Piedmont Fibershed is a community organization dedicated to building a regional fiber system in the Piedmont of North Carolina centered around local fibers, local dyes, and local labor. We seek to support and develop a regional fiber economy that benefits the environment, workers, and the local economy.

Piedmont Fibershed is a fiscally sponsored project of Croatan Institute, a registered 501(c)(3) public entity.

Our Work

Piedmont Fibershed is currently focused on two strategic priorities:

  • Growing processing capacity and end markets for animal fiber produced in North Carolina
  • Create opportunity for bast fiber processing for small scale farmers

What is a Fibershed?

A fibershed is a natural textile resource base that uses the region as its guiding force in sourcing and making available fiber, textile, and dye products. We’re so invested in locally sourcing our food. What about our clothes?

Our origins

Piedmont Fibershed is an affiliate of Fibershed, a nonprofit based in California. Fibershed describes their affiliate program thusly:

We envision the emergence of an international system of regional textile communities that enliven connection and ownership of ‘soil-to-soil’ textile processes. These diverse textile cultures are designed to build soil carbon stocks on the working landscapes on which they depend, while directly enhancing the strength of regional economies. Both fiber and food systems now face a drastically changing climate, and must utilize the best of time-honored knowledge and available science for their long-term ability to thrive.

Piedmont Fibershed was started by Diana Cathcart, a Durham textile artist and educator, in 2015. After a short hiatus, Piedmont Fibershed became active under a new organizer, Courtney Lockemer. We are currently working on two projects to set the foundation of future Fibershed work: a project to document local small-scale producers and assess needs and an art exhibit about the how the nascent North Carolina hemp industry can help support resilient communities.

In the coming months, we hope to build a community of individuals involved in and supporting the mission of the Fibershed. Join us!

Piedmont Fibershed Steering Committee

Courtney Lockemer

Courtney Lockemer is an artist and designer who works in fashion, textiles, photography, video, and performance. In addition to her work with Piedmont Fibershed, she works for TS Designs, Inc. in Burlington, NC developing production-scale natural dye services. Courtney is particularly interested in using and developing sustainable sources of locally-available dye plants.

Kerry Bullock-Ozkan

Kerry Bullock-Ozkan is a knitwear designer and textile artist living in Carrboro, North Carolina. Her focus is on using wool and other natural fibers to create modern, wearable designs for a sustainable wardrobe. When not knitting, Kerry can be found exploring rare wool breeds and her local environment through spinning, weaving and natural dyeing. Kerry is also a certified tech editor through The Knitting Guild Association and enjoys working with new and established designers to communicate their creative visions.

Candace Lacy

Candace Lacy has spent her adult working life bridging marketing and analytics in sometimes polarizing industries. She is a repressed/frustrated artist & ‘dirt-worshiping tree hugger’ repurposer-upcycler with a love of vintage, antique, and generally well crafted arts and utilitarian objects. Her true calling is seeing potential in and repurposing what may otherwise be considered banal or discarded. She finds joy in experiencing and creating art, particularly that made from natural fiber. She is inspired by the individuals and organizations implementing and advocating for sustainable/regenerative practices and behaviors.

Tara Webb

Tara Webb is a theatre artist specializing in costume design and costume technologies. She joined UNCG in August 2020 as the Lecturer in Costume Technology. Tara is a member of the Sustainability Executive Council at UNCG and teaches workshops in natural dyes for communities in the Greensboro area. Recent costume projects include “Manifesto” for Caitlyn Schrader’s liminality project and a showing of “woven playground” at the Black Mountain College Reviewing conference. In addition to costumes, Tara has also designed promotional wearables for corporate events, worked on various individual commissions, and designed custom soft goods and interior textiles for many restaurants and businesses. She has an MA in Visual Culture: Costume Studies from NYU and a BA in Theatre Studies from Swarthmore College.

Leena Godbole

Leena Godbole is a textile professional studying data analytics with a passion for sustainable consumer and manufacturing practices.

David Suchoff

David Sucoff is the Alternative Crops Extension Specialist and Assistant Professor, Crop and Soil Sciences at NC State Extension.