Fascination of nature

Bark Cloth tree bark fleece, a textile without any additives.

Exactly one cloth is created from the bark of one tree. The harvesting of the bark and its subsequent processing are carried out exclusively by handwork. Only if trained hands were at work during harvest and processing, can we offer nature in perfection. For not everyone is master of the great art of tree peeling and the ancient, traditionally handed down knowledge of bark processing.

In contrast to most other nature-based solutions available on market, this so-called monomaterial does not contain any binders, dyes or other additives. It contains the bark fiber only, which is chemically broken down to cellulose, hemicellulose, tannins and traces of minerals.

On the production side, each square meter of Bark Cloth requires less than one liter of water.  Since it is produced with muscle power only, and since the basic metabolic rate of a hard working man is only slightly higher than the metabolic rate of a man, resting lazy in a hammock, its production is CO2 – neutral. And if the natural CO2 – binding effect of Mutuba trees is included in the carbon footprint, Bark Cloth manufacturing is even CO2 – positive. No other textile offers such a favorable eco balance.

We receive BARK CLOTH tradition_0131 mainly from Uganda and occasionally in smaller quantities of BARK CLOTH tuno_0170 from Honduras.

The traditionally made Bark Cloth from Uganda. A cultural heritage of UNESCO.

A piece of Bark Cloth represents exactly the harvest of a tree, each one is unique. The color ranges from orange and ocher, terracotta and fawn brown to a deep reddish brown. As diverse as nature itself. It measures an average of 150 x 270 cm, with variances ranging from 130 to 180 cm in width and 255 to 350 cm in length. Customized sizes are possible. It is from 0.3 to 1.8 mm thick, most of the produce is available in a thickness of around 0.7 to 1.1 mm. The seams and patches made of sisal and bast threads are not a design feature, but rather improvements which result from branch holes and mendings.

Our Ugandan manufactory sources traditional Bark Cloth from our network of Ugandan organic farmers and improves it with purely traditional methods. With BARK CLOTH_tradition_0131, we produce the highest possible quality Bark Cloth like no other. For this reason, we have been appointed by the King of Buganda, Kabaka Ronald Mwenda Mutebi II, to supply to his royal household. Informally purchased Bark Cloth often comes with holes larger than one inch and is usually strongly wavy, making it difficult for some applications. BARK CLOTH_tradition_0131 is almost flat and and contains only minimal holes, due to the rich porosity of the materials.

Properties: translucent, heat-resistant up to 200 ºC with no heat damage, three-dimensionally deformable.

BARK CLOTH_tuno_0170 originates from the biosphere reserve of Rio Patuca at the border region of Honduras and Nicaragua, the largest coherent primary rainforest north of the Amazon.

It is beige and of extraordinary strong texture. Traditionally, it is produced by members of the Miskito and the threatened Tahwaka people, a people with a population of only a few thousand. Day-long trips by canoe are required to procure it. Within the scope of a development aid project in cooperation with the GIZ, an implementation agency of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, we are currently procuring small amounts of this noble, scarce material. The ability for delivery is not yet constant, so we advise against the development of industrial applications with this material. It is however suitable for projects where smaller quantities of an extraordinary material with a strong haptic experience are sought.

Discover a unique material

Each piece is an exquisitely handcrafted individual, telling you its own story

Designers and architects value the expressive character, unique texture and sensual tactility of the bark cloth tree bark fleece. Depending on lighting conditions, angle of viewing, finishing, and temperament of its producer the soft, moldable cloth changes from the supple, but robust charm of leather to the translucent and graceful lightness of filmy fleeces.

“The allure of this exceptional material comes from its inimitable structure and the fascinating game played between ancient authenticity and state-of-the-art finishes and uses… It is ideal to serve for products and architectural projects where individuality plays a central role”

Humberto Campana

Pure and real, thousands of years old, though ahead of its time, it concentrates style and design down to the bare essentials. For whichever application, you are sure to use a unique masterpiece.