bark cloth


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bark cloth,

primitive fabric made in tropical and subtropical countries from the soft inner bark of certain trees. It has been made and used in parts of Africa and India, the Malay Peninsula, Samoa, the Hawaiian Islands, and the Fiji Islands and perhaps reached its highest perfection in Polynesia and parts of Central America. Lengths of branches or of young stems are cut from trees, such as the fig, the breadfruit, or the paper mulberry. The outer bark is removed; the inner bark is cut in narrow strips and then alternately soaked and beaten with a grooved or carved wooden mallet, or beetle, until the fibers are well matted and become thin and flexible. Gum is sometimes added, and pieces may be joined and beaten together to form large sheets. The peeling and beetling are usually done by the men; the decorating, by the women. Patterns, often elaborate, may be sketched or may be applied by block printing or by leaves dipped in dye and pressed on the cloth. The cloth may be gummed or oiled to make it waterproof. Tapa cloth is a fine variety made in the Pacific islands. Bark cloth is used for loincloths, skirts, draperies, and wall hangings; in thick layers it makes an excellent bed. So ancient is the art of making the cloth that it is deeply involved in religious and ceremonial life. In Borneo a strip of the cloth signifies mourning. In Malawi it has traditionally formed the initiation dress of girls. In India some sects prescribe bark cloth as the dress of a religious recluse.

bark cloth

[bärk ‚klȯth]
(textiles)
Fabric made from inner tree bark by beating it to a smooth, wearable thinness.
References in periodicals archive ?
KAMPALA: Bark cloth, a fabric historically used by the Buganda in central Uganda to wrap their dead before burial, is making a comeback in the form of trendy crafts, clothing and household goods.
They have also had a chance to tell the stories of their lives and losses in tableaux which have been embroidered on to bark cloth.
Among the contemporary works featured in this exhibition are finely carved bowls, paddles and a remarkable selection of bark cloth paintings from Lake Sentani.
A NEW VISION: When those same women heard about Mayotte's accident, they made her a bark cloth mat decorated with embroidery work depicting villagers' huts, a woman bending over her fields of grain, and colorful flowers.
Another regional name is bark cloth tree--because the inner bark of the tree was used to make white cloth.
Colors are paled citrus green, red and coconut brown on bark cloth. Natural textures include sisal, bamboo and raffia.
In addition to Capri pants in bark cloth, Biasa Rose sells accessories, handbags and ceramics.
In his last decades, his studio was filled with ikats, embroideries, patterned rugs, and exotic costumes from around the world--everything from African wall hangings and Polynesian bark cloth to Japanese brocades and fragments of mass-produced European silks and cottons.
Dog with two heads The restored World Museum Liverpool; Woman's winter suit; Painted bark cloth
However, even if strip weave Kente cloth has become virtually a symbol for Africa as a whole, the continent holds a wealth of other textiles that are all celebrated in this book: The Berber weavers of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia, and the beadwork and leatherwork of the Maasai of East Africa; the skills of the Kuba peoples of Central Africa (whose raphia cloth the author describes as one of the greatest textile repertoires in the whole of Africa), and the bark cloth of the Congo; the unique crocheted, embroidered and feathered hats of Cameroon, and the ancient weaving traditions of Ethiopia among others.
Working in mediums from Ugandan bark cloth (used in burials), to oil and mixed media, Boghossian's abstract, surrealist style draws on his interest in traditional Ethiopian arts, modern history, magic scrolls and church paintings.