Whether you've found Bri Weaves through social media, a craft fair, an open studio, the goats, or otherwise, I’m so glad you're here!
I am a handweaver in Louisville, Kentucky. I love to bring together varied fibers, textures & colors to create both beautiful & comfortable wearable art. I also walk my goats, Betty & Boon, who produce fiber for my business, to graze the neighborhood.
I sell primarily from my home studio, an online group, select craft fairs & show some work in fine art shows. Some work is also now available at Grady Goods.
Most importantly I am a mother of three rambunctious children & partner to my wonderful husband, who’s local business, Empower Solar LLC, I help run.
Betty and Boon are Nigoras, a cross between Nigerian Dwarf goats, a small milk breed, & Angora goats, a fiber breed. Crossing them changes the fiber produced from mohair to a kind of cashmere.
Betty is 3/4 Nigerian Dwarf, 1/4 Angora. Boon is 1/2 Angora, 1/2 Nigerian Dwarf. I harvest their fiber once per year, in early spring, by combing out the undercoat. It is washed, carded & then used in many Bri Weaves works!
What do you make?
My primary & favorite product to make is cowls. I also make neckerchiefs, scarves & sometimes shawls. Smaller works include hats, pockets, earrings, wrist cuffs & headbands. I also use loom bits for ornaments & some jewelry & hand-dyed silk for pronoun pins.
What is a cowl? How do I wear it?
My cowls are basically short & wide infinity scarves; they only go ‘round your head once. I promise you there’s no right or wrong way to wear them. You put it over your head & its perfect. Everyone comes to enjoy adjusting them their own way. I did make a video that may help if you really want direction.
Where can I see/buy your work?
Locals can keep updated with events above or make an appointment to see and/or shop from my working studio. Everyone can see work as its made via social media. I currently do not have a proper online store, but you can peruse & purchase work through my group, Bri Weaves Cackle. Some work is also now carried locally at Grady Goods.
Do you do custom work?
Yes! Happy to speak with you about what you’re looking for and making it happen. Customs are fun!
Where do you source your materials?
I love playing with a wide array of textures & colors so I have many sources. I buy a great deal of my yarns from Made in America Yarns, one of the few remaining US yarn mills. I also buy a lot of mill end yarns, yarns from those unloading, & from fellow weavers & specialty suppliers.
Is there goat fiber in all your work?
No! Betty and Boon don't produce nearly enough fiber for all my work, & I don't spin it into yarn. After collecting, washing & carding their fiber I use it as inlay. The inlay is an accent in many works, but not all of them, adding texture, warmth & character.
Is there wool in all your work? Is it itchy?
I am very picky about the texture of my wovens & itch is a no-go. Sheep wool is what most people are concerned about next-to-skin. I use very little wool from sheep for this reason, in addition to many being allergic. The wool I do use is only fine, very, very soft & low maintenance. Most works contain animal fiber of some sort, such as cashmere (goat), alpaca or silk, but many also do not. If for any reason you want a vegan piece, or one without any specific fiber, I am happy to help. Be sure to keep your product’s tag if you want to remember what’s in it!
Do you dye your yarn?
Dyeing is a close second to my love of weaving but unfortunately I do not have a secure place to safely dye at home. I dye when & where I can & my work includes natural, hand dyed & factory dyed yarns. In Jan. 2023 I was the Collider Artist in Residence at the Louisville Free Public Library & spent the entire month dyeing. I still have a great deal of hand-dyed yarns from that time to use well into next year. All fiber content tags have hand-dyed yarns specified.
How do I care for my handwoven piece?
I aim to make low maintenance wovens. I’ve got three kids & certainly no time for tricky care. High quality handwovens, properly cared for, should last a lifetime. I recommend washing sparingly. When you must, hand or machine wash gently, cool & with a mild soap. DO NOT PUT IN DRYER. Hang or lay flat to dry. Ironing is fine, just be sure to have it on cooler settings if your product contains metallic or nylon.
Enemies of your handwovens are Velcro & potentially earrings & other jewelry. If a thread gets caught, don’t freak! It’s just a pull & can usually be easily corrected by gently tugging the piece from two ends several inches to either side of the pull. (I will make a video on this soon)
If you’re storing for a long period, adding a few sprigs of a fragrant herb or drops of essential oil will keep them fresh & any critters away. Lavender, eucalyptus & cedar are some of my favorites.
If you have any questions or concerns please reach out. A hard copy of this info is also included with every piece.
Can you bring your goats or loom to my yard/class/organization?
Transporting either the loom or the goats with a small car & three children requires coordination. I am happy to do this on a limited basis, within a certain distance, & for a reasonable rate. Feel free to contact me to discuss.
Can you teach me to weave? Or raise goats?
You are most welcome to visit, see the loom & goats in action & ask all the questions you like. I love sharing this craft & animal husbandry but do not currently teach. I always refer locals interested in weaving to The Little Loomhouse, & those interested in goats to Kentuckiana Backyard Farms.
How do I contact you?
You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, call or text me at 805-512-1484, or message me @briweaves on Facebook or Instagram. You can also sign up for my ever-so-infrequently-sent newsletters here.
From the coast of southern California Briana moved to Missouri for the Kansas City Art Institute. She graduated in 2007 with a BFA in Fiber, specializing in weaving. From there she fled the art world & joined the Peace Corps, working & living with rural women weavers in a small village in the Middle Atlas Mountains where people lived close to their food & other natural resources. After Morocco she moved on to sustainable farming in Massachusetts, where she met her eventual partner. After settling in Kentucky & saddled with college debt she became a Licensed Massage Therapist & farmed on the side. Making art or weaving again were far from her mind.
After the birth of her first child in 2014 she became interested in woven wraps to carry him in. Rather than buy a wrap she decided to purchase a used loom & weave her own. She soon fell deeply back in love with weaving. Making wraps at first, but soon rediscovered her joy in small color, fiber & texture studies, conveniently of a size suited to cowls.
She continued to dive into her weaving while struggling with PPD & PPA after the birth of her second child in 2016. Finding others interested in her work & wanting to sustain her weaving habit financially she started Bri Weaves and began attending shows & craft fairs in 2018.
In 2019 she was accepted into Kentucky Crafted,* stopped massaging to focus on the business, & promptly got pregnant with her last baby.
The worldwide pandemic, cancellation of all shows & craft fairs & birth of her last baby required big pivots in 2020, as did a move further into the city in 2021 & a chronic pain diagnosis in 2022 of Trigeminal Neuralgia. Through it all she wove, & some semblance of stability returned. She currently sells her goods via porch shopping, online sales & open studio days from her home & urban homestead in Louisville, Kentucky. She also does a limited number of craft fairs & shows work in local exhibitions. She can often be spotted walking the neighborhood as the “goat lady” with her two Nigoras, Betty & Boon, who produce cashmere for her products, or with some combination of her three rambunctious human kids, Eldon, Arlo & Remy.
Bri Weaves would not exist without the unending support of her husband Josh, & his business, Empower Solar LLC, local family who regularly take on childcare, & dear friends & loyal customers who buy & honestly review her products. Bri Weaves has afforded her her dream loom, fiber goats, a plethora of yarns & dyes & limitless fiber, color & texture combinations to discover through the joy of weaving. Bri Weaves is now self-sustaining & intentionally contributes to local organizations for the betterment of her community. She could not be more grateful to be doing this work.
* Kentucky Crafted is the symbol of artistic excellence and quality craftsmanship reserved exclusively for artists adjudicated into the Kentucky Arts Council’s Kentucky Crafted Program. The Kentucky Arts Council is the state arts agency funded by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.