Mobile Indigo Processing

Align the Fibers (ATF) is a not-for-profit committed to building a network of collaborators interested in research and production processes relating to Arts and Agriculture. ATF builds community with non-profits, individual farmers, and partners with local businesses to increase diversity, and sustainability and to directly impact how arts and agriculture function. We provide support through grant-writing, fundraising, research, management, networking, and project-based consulting for the future to provide access to skills, knowledge, and practices of two industries that inform and impact our future.

HELP US BRING MOBILE INDIGO PROCESSING TO THE LOW COUNTRY!

We are currently focused on the textile dye Indigo, which is the “original blue jean dye”. There are 50 different species of this plant that are historically and currently grown around the world. We are currently focused on the textile dye Indigo, which is the “original blue jean dye”. There are 50 different species of this plant that are historically and currently grown around the world. This organic plant dye, derived from the indigo leaves, was one of the top exports from Charleston, SC until the end of the Revolutionary War. Soon after, export stopped and the commercial dye industry shifted to chemical dye that was faster and cheaper to produce. This petroleum-based, highly toxic dye is one of the world’s top polluters. Shifting to American-grown indigo products, the industrial market can slowly be transitioned to more safe and sustainable production, while supporting a new generation of farmers and processors throughout the U.S.A.!

Indigo plants are harvested, water fermented, filtered, and then dried into powder using a natural and non-chemical process, which can then be used to make a liquid dye. The dye is currently used by textile artists and educators within the state of South Carolina. Closed-loop, zero-waste processing of indigo adds value to this nitrogen-rich plant by using the bio-waste created to make fertilizer or compost onsite. We will perform vital research and train new processors on this process while increasing the local indigo supply for use in the low country.

Why Mobile? Mobile processing directly services the communities that have been historically growing Indigo and have not had access to larger-scale processing to powder. This mobility also provides pick-up service to multiple farms growing in the community and a central mobile source of education. There is a vital need for education and training to create leaders in the Indigo community and create open-source education for processing. More processors equal more locally produced indigo powder and another resource for farmers that are essential for increasing the production of the indigo plant in the low country.

Why the Low Country? The textile industry is burgeoning in the U.S. in new and innovative ways, we want to support small-processors, specifically in the Gullah and Coastal communities whose history and heritage are directly linked to Indigo’s past.

We need your support to start-up this mobile operation!!

Your donations will directly impact the growth of the low country indigo market by providing direct contact for farmers and artists, mobile on-site processing, and educational training available for individuals to learn how to process from “plant to powder to textile”.

Align the Fibers is in collaboration with CHI design indigo and True Earth in making indigo more accessible and sustainable, this work would not be possible without their knowledge!

Donations are currently needed for these essentials for harvest beginning in August 2023:

1. Toyota Tacoma Truck (licensing, registration, & insurance): $5,000 -$20,000
2. Operating Expenses (Admin, wages, taxes): $16,000
3. Stainless steel vat: $1,200
4. Operating/Admin/ costs: $8,000
5. Analysis of bio waste & fertilizer (material costs, testing): $2,000
6. Mobile filter table materials: $1,000
7. Dehydrator/dryer: $1,000
8. Travel Expenses (mobile processing): $2,000
Total donations needed: $51,200

Please email alignthefibers.com with any questions or would like to donate through other means, donations are tax-deductable and EIN will be provided after donation is recieved.

More about the founder of Align the Fibers
Precious Jennings was raised in the Heartland of America where arts and agriculture is the defining factor of the community (at least it was a part of hers). This recognition leads her back to her own family history where four generations of self-made farmers in Central Iowa sustainably worked the land. She grew-up learning how to sew, knit, fix her own equipment, tend a garden and fruit trees. For the past decade she has focused on spinning fibers and foraging plant materials for natural dye in relation to her performance practice in dance and experimental theater. In 2007 she joined the Theater and Dance faculty at Columbia College Chicago. During the pandemic she grew her artistic practice to include building tools for processing Hemp fiber while conducting research on the
developing industry surrounding American-grown fibers and dye and learning to grow indigo and
processing concerning the community. She is an innovator at heart, and this dye is transformative.

She is currently based in Charleston SC, where she continues to develop 20+ years of her site-specific interdisciplinary performance practice that integrates history, movement, media arts and agriculture. Her next showing of Align the Fibers : Object Permanence with collaborator Megan Schneeberger, will be premièring with a 100% home-grown food, indigo and fiber soiree in Spring 2024. Additionally she is leading an on-going community build of canoes and kayaks that will hopefully culminate in the show Align the Fibers : Trees : Indigo : Object Permanence in the 2024/25 in Chicago, IL.


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Donations 

  • Annonymous Annonymous
    • $2,500 (Offline)
    • 6 mos
  • Leslie Morrison
    • $10 
    • 6 mos
  • True Earth
    • $1,335 (Offline)
    • 6 mos
  • Glenn Guttman
    • $60 
    • 6 mos
  • Kathi-Jane Holmes
    • $60 
    • 6 mos
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Organizer

Precious Jennings
Organizer
Charleston, SC

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