We create and distribute small batch Nova Scotia linen fibre products specializing in roving, batting and yarns including 100% tow linen and linen/wool blends. We then use these to make linen garments and accessories. The fibre products are also available for the use of weavers, spinners, knitters and creative community members. TapRoot is developing the foundation for a sustainable, ethical, thriving agricultural and fibre-arts business that locally produces linen pieces from seed to shirt.
TapRoot Fibre has evolved from TapRoot Farms—a leader in sustainable farming practices. Patricia and Josh decided that along with offering the community vegetables, fruit and meat from their farm they wanted to offer clothes as well. This began their incredible journey into linen production; growing flax on the farm, developing long line flax processing equipment, establishing the spinning mill and now creating linen garments. The linen that you see comes from a community of individuals whose incredible and varied expertise has been vital throughout the process. Our values emerge from the values of the farm for community based, locally grown materials that enrich people’s’ daily lives.
Co-owner of TapRoot and agricultural innovator, Patricia has dreamed of growing clothes from the farm for a long time. Now it is becoming a reality. She has participated in the design of processing machines, spearheaded the work towards establishing the spinning mill, and supported the establishment of Community Shared Linen. Patricia’s goal is to create opportunities for employment and for meaningful craft in the Annapolis Valley while valuing the land and ecosystem. In agriculture we can grow more than food, we can grow clothes and all kinds of other products that we use in our daily lives.
Co-owner of TapRoot, Josh is a recent winner of the Nuffield Scholarship to study best practices in growing flax fibres for long line linen. Josh will be focusing on increasing the quality of the flax grown at TapRoot Farms for use in yarn and clothing production. His research will take him to Europe to study the methods of larger scale flax farms and explore how those methods can be applied on a smaller scale. As there is no one else growing flax for fibre in Canada, it will be so beneficial to learn from the European flax farms.
Marilyn has worked and taught in the textile field for over 45 years. Owner of Brother Knit Center 1987 to 1993, Marilyn imported and distributed Brother knitting machines in the four Atlantic Provinces and Northern Quebec for 16 years. Following the sale of her business, Marilyn continued for three more years teaching knitting to women in the Waskaganish First Nation on James Bay. After traveling for so many years, Marilyn went back to the grassroots of the industry and started a farm of fibre animals, learned to spin, and started using textiles in art through felting, and silk fusion.
During the last 17 years Marilyn has taught textile art, and spinning at Gaspereau Valley Fibers and with other organizations throughout Nova Scotia. After 5 years as Craft Leader for Eastern Kings 4H, Marilyn still helps with wool projects each year. Along with her friend and mentor Delia Burge, Marilyn has judged fleeces for the Canadian Classic Sheep Sale when hosted in Nova Scotia, and has judged for the Provincial Exhibition. Marilyn lives with her husband Marshall in Delhaven, on Lambs Run Farm, where they still have a few sheep, suri llamas, and angora goats.
Recently, Marilyn has shown her textile art in a number of shows across Nova Scotia and has exhibited in Denmark as well. As a result, her work has been featured in the Danish National Craft Magazine.
“Working for Taproot at the Fiber Mill has been a new adventure and challenge for me. A lifelong love of natural fiber and a wish for healthier products in our daily living, makes me have a strong desire to see this industry off to a good start. If we can make it a better world for our children to inherit then we have done our part.”
Abi Hodson is an award-winning emerging designer with a focus on sustainable, ethical garment creation. The work Abi does centres around community creation, and engaging the body’s relationship with the land. Abi is designing, developing, and distributing the first Community Shared Linen product line, maintaining a personal connection to every element of the process. It will be an exciting journey to follow from sketch and seed to material development and garment creation.
Katelyn Salsman is responsible for all the administrative tasks including bookkeeping and human resource. Katelyn joined the team in 2016 after completing a Bachelor of Commerce at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax. She grew up in Port Williams NS, and is now living in Kentville.