Fibers & Clothing
updated January 14, 2019
Recorded here is my own personal collection of articles, resources, favorite links, teaching ideas, and lesson plans. It encompasses many years, from the very beginning of my experience studying and learning about Waldorf to the present time. People from all around the world visit my site and recommend it to others. Welcome!
This site records my journey. I hope my honesty is encouraging and helps break down some barriers that may prevent people from trying Waldorf methods. Because this is an ongoing site documenting my curriculum planning and ideas, some materials are more Waldorf-y than others. Please feel free to take what you like and leave the rest.
Fibers & Clothing
for Class 3
Mission Statement - Consulting Services - Lending Library
This page has helpful links and LOADS of free resources to help you plan your third grade year. Enjoy!
Pinterest - Renee Schwartz
My curated collection of visuals! Browse sample main lesson book pages, watercolor paintings, chalkboard drawings, etc. for
Fibers & Clothing.
Waldorf Teacher Resources - Michael Seifert
Also be sure to check out his fiber arts "gems" (lesson plans) and "gallery." FREE!
If you are new to Waldorf, you might want to spend more time with wet felting, kntting, or crochet. In general, Wet Felting is introduced in the Kindergarten, Knitting is introduced
in First Grade, Crochet is introduced in Second Grade, and Weaving is introduced this year in Third Grade.
Naturally, you have to choose projects for this block which fit your family.
It is also a fun option to combine Linear Measurement with this block instead of with Housebuilding. In that case,
you can build a loom! Kids Weaving by Sarah Swett has awesome instructions
for building a lightweight portable loom out of PVC pipe!
There's information on clothing making (shearing, dyeing, weaving, sewing, etc.) all throughout Farmer Boy so many people just do it as a read aloud at some
point during the third grade year.
My Initial Lesson Planning
DON'T FORGET TO ORDER SILKWORMS!!!
Sensory Discovery Jars: Prepare a series of opaque jars, each containing one of these nine beautiful natural fibers (wool, cotton, flax, hemp, silk, angora, cashmere, alpaca, camel). When we introduce a new one, pass it around and
let the children feel it before revealing what the fiber is. Revisit the textures of all eight
at the end of the block.
We are doing this block in February, which starts on a Friday. That next day is the monthly meeting of our local Spinners &
Weavers Guild. So maybe suggest to families that they go to Fort Massac as a family field trip on Feb 2nd.
Week 1 - Wool
It's Fun to Know Why by Julius Schwartz ("Wool: Fleece for Man" chapter)
and science experiments:
"Heat Preserver," p.63
"A Blanket of Air," p.64
"Stretch and Spring," p.66
"Pull and Twist," p.68
Story: Pelle's New Suit by Elsa Beskow
Story: Mother Holle illus. by Anastasiya Archipova
The Six Swans illus. by Dorothee Duntze
Feel and compare different textures (Romney, Corriedale, Merino, English Leicester, etc.)
I get my wool fiber from A Child's Dream
Look at raw fleece (my sister in law shears their sheep and provides raw fleeces for Waldorf homeschool families - prices vary
based on weight - please contact me for more info)
Washing our wool fleece, talk about lanolin, feel lanolin (Lansinoh)
Wet felting (review yurts from Housebuilding block), projects - pebbles, flowers, hats
my kids have already done wet felted eggs, acorns, soaps, and geodes
Wet Felted Flowers (PDF)
Wet Felted Trumpet Flower Tutorial (YouTube video)
Hat Felting Process on a Ball (YouTube video)
Here is how to felt a hat on a ball with Morgan Velasquez in the Jack Rabbit Hollow
for more projects (slippers, vases) I like Simply Felt
The Art of Feltmaking has instructions for making felt masks, which could be fun!
Drop spindle lesson
Beginners Spinning Set from A Child's Dream
Start clothing knitting projects according to ability
(scarves, hats, two-needle mittens... and I am going to try to make my first pair of socks!)
This book is great for a older sibling hanging out as part of this block... lots of fun patterns for Halloween costumes (I've made the Mermaid Dress-Up and the Firefighter Hat)
Week 2 - Wool
Week 3 - Cotton, Flax, Hemp, Silk
Story: Thérèse Makes a Tapestry by Alexandra S.D. Hinrichs
Story: The Emperor's New Clothes illus. by Virginia Lee Burton
Story: A Single Pebble: A Story of the Silk Road by Bonnie Christensen
Story: Animals Marco Polo Saw: An Adventure on the Silk Road by Sandra Markle
Look at cotton boll and seeds, pick a bale of cotton song, story of the boll weevil
we have two versions of Pick a Bale o'Cotton
This is the Way We Wash a Day by Mary Thienes-Schunemann, track 5
101 Toddler Favorites by Music for Little People, volume 3, track 13
The Boll Weevil Song
Cotton special guest (Harrison-Bruce Historical Village or IL Master Gardeners)
Look at resume paper watermark (% cotton), cotton linters for papermaking
Plan to plant cotton in the spring!
Look at and compare flax fiber, linen warp, linen handkerchief, vintage linen sheet
I get my flax fiber from Etsy store MielkesFiberArts
Start weaving project on embroidery hoops
Look at flax seeds (from Co-op), plan to plant flax in the spring!
Grow Your Own Flax Seeds and Enjoy Flax Flowers Too
Deer Resistant Native Plants
Wildflowers and Shrubs (MO)
Look at hemp twine
Hemp was one of the oldest fibers to be spun
(10,000 years ago according to the nice folks at Wikipedia)
Hemp will now be grown in Southern Illinois... SIUC is working on this! Field trip or special guest?
SIU rolling out new cannabis research initiative to support evolving markets
Look at silk fiber
Silkworm options - there are LOTS! Check out The Silkworm Shop
full silkworm discovery kits for about $50.00
also... live silkworms in different sizes, silkworm eggs that you can hatch and watch the worms
grow, silkworm food in dry form, silkworm cocooneries for them to build
their cocoons on when they are ready, living silkworm cocoons that you can watch the moths come out of, and hatched silk
cocoons if you don't want moths coming out of them!
Nuno felting special guest - Andi LeBeau from Andrea LeBeau Designs
Week 4 - Angora, Cashmere, Alpaca, Camel
Read fun books about knitting, continue with handwork projects throughout the week
Story: Socks for Supper by Jack Kent
Story: Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol
Story: Lester's Dreadful Sweaters by K.G. Campbell
Story: Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett
Look at angora fiber, try to spin it
I get my angora fiber from Etsy store HomesteadHappenings
Look at cashmere yarn
Look at alpaca fiber (local) and yarn (local and from Peru)
Make wet felted soaps with alpaca fiber
Field trip to alpaca farm
my closest is Roaring Oaks Alpaca Ranch
Look at camel fiber, try to spin it
I get my camel fiber from Etsy store WoolGatherings
My blog posts from teaching this topic in February 2019: