Meg & Jason: Fleece House
How did you get started/interested in Navajo rug restoration?
Jason: It was a serendipitous meeting with another rug repairer in need of skilled hands. Meg was assisting with a weaving workshop in Denver and was introduced to one of the attendees who was involved in the field. Within a few weeks, everything clicked and we were able to start training together and work out of our home, which was already slowly becoming a fiber studio.
How long have you been doing Navajo rug restoration?
Jason: We haven’t been involved for too long yet, only since this past April ’16. Although, after quickly completing our training, equipped with our strong fiber background we have been going strong and continue to advance steadily.
Why Navajo rug restoration?
Jason: We always joke that it found us but Navajo rug restoration is a unique opportunity to put our knowledge of wool handling, yarn spinning and weaving experience to good use. We love exploring the history of the Navajo weaving traditions and being able to repair these textiles of historic value fulfills us in a way that other jobs have not. We are constantly inspired by the keen visual sense and undisputed mastery of Pattern these weavers wield.
Any challenges to getting started?
Jason: The various repair techniques offer a rather steep learning curve, the varied workflow from piece to piece – every repair is different – takes some getting used to and of course becoming familiar with handling the tools while manipulating very small amounts of wool.
What is an important lesson you have learned?
Jason: There is something profound in the beauty of these creations we are given the opportunity to work with. It boggles the mind to consider that this unique and amazing craft was produced by the Navajo with little to no resources to work with. The reliance on their environment and knowledge of the various natural sources which provide the materials they require. A style we admire deeply and strive towards.
Oh and good lighting, correct posture and regular breaks make the days go by a lot smoother!
How did you end up in Longmont?
Jason: We moved to Colorado three years ago and needed to land near Boulder for Meg’s former job. After spending most of our lives in larger cities, we wanted to live in a smaller town with a feeling of community and have a less congested lifestyle.
Do you have a vision for Longmont?
Jason: We would like to get the word out about the strength of our local fibershed and hopefully get others interested in turning as much of the local fiber as possible into beautiful and valued works of handcraft. We really resonate with the creative direction Longmont seems to be headed and hope to bring our flavor into the mix.
What’s next for you?
Jason: We continue to hone our weaving skills and techniques and have started dyeing our own wool for personal projects and plan for expanding into dyeing for the restorations. We process and work with locally produced fleece and natural dye methods in our “free time” and have just formed a small home business operation to showcase this effort. We will initially offer fine handspun yarns and naturally dyed home goods and various other fibercrafts. We hope to eventually expand into fiber mill/processing operations when the conditions present themselves.