics, fibre senescence, and the structure and formation of fibre bundles, using fibre cells "as interesting model to study key processes in plant development".
World Alpaca Congress
The U.S. Alpaca Owners and Breeders' Association hosts the 2nd World Alpaca Conference at the International Exposition Center in Cleveland, Ohio, in June. The event will feature more than 1 800 North American alpacas and a fleece show with entries from around the world. Also on the programme: fibre arts displays, training sessions, a photography exhibition and a fashion show of high quality alpaca garments.
"Master spinner" program at Canadian Fibrefest
The Victoria Fibrefest, held in Victoria, BC, Canada, since 2002, attracts up to 500 enthusistic knitters for a week of demonstrations, exhibitions and fibre fashion shows. This year's highlights include a "Master Spinner Program" covering the hand spinning of all major types of fibre and the end use of spun yarns, lessons in intarsia (used to create patterns with multiple colours), Japanese braid-making and the secrets of knitting socks and cellphone cosies.
Major IYNF events in Frankfurt
Two of the major events of the International Year take place at the Frankfurt Messe exhibition centre in Germany in mid-June. First (15-18 June) is the 78th Congress of the International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO), a meeting place for "key industry players from throughout the wool chain" who will help define the direction of wool for apparel, interior and industrial uses. Running from 17-18 June is the National Fibres Congress, sponsored by IWTO, the German Linen Association, the International Textile Manufacturers Federation and the Bremen Cotton Exchange. It will discuss innovative functions, mobility applications and construction applications of natural fibres. Both meetings are held in conjunction with Techtextil, the world's leading fair for technical textiles.
Navajo celebrate their churro sheep
The introduction of Iberian churro sheep to what is now the southwestern USA in the 1600s transformed Navajo communities, which embraced pastorialism and gave sheep an important place in their culture and religious life. To celebrate the churro - and the International Year - a grassroots Navajo organization, Din¨¦ be' iin¨¢ (Navajo Lifeway), will host a five-days "Sheep is life" festival, with sheep-to-loom demonstrations, sheep and wool shows, and a Navajo rug and fibre arts auction.
Hemp fair focuses on new uses, technologies
A three-day Feira do Cânhamo in the city of Porto, Portugal, will highlight the uses of hemp in the textile industry, in civil construction and medicine, and as a source of biodiesel. The fair aims at stimulating eco-industry, biological agriculture and ecological awareness, and establishing commercial links between Europe, Africa and Brazil.
A French valley's love for linen
The landscape of France's Vall¨¦e du Dun, in Upper Normandy, has been shaped over centuries by the cultivation of flax for production of linen. Today, flax is grown over an area of some 25 000 hecatres and the valley is one of the biggest linen producers in Europe. In July, eight municipalities will participate in the annual linen festival, which will include displays of linen textiles, arts and crafts, as well as a linen market with products from throughout France.
How to be listed as an IYNF event
To be listed in the International Year of Natural Fibres (IYNF) calendar you must display the IYNF logo, and related information materials, at the event and on your webpage. The basic steps:
1. Apply for permission to use the IYNF logo - download application form from:
2. Return the completed application form along with the following details of the event:
- Name of the event
- Name of the organizers
- Date of the event
- Venue of the event
- A brief description of the event
- URL of a webpage with more information about the event