Cloth made from tree bark?
January 8, 2007 1:21 PM   Subscribe

Cloth made from tree bark? Photos at the Textile Museum of Canada's Cloth That Grows On Trees exhibition page.
posted by Chuckles (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've always seen that stuff referred to as Tapa cloth.
posted by Listener at 1:25 PM on January 8, 2007

My parents got gifts of tapa cloth and fine mats when we lived in American Samoa. Seeing how the tapa cloth was made was really interesting.
posted by mullingitover at 1:37 PM on January 8, 2007

Cool! The name is almost equivalent to the instructions, like Cheese On Bread And Put It In The Oven.
posted by Chuckles at 1:45 PM on January 8, 2007

I've gotten a few proa (multi-hull canoe or "outrigger") model kits that have come with tapa cloth for the sail. Neat stuff. Definitely more wearable than you'd think. Cheap paper towel texture.
posted by cowbellemoo at 1:46 PM on January 8, 2007

Strange that a Canadian museum doesn't appear to have included any cedar cloth from British Columbia in the exhibit. Maybe it falls into a different class of textile, or something.
posted by teg at 3:00 PM on January 8, 2007

The cedar fabrics were woven from cedar fibres made by separating the bark into strands. The tropical things just needed tenderizing and were then treated like cloth according to the second article.
posted by cardboard at 4:54 PM on January 8, 2007

On a related note, I once saw stainless steel cloth at an art exhibit at MoMA. It was incredible--very soft.
posted by dpanarelli at 6:17 PM on January 8, 2007

Cloth can also be woven from nettles.
posted by Goofyy at 10:47 PM on January 8, 2007

Seems odd that there's no mention of Herer's "silk made from hemp" and related...
posted by avriette at 3:46 AM on January 9, 2007

There's also stainless steel knitting yarn, dpanerelli -- Habu Textiles in NYC sells it, it's great stuff.
posted by at 8:06 AM on January 9, 2007

This is a really cool and little known museum. If you're in the Toronto area, you really should try to drop by to see some of the incredible stuff on display. The place is squeezed between a parking lot and an office building on Centre Street, just south of Dundas and east of University Avenue.

Full disclosure: I'm currently preparing a documentary on Indian and Pakistani textiles for the museum as a part of an exhibition opening January 24th. Swing by for the opening and have cheese and crackers with me!

Tell your friends! They do good work at the Textile Museum and nobody knows because their annual promotions budget isn't even enough to buy a :30 spot on the cheapest TV channel.
posted by CheeseburgerBrown at 8:25 AM on January 9, 2007

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