The International Year of Natural Fibres was officially launched on 22 January 2009, at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome.
Why an International Year of Natural Fibres?
Since the 1960s, the use of synthetic fibres has increased, and natural fibres have lost a lot of their market share. Producers and processors of natural fibres face the challenge of developing and maintaining markets in which they can compete effectively with synthetics. In some cases, this has involved defining and promoting market niches. In others, where their natural advantages allow them to compete effectively with synthetics, basic research and development is needed to facilitate the use of natural fibres in new applications.
The main goal of the International Year of Natural Fibres is to raise the profile of these fibres and to emphasise their value to consumers while helping to sustain the incomes of the farmers. In addition, the International Year will:
- promote the efficiency and sustainability of the natural fibres industries;
- encourage appropriate policy responses from governments to the problems faced by natural fibre industries;
- foster an effective and enduring international partnership among the various natural fibres industries.
For more information, visit their website.
Here at the College we celebrate natural fibers in all their wonderful forms…the committee will be looking for ways to tie into this event…as a start, co-director Astrig Tanguay will be traveling to Peru in March to spend time at the Centro de Textile in Cusco learning about Peruvian spinning, weaving, embroidery and dyeing in any way that she can. More on this trip as the planning solidifies.