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. The Piedmont Fibershed encompasses the area roughly within a 200 mile radius of Durham, North Carolina. 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 Abundance NC, a registered 501(c)(3) public entity.
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?
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!
Courtney Lockemer is an artist and designer who works in fashion, textiles, photography, video, and performance. She is the founder and creative lead of Sunday Shift, a line of clothing and accessories designed and handmade in Durham, North Carolina from sustainable textiles, low-impact dyes, and vintage materials. Courtney is particularly interested in using locally-available materials, both reclaimed and locally grown/produced. She is in the process of creating a natural dye garden at her home in Durham.
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.
Caitlin moved to her family’s land to start a fiber farm in 2010, and has been working to deepen her roots both in the soil and her community ever since. She has worked with the local food coop, homeless shelter, food policy organization, beekeeper’s association (where she currently serves as an officer), and other local non-profits. With a background in restaurants, and event planning, her everyday consists of juggling being a mom, farmer, real estate agent, and steward of her fibery animal friends.
Sydney Sogol is a handweaver, creating unique, one-of-a-kind luxury wearable art. She draws inspiration from her years of studying art, ornithology, and marine biology. Each piece Sydney creates in her home studio, in Durham, pays tribute to a single creature’s unique beauty and story. To achieve this, she hand paints and dyes yarn that mimics the gorgeous colors found in birds and ocean creatures. Sydney then combines these colors with the complex, original patterns she designed for 8, 16, and 24 shaft looms to create stunning accessories. Each one tells a vivid, visual story from a distance that transforms into one full of luscious details when up close, similar to how magnificent animals colors and patterns change when viewed from a distance or up close. She primarily works with Lyocell, an eco-friendly wood pulp yarn that is manufactured in a closed circuit loop, minimizing its environmental impact by reusing all water and using only non-toxic chemicals! Lyocell is a dream to dye, weave, and wear it, and was invented right here in North Carolina!
greetings, i am adé (they/she). i am a multimedia experimental and healing artist based on Occaneechi-Saponi Nation/Catawba/Eno territory, also known as Durham. i work with textile, sound, poetry, soil, plants, and visual arts to create cultural artifacts that preserve and infinitize Afrosacred ways of communing with the void, the wild, and the marvelous. i am restoring my cultural practices with Indigo, weaving, natural building, land stewardship, and farming among other ways. i joined the Piedmont FiberShed Steering Committee to help develop my personal knowledge around local fiber and dye subjects and to make sure this space feels like a resource that BIPoC fiber people can access. In addition, while a member, i hope to learn more about how to make fiber farming economically sustainable for BIPoC farmers in the area.
Sue is an impassioned fiber enabler and has been for the last 25 years. She lives with her husband and their dog, critter-catching cats and geriatric ruminates on a small farm in Chatham County. Sue is co-owner of Twin Birch Products, makers of Birchwood Fiber art tools (www.twinbirchproducts.com) as well as her retail & fiber studio business Twin Birch & Teasel .Sue’s hands and heart are happiest while processing fiber materials of all sorts, experimenting with natural dyes, spinning, saori style-weaving and learning with Fibershed folks.
Kelly Walsh worked as a web developer for years before deciding to leave the tech industry to follow her textile artist dreams. She is a hand weaver who loves exploring the intersections between technology and art, math and color. She loves talking about how weaving is one of the oldest most universal technologies, and how the history of computers owes everything to the loom. When she’s not wandering the labyrinth of running a small business (www.kellywoveit.com), Kelly is working on her Master Weaver certification by Olds College, and is also working to grow her local weaving community as the secretary of the Triangle Weavers Guild.