MANNINGTON TWP. — The Third Star Fibre Artists Guild aims to keep old fiber crafts such as weaving and spinning alive. The Guild meets the second Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Ware Agricultural Office Complex on Cheney Road in Mannington, NJ, drawing members this area here as well as far south as Vineland and as far north as Magnolia. The Guild was organized in 1976 to promote the use of natural fibers in clothing and art.
Many of the members raise sheep, alpacas or llamas, often processing and dyeing their own fibers to spin or weave for use in knitting, felting or crocheting. Members also quilt and make articles of clothing. Basketry and paper making are other projects done by members using natural fibers.
The name of Third Star came from the fact that New Jersey was the third star to join the Union and was the third star on the flag. Members take pride in promoting enthusiasm, education and excellence in this field by volunteering to demonstrate at historical and art events throughout southeastern New Jersey.
They can be found at the Salem County Fair, the annual “Arts in Bloom” spring event in Salem County at annual historical celebrations in such places as Greenwich, Pennsville and wherever they are invited.
Members have gathered in the past year to learn such things as dyeing wool, soap making, the history of quilting and the history of buttons and Ebru silk scarf dyeing. Upcoming events include making soap from local goat’s milk and basket making.
Sometime in the summer a spinning bee will be held with members bringing spinning wheels and looms to spin and weave looms. Knitting, crocheting, quilting or other natural fiber projects will also be a part of the bee.