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In keeping with our desire to put the word out there that green design today just blows you away with its ingenuity and beauty, I’d like you to feast your eyes on a product from Arte called Bark Cloth. I think I need to get technical for a moment so that you can really appreciate what Arte has undertaken to produce for the interiors marketplace.
The product is basically tree bark for the interior of your home. Unbeknown to me, the removal of the inside layer of bark from a Mutaba fig tree produces a fibrous textile some call vegetable felt. The bark is colored and worked to make it supple and soft and dried in the sun. The tree trunk is protected with a layer of banana leaves, under which the bark grows back. This ancient technique, probably first started in Africa, was used to provide clothing, shelter and beds, as well as in religious ceremonies, and most likely was developed over 18,000 years ago.
Okay, now that you have all of that….
Arte produces the product in Uganda, where the pieces of the bark are hand sewn together to create a patchwork, and then lines the panels with a fiber base so that they can be easily manipulated like every other type of wallpaper . Since each tree only yields one piece of bark, each wallpaper panel is completely unique. There are five different color ways, and even a jet black variant with an extremely fine gold thread worked into it…this one is fab!
When I walked into the Koroseal showroom in the D&D Building in NYC …that’s where you buy it, folks…. where it is displayed on the wall, my mouth dropped! It was truly one of the most exciting wall treatments I had seen in ages.
Undoubtedly the “look” on the wall is something grand to behold…but the story behind it makes it so much more desirable.