the SWEF members Micro Bursary fund

Bursaries for members of up to £2,500

All bursaries have now been fully dedicated, awarded on a first-come first-served basis.

Catalysing new ideas and projects in our fibreshed

Funding projects that further the fibreshed mission in the South West and nationwide

The goal of the Fund is to strengthen the South West England Fibreshed mission  of building a regional fibre and fashion economy that is regenerative and nourishing – for people and planet.

In many cases even just a small grant can help catalyse a new idea, which in turn will provide an opportunity for learning or inspiration that will benefit the wider membership and more. 

The Fund is currently closed. It will be reopen for applications for as long as there are funds in it, and will operate on a first come, first served basis for members who have been subscribed for 6 months or more.

Your commitment

Reporting requirements

Members are not asked to provide financial reporting on their bursary in detailed expenditure terms.

However in receiving a bursary members commit to complete the proposed project within the specified period and, on completion, to share its outcomes.

what it can do

Meet some of our funded projects

The Fund started awarding bursaries for projects in 2022. Details of bursary-supported projects can be found here. Completed projects also have write-ups on our blog. 

2023, Somerset Shepherd’s Check – The Woven Briar

Seed funding to undertake feasibility study into the production of a regional woollen cloth, a process which will be documented and presented as an educational exhibition. Outputs will be shared here in 2024.

2023, Knitting the Landscape – Marina Skua

A collection of five unisex knitting patterns using yarns produced entirely in the South West England Fibreshed, to be published in September 2024 as an e-book and separately as individual patterns. The project aims to highlight our regional yarn producers and introduce them to a wider audience, and to educate a broad spectrum of hand-knitters about Fibreshed and the benefits of working with local materials.

2023, Cotmarsh Community Dye Kitchen – Pigment Organic Dyes / Great Cotmarsh Farm

Funding for natural dyer Sophie Holt from Pigment Organic Dyes to attend workshop on Scaling and Troubleshooting Natural Dye Processes with Winona Quigley of Green Matters Studio. Sophie Holt’s expansion of knowledge about how to scale up natural dyeing will be invaluable to the new community natural dye space planned at Great Cotmarsh Farm.

“We have identified that there is a gap in processing facilities, needed to enable natural dyers to access more commercially sized equipment on a project by project basis. We have obtained the equipment from a natural dye house and are looking at funding for the barn to house the kit, but people with the skills and passion to utilise the space will be essential in making it a success.”

2023, Abundant Native Dye Plant Project – Botanical Inks

A research project to identify and offer a colour palette of 5 native plant dyes for SWEF members to work with to scale up the dyeing of their own collections, with lower cost natural dye sources, best dye colour outcomes and native local colours which are easy to source as powders and work with in commercial dye facilities. Outputs will be shared here in Spring 2024.

2022, South West Colour Library – Ria Burns Knitwear

A survey and catalogue of natural dye plants found around the SW Fibreshed region, to produce a library of dye and fibre samples to showcase the region’s colour potential, in the form of both a digital and physical sample book. The digital sample book is available here and also in our Publications list.

2022, Micro-Tannery Feasibility Study – Loopy Ewes and Great Cotmarsh Farm

A feasibility study to inform the viability of setting up a micro-tannery. The result is a slide deck presenting the tanning process, as well as assessing set up costs, staffing and training requirements, throughput, and potential revenue. This report can be accessed here and also on our Publications page.

2022, ‘Accessible Fibreshed’ – Jade Ogden from Hand Loom Room

This project introduced people with learning disabilities to Fibreshed and engage them with thinking about their own wardrobes, reducing textile waste and protecting biodiversity through the development and delivery of a suite of Easy Read resources that describe Fibreshed in an accessible way for people with learning disabilities, as well as others who may have literacy challenges, including people for whom English is not their first language. The Easy Read resources are now available for download here and on our Publications page.  Jade’s blog post on the project can be read here. 

Examples of what the Fund will support

It will not fund...

How to apply

Please email us a single side of A4 with project title, description, amount your are requesting and how it serves to strengthen  fibreshed and benefit our network in the South West. 


We will be launching a Supporter membership shortly. If you are interested in receiving more information on this and other news from our fibreshed, please sign up here.