The Fort Wayne Flax and Fleecers Guild was founded on November 12, 1975 as a spin-off (no pun intended!) of the Fort Wayne Settlers. The founding president was Mary Krouse, and there were originally five meetings per year that were to be educational in nature or “learning sessions.” By 1976, the guild had 50 members, demonstrating the popularity of the fiber arts at the time.
Over the many years since it’s founding, the guild has hosted several workshops and has invited many guest speakers to teach on various subjects, such as natural dyeing, spinning cotton, spinning silk, fleece preparation, spinning flax, and much more. These workshops/programs continue to occur today to indeed be “learning sessions” for guild members. To continue this educational process, the guild has expanded to monthly meetings in addition to spin-ins several times a year.
In addition to the education the guild provides it’s members, awareness of the fiber arts has been promoted by the guild throughout the community. This has been in the form of demonstrations at community events, schools, festivals, fairs, among others.
The guild currently has 35 members and continues to grow with the resurgence of the fiber arts (knitting, crocheting, weaving, and spinning) and the general movement towards making essentials “from scratch.” Our members are very diverse with both men and women and all age-groups from teenagers to octogenarians.
Our guild historian, Teri Conrad has scrapbooks from the beginning of the guild up until current events.