Echoview Fiber Mill is more than just a mill – it’s an eco-conscious, living-wage certified, sustainable manufacturer that provides local processing for animal fiber. Poetically located in Weaverville, it thrives in the arts and craft culture of Western North Carolina. The striking modern facility, equipped with solar panels and geo-thermal wells, was awarded Gold LEED Certification for environmentally friendly design. It is the first manufacturing mill of its kind to receive this distinction.
But what does a fiber mill actually do? As a fiber mill, Echoview provides an important service by handling the labor intensive process of turning raw fleece and fiber sheared from an animal into something useful that can be knitted, crocheted, spun, or felted into works of art and utility. The process of washing, carding, and spinning fiber is time-consuming and difficult to do by hand. Without the resources of a dedicated facility with specialized machinery like Echoview, many fiber farmers would be unable to profit from the fiber their animals produce.
This makes a fiber processing mill a key piece in the fiber community, a niche Echoview was designed to fill. Since its inception, it has reached beyond its oxidized steel walls to offer a place where farmer can meet artist, and where anyone can come and learn more about fiber arts and our goal to develop an economy of clothing produced close to home. There’s something for everyone here—classes in a variety of fiber arts, a library full of craft resources able to be checked out, meeting spaces, machine rentals, and a retail space selling goods exclusively from local artists and makers.
In this retail space you’ll find Echoview’s own yarn, produced on machines that are a mix of new state-of-the-art technology and antiques that fell out of use when cheap foreign labor and outsourced manufacturing closed the doors of textile mills all across America. Putting these machines back to work is a poignant move in reviving local commerce and bringing home an industry that almost disappeared from our landscape. Echoview isn’t just putting machines back to work; the mill employs veterans of the textile industry and locals who live or even grew up mere miles from the land the mill was built on. Hiring homegrown talent is just another piece of making truly local fiber products a reality.
Come see how Echoview processes animal fiber brought in by any of the hundreds of small fiber farmers in the region at a free tour offered to the public every Tuesday afternoon at one o’clock. The mill store is open five days a week during regular business hours and a web store with a quickly expanding inventory of local products can be found at www.EchoviewFibermill.com.