Carolina Hides

Hillsborough, NC

Katie Haberman

Honoring life. Redirecting waste. Reducing environmental impact. Creating heirlooms.

A small-scale regional fiber systems, or “fibershed,” project to keep North Carolina fiber local and humane at all stages of production. This project centers the animals, humans and environment involved in fiber production, and builds relationships with local family-run sites to ensure humane and environmentally-friendly practices.

Honoring life & Redirecting waste: The sheep and goats that grew these hides were all raised on farms in North Carolina and harvested for meat at a local slaughterhouse. The slaughterhouse chosen uses some of the most humane practices found in the area. After harvesting, many of these hides go to waste or are sent very long distances out of state or overseas to be further processed. This project re-directs the hides from going to waste or moving long distances, and in so doing, honors another part of the animal by giving it a new life.

Reducing environmental impact: The goats and sheep that provided these hides were all raised, harvested, and processed in North Carolina. By keeping fiber production local at all stages of production, the use of gas to move the hides across state lines or overseas to be processed and sold is eliminated. Further, the project researched tanning facilities in the area and is utilizing one found that uses environmentally-friendly practices.

The process: All goat and sheep hides are hand-picked at the slaughterhouse, and I do some of the cutting and fleshing of the hides onsite. The hides are then driven to the local tannery, where I have toured and inquired to understand their practices. The hides are then picked up after a couple of months and sold locally. “