To produce and design sustainable, handcrafted textiles from the soil up.
Rusted Earth produces handwoven, one of a kind, farm to home textile art. Each piece is comprised of wool from our pasture raised sheep (and llama). We are a woman owned, production/design studio and fiber farm with a focus on the preservation of struggling heritage breeds of wool sheep.
We raise fiber animals with a focus on struggling heritage breeds. We believe in ethical treatment of our herd and maintain a hands on, personal relationship with our land and animals. Our sheep live a natural life grazing year round on our pasture and woodland. Our herd consists of Navajo Churro, Jacob and Icelandic sheep. These breeds are hardy and require minimal human intervention to survive and thrive in their western North Carolina habitat. Each breed offers a unique and diverse fiber type.
We believe the most sustainable method of farming starts from the ground up, utilizing carbon to produce climate beneficial textile art pieces. We practice Carbon farming. This is simply farming in a way that reduces Greenhouse Gas emissions or captures and holds carbon in vegetation and soils. We build our soil through compost, recycling waste fiber, and manure to feed our pasture grasses and legumes.
Every spring we begin the process of creating yarn production by shearing the sheep and their guardian llama. Once the wool is shorn we pick through and skirt the fleeces, removing all unwanted material in preparation for washing. The waste material is composted and the skirted raw wool is weighed, packaged and brought to our local fiber mill to be washed, carded, and spun into yarn. Churro, Llama, and Icelandic wool is processed into lopi, and use for our woven 'farm to home' collection. The Jacob yarn is processed into a medium weigh knitting yarn and available for sale in our yarn shop.
We dye our lopi yarn using black walnut husks, usnea (lichen), and plant based indigo. Black walnut is harvested from our trees ever other spring and usnea is collected year round from the fallen tree branches. The dying process is done in small batched by hand right here on the farm. Once the yarn is ready, we can begin designing and creating our finished textile pieces.
Pieces in our product collection are designed and handcrafted by Jessica Sanchez. Each piece is one of a kind and composed of our own, home grown, hand dyed yarn. Jessica has built her ownloom inspired by the design of traditional Navajo tapestry looms. True to the history of our Navajo sheep, her weaving technique mimics that of the Navajo. This slow production process ensures the highest quality finished work and extreme attention to detail. We are happy to work with clients to design custom woven pieces for their home. Contact us here to begin the process.