2020 Fleece to Shawl Competition!


In our annual Fleece to Shawl competition, watch 3 teams make a shawl step by step: starting with washed fleece, to hand carding, to spinning, to weaving, to finishing ends... It's a jam-packed demonstration of classic textile production!



Ribbons are awarded to the teams.

Additional awards 



Award for Best use of Natural Dye

This award is dedicated to the loving memory of Don Nervik. Don was a volunteer during the Festival and at the Dutchess County Fair Wool Workroom. He passed away January 20, 2012.

Don was an avid spinner and weaver with a passion for using natural dyes for wool. Also a Master Gardener through the Cornell program, he was particularly fond of Indigo, which he grew in his garden. Participating in fleece to shawl competitions was something he especially liked to do with the team from the Elmendorph Guild. He will be missed by all who delighted from a hand processing or weaving demo given by Don and all who knew him.

The Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Growers Association is proud to sponsor this award to the team demonstrating the Best use of Natural Dye in the warp, weft or both, of their shawl. 



  1. 3 teams will compete,  consisting of 1 weaver, 3 spinners, and 1 announcer. The announcer will be assigned one 15 minute time slot to speak to the public regarding their team history, what the team is doing, and answer questions. 
  2. Each team will supply all its own equipment (i.e. spinning wheels, pre-warped loom, shuttles, bobbin winder, hand cards, or flickers).
  3. No drum carders, pickers, or electric/battery-powered equipment.
  4. Warp yarns and spinning fiber must be 100% sheeps wool. Handspun weft will not exceed 3 times diameter of warp.
  5. Pre-warp loom (may be handspun or commercial, dyed or natural) at no fewer than 8 ends per inch.
  6. Each team will start with raw fiber which may be washed but in obvious lock formation. 
  7. The competition was held and recorded on October 3, 2020
  8. The completed shawl must be a minimum of 18 inches wide and 72 inches long, excluding optional fringe. Points will be deducted for shawl being shorter or narrower.
  9. Teams will be judged on the following 100 point criteria:
    • Team display
      • Team sign (5 points)
      • Team attire (5 points)
    • Announcer
      • Knowledge of presentation (10 points)
      • Oral presentation (5 points)
    • Fleece
      • Choice and preparation (10 points)
      • Dyed warp and/or weft (5 points)
    • Spinning
      • Uniform preparation (5 points)
      • Overall uniformity (5 points)
    • Weaving
      • Design (10 points)
      • Straightness of edges (5 points)
      • Evenness of edges (5 points)
      • Evenness of beating (5 points)
      • Handspun warp (10 points)
    • Time
      • First finished (10 points)
      • Second finished (5 points)
    • Point Deductions
      • Less than 72 inches long (25 points DEDUCTED)
      • Less than 18 inches wide (25 points DEDUCTED)
    • Bonus Points
      • Team spirit and effort (5 BONUS points)
      • Fringe (5 BONUS points)
  10. The competition lasted 3 hours and 15 minutes, with a 15 minute break halfway through. The shawls should be completed in this timeframe or risk being declared ineligible for judging.