We were discussing topics to talk about and questions were asked and this one came up... what is barkcloth?
I knew, but did I really know? No, not the whole story. I enjoyed reading this blog from Colette and watching this cool video on you tube showing people making the original barkcloth. Traditionally, barkcloth was made by soaking and beating the inner bark of certain trees in Southeast Asia and South Pacific islands to make a paper-like fabric.
Modern barkcloth was made to emulate the nubby texture of the original barkcloth with weave and texture. These fabrics were printed from 1940-1960. The designs started with the tropical prints and leaves, then evolved into geometric and atomic designs inspired by the space program and the Scandinavian furniture designs of the mid-century.
There has been a resurgence of interest in barkcloth with the renewed interest in mid-century design.
When I was asked the question, "what is barkcloth?"
I initially thought of what it could be... like a design class prompt for a project.
I’m now inspired to create a new fabric by using weaves and yarn to emulate the trunk of a tree... a new barkcloth! This could really be cool. We will have to see how it executes!