Fiber Arts Studio Safety Protocols - BARN

Fiber Arts Studio Safety Protocols

Welcome to the Fiber Arts Studio!

These protocols apply starting January 1, 2022, and take precedence over previous documents. All BARN-wide safety policies apply to the Fiber Studio as well, including COVID-related safety policies such as mask-wearing and social distancing.

These protocols apply to the main room of the Fiber Studio. The Lab (Dye Studio) has additional protocols that are covered in a separate Lab Orientation.

The Fiber Studio is open to members and guests during Better Together Open Studios. Better Together sessions are free to members. Guests may attend by paying a guest fee. Check the Fiber Studio class listings on BARN’s website for the fee amount. Guests can pay the guest fee by putting cash or a check in an envelope in the red mailbox by the studio door. Please write “guest fee” on the envelope.

In addition, members who have attended an Orientation have fob access to the studio during BARN’s open hours. Currently, Orientations are scheduled twice a month, and you can sign up on BARN’s website. You can also request an Orientation on your schedule by emailing [email protected].

Members may bring guests to the studio any time and can pay the guest fee ($20, except for some Better Together Open Studios), as outlined above.

Studio entry and exit

Your first entry of the day and last departure of the day should be through the main studio door. Fob-holders should fob in, and all users should sign in.

When you arrive, turn on the lights, and turn on the ceiling fan in the main studio to the lowest setting. The main studio ceiling fan blades are turned seasonally to push air up in summer (for coolness) and down in winter (for warmth). The fans also circulate air throughout the studio and support BARN’s ventilation system. (BARN’s ventilation system is state-of-the-art—fresh air moves quickly through the studio even when the ceiling fans are off.) If at any time the ceiling fans make you uncomfortable (too cold, or too much wind, etc.), please consult with others in the studio before turning them off—see comments below related to studio temperature.

You are welcome to use the exterior doors once you have fobbed in/signed in for bringing in heavy or bulky items or for participating in outdoor classes and activities.

On your last exit of the day, please follow the departure checklist on the studio door, even if others are still in the studio. Out of respect for the studio users who will come in after you, leave the studio cleaner and more tidy than you found it.

Using our shared equipment

When you are finished with it, please ensure any tool or equipment you used is ready for the next user: remove all of your materials; replace anything you changed; and make sure the tool/equipment is clean.

Some of the equipment in the main studio (the BARN-purchased sewing machines, the industrial sewing machine, and fleece processing equipment, for example) requires instruction and/or a safety check prior to the first use to ensure your safety and promote equipment care. This equipment is labeled with guidance about how to get checked out. Enforcement of the check-out requirement is on an honor system.

Certain equipment, such as floor looms, can be reserved for longer projects over longer periods of time. To find out about equipment reservation, check the whiteboard in the weaving area, or email [email protected]

Working together in a shared space

Clean up after yourself and put away tools and equipment you’ve used. Sweep or vacuum your area and wipe your table. Leave tables arranged in a square, and stack plastic chairs.

BARN empties the trash/recycling regularly and provides limited cleaning services periodically, but it is up to studio users to keep the studio clean. Please note the labels on waste bins and discard your trash appropriately.

When possible, take your work-in-progress home. If you must leave a bulky or wet project in the studio, please put it out of others’ way and label it with your name and the date you’ll retrieve it. Pens and notepads for this purpose are at the desk. When you reserve a loom on the loom whiteboard, that serves as a label on your weaving project. (Note: if you leave something unlabeled, others may assume it is a donation and use it for one of their own projects, store it away, or pass it along to another non-profit. Please label anything you leave in the studio.)

Please do not eat in the studio. Drinks in the studio must close tightly. (Note: even when you clean up after yourself, food crumbs attract mice–we don’t want mice in the studio.)

Studio temperature can be an area for conflict in the studio. Please act with courtesy and kindness when negotiating with others in the studio regarding the temperature.

  • When it is cold out, please do not open exterior doors or windows. BARN’s facilities team is working on keeping the studio comfortable— opening doors and windows makes their work difficult.
  • When it is nice out, you may open doors and windows and/or turn on the floor fan after consulting with others in the studio. Ensure doors and windows are latched and the floor fan is turned off and put away before you go home.
  • Please do not adjust the thermostat in any season.


The studio contains sharp cutting tools. Please wear closed-toe shoes in the studio, particularly when using any kind of cutting tool. Please close and/or latch cutting tools before putting them away.

To avoid blowing a fuse, take care when plugging in items that draw a lot of electrical power (irons, the industrial sewing machine, etc). The outlets on the floor are arranged so that one north-south row is one unique electrical circuit. Generally, plug in no more than two irons per circuit, or one iron plus the industrial sewing machine. Please double check that anything plugged in is unplugged and put away when you depart the studio.

And most important of all: Have Fun!

Step-by-Step Protocols


  • Enter through the main studio door
  • Fob in, even if door is propped open
  • Sign in at the desk
  • Open windows and/or doors, weather permitting
  • Turn on the ceiling fan, comfort permitting
  • If using portable heaters, ensure there is only ONE heater per electrical circuit

While Using the Studio

  • Wear closed-toe shoes
  • Leave food outside the studio
  • Ensure your drink has a tightly closing lid


  • If leaving a project in the studio, tidy the project as appropriate and label with name, contact info, and date, as needed. Sticky notes and pens are at the front desk.
  • Wipe down table and, as needed, chair and large common equipment
  • Vacuum or sweep your area and the floor under any common space you used
  • Put away all tools and equipment, including portable heaters and fans
  • Double check that all heaters, irons, sewing machines, and other electric tools are unplugged and put away
  • Close and latch all windows and exterior doors. Give the exterior doors an extra tug to be sure.
  • Turn off lights and ceiling fans (Remember: the light over the sewing cabinet always stays on.)
  • Exit through the main studio door (not outside doors) and ensure door latches behind you