A Dyed-in-the-wool Success Story

July 2022, by Diane Sulg

When your grandfather is a college art professor and both your parents are art teachers, it is not surprising you grow up to be an artist! Meet Linda Doucette, an amazing fiber artist who has created a unique art world of her own. 

As a very young child, Linda was entranced by textiles. Do you remember sewing cards? Linda loved them but even as a child wished they could improve the colors! Out of popsicle sticks and straws she created her first loom, attached it to a closet door, and wove herself a belt. 

Linda graduated from the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science. She spent her junior year abroad in Scotland. That was a transformative experience because there she was introduced to sheep and their wonderful wool. 

Linda Doucette in her garden.

Upon graduation, she landed a job on New York’s Fifth Avenue as a textile designer for the home décor industry. She commuted from a little log cabin in New Jersey and traveled the textile world for 25 years. 

In her spare time, Linda still made art, painting with acrylics and even crowding the home’s tiny entrance with her own loom. Over time, her vision for her own textile business grew into an obsession, and in 2005, she opted to leave the corporate world for a farm in Pennsylvania. 

A garden impression by Linda Doucette.

Soon she had a barn, her own flock of alpacas, and gardens blooming with flowers she would use to produce natural dyes for her wool. Over time, she was doing less weaving and more sculpting with the wool. She began creating images, truly painting with wool instead of acrylics. 

Linda developed a unique process, a combination of wet and dry felting, that leaves a clean edge on the art. She literally creates a wool “canvas” base, then blends the dyed wool colors to create the image. Hand felting with soapy water locks the fibers together, creating a unique artwork. 

The results are amazing pieces of art, unlike anything you are likely to see at an art fair, unless she is there! And Linda does a lot of shows, primarily on the East Coast. You can also see her wonderful work at lindadoucette.com. Her most popular pieces are the 8" x 8" tiles, but she also creates magnificent large-scale pieces. To make her images very affordable, she also offers an enormous range of prints on various media and in many sizes. Recently, she took felt sculpting to a new level, when she introduced a bright line of free-standing, adorable, sassy cats. 

Linda Doucette recently introduced this new line of sassy cats. 

Realizing that she reaches a small segment of art buyers at retail shows, Linda embarked on wholesale selling two years ago at the American Handcrafted show, in Philadelphia. She is thrilled with the results and having her work in shops, galleries, and museums across the country.  

Linda is both an amazing artist and an excellent businesswoman. Incredibly organized, she manages to make overwhelming tasks — like making dye from garden flowers — look easy. She cares for five goofy alpacas, while working non-stop to ship wholesale orders with incredible attention to customer service. Simultaneously, she is stretching her artistic vision by embroidering natural elements, such as leaves, and displaying them on hand-felted backgrounds. 

Linda’s story is far from over. In fact, she is excited to weave new chapters in this one-of-a-kind artistic textile business. But the one thing you can be sure of — it will be a dyed-in-the-wool success! 

About the Author

Diane Sulg 
Diane Sulg is executive director of CRAFT and founder and co-chair of American Craft Week (ACW). She is a handmade advocate who provides valuable information in her one-day seminars titled “All About Wholesale” at wholesale shows throughout the United States. Diane is the former owner of Maddi’s Gallery, in Charlotte and Huntersville, North Carolina.