Bark – The Fabric of Nature

In first grade in Honolulu, I learned all about how the Hawaiians made tapa cloth from bark, how they pounded the bark with wooden mallets until very thin, how they beat the strips together to make a big sheet. Then we read how they made dyes and stains from plant materials to stencil on geometric patterns.

I suppose the term bark cloth derived from this old method. I remember the loosely woven fabrics and patterns of bark cloth which became popular from the 30s-60s. One can still find vintage bark cloth online–the patterns were fabulous.

Photo courtesy of

Very cool fabric patterns and loosely woven–quite like bark. But look what the palm tree produces naturally:

Look at the natural weave on the palm trees. Isn’t nature truly amazing?

So while the other kids on the mainland were learning all about Abraham Lincoln–we were learning about King Kamehameha and tapa cloth!

Quote of the Day for YOU:   There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.                                          ~Elizabeth Lawrence

© Teresita Abad Doebley. All rights reserved 2009-2011.


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