Sheep and Fiber Day at Daniel Boone Homestead: From sheep tails to ships’ sails!

Randy Stitzel shears one of the Homestead’s sheep.
Randy Stitzel shears one of the Homestead’s sheep. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Diane Kiefer and son, Nathan Kiefer, demonstrate flax processing while Erica Keller spins wool.
Diane Kiefer and son, Nathan Kiefer, demonstrate flax processing while Erica Keller spins wool. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Join us for everything fiber! Sheep and Fiber Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 21, at the Daniel Boone Homestead, 400 Daniel Boone Road, Exeter Township.

Follow all the steps necessary to process wool in the 18th-century, from shearing to weaving and everything in between. See how labor-intensive processing wool was and why one did not own an entire wardrobe full of clothes. Start at the barn as our resident sheep are sheared and their wool is washed.

Following picking, a task done to remove dirt and sticks, the wool is then carded to continue the cleaning process and to separate and disentangle the fibers. Spinning follows the carding whether it is done on a hand-spindle, thigh spindle or a wool wheel. Once the wool is spun, plied and washed to set the twist it is yarn. Yarn can then be woven into cloth. If one wants colored wool, the wool needs to go through a dyeing process, which will be demonstrated with natural materials that would have been used in the 18th century. Children will be given a piece of wool which they can then take through all the steps in the entire wool process.

In addition to wool processing, you will also learn about flax and hemp fibers and how they were processed and used in the 18th century. In addition to all the wool demonstrations, several other 18th-century demonstrations will be occurring throughout the site including blacksmithing, baking in the 18th-century bake oven, and sawing planks in the 18th-century, water-powered sawmill. Men’s and women’s garb of the 18th century will also be discussed. Horse-drawn wagon rides will provide transportation around the historic area.

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Les Stark, an expert on the history of hemp in Pennsylvania, will be discussing hemp and signing his book, Hempstone Heritage 1. In addition, visit craft and fiber vendors who will sell their fabulous crafts, hand-dyed wools, and hand knitted items. A food vendor will be on site for lunch and snacks.

Cost is $7 for Adults; $4 for children ages 5-15; Members are free.

For more information please call 610-582-4900 or see our website at www.danielboonehomestead.org. Proceeds benefit the educational and interpretive programs at the Daniel Boone Homestead.