From Tree to Textile: The Art of Crafting Flexi Mulberry Bark

This comprehensive guide explores the traditional and eco-friendly techniques employed in converting the bark of the paper mulberry tree, also known as the Kozo, into the highly sought-after and versatile Flexi Mulberry Bark.

Kozo Studio's Flexi Mulberry Bark

Perfect for enthusiasts of sustainable materials, artisanal crafts, and natural fiber products, Flexi Mulberry Bark boasts a mesh of soft, elegant fibers, making it an ideal addition to a wide range of artistic endeavors. Join us as we uncover the artistry and craftsmanship that go into creating something truly extraordinary.

The Harvesting of Kozo (Paper Mulberry) Trees: Our journey begins with the Kozo plant, commonly known as the paper mulberry tree. Grown in the lush regions of Thailand, these trees are carefully harvested. The bark is meticulously stripped from the branches, ensuring the integrity of the material.

Harvesting Kozo Bark

Peeling the Kozo Bark: The next step involves delicately peeling the outer layer of the Kozo bark away. This exposes the inner bark, which is the primary source of fiber for our mulberry papers. This part of the process requires skilled hands and a keen eye for detail.

Peeling Mulberry Bark

Sun-Drying the Bark: Post-peeling, the barks are laid out to dry under the sun. This natural drying process not only preserves the fibers but also contributes to the local economy in Sukhothai, a charming city in the lower-northern part of Thailand, where harvesting and selling Kozo bark provides vital income for the community.

Drying mulberry bark

Sorting by Size and Quality: After drying, the bark is meticulously sorted through a classification process. It's arranged according to the size and fiber quality. This essential step guarantees a uniform and superior final product. Only a select fraction of the bark is suitable for producing our ample-sized Flexi Mulberry Bark.

Sorting Mulberry Bark

Preparation for Softening: The next phase involves washing and soaking the strips of Kozo bark overnight. This soaking process is essential for softening the fibers, making them more pliable for the subsequent steps.

Soaking the mulberry bark

Cooking the Bark: After soaking, the barks are cooked. This crucial step transforms the barks into soft yet strong fibers. The cooking process is monitored closely to achieve the perfect texture.

Cooking Mulberry Bark

Optional Bleaching: Depending on the intended result, the fibers may undergo bleaching. This process turns the bark to an off-white hue, whereas unbleached bark retains its original, natural color.

Breaching Mulberry Bark

Quality Inspection and Purification: Each batch of fibers undergoes a thorough inspection. Any impurities or knots in the fiber are painstakingly removed by hand. This ensures that only the purest fibers are used. Following this process, the fiber can also be utilized for the production of paper.

Mulberry Bark QC

Wet Stretching: We begin the process by stretching the bark carefully. It's essential to perform this step while the bark is still moist. As we gently pull the bark apart, it unveils a stunning mesh of fibers. This network of long interwoven fibers not only highlights the organic beauty of the bark but also demonstrates the strength and resilience inherent in its structure.

Mulberry Bark Wet Streching

Sun drying: We then allow it to undergo a natural drying process in the sunlight. As a result of drying, the fibers gain a certain degree of rigidity. Despite this, it's important to note that our fibers retain a high level of flexibility. Therefore, if there is a need to expand the dimensions of the sheet, it is still possible to carefully stretch the bark.

Quality Control and Standardization: In the final stages, the fibers are subject to rigorous quality control procedures, being evaluated and selected based on predefined size criteria. Any sheets showing excessive discoloration or holes are eliminated. This ensures that each sheet of Flexi Mulberry Bark meets a consistent standard. However, due to its natural origin, Flexi Mulberry Bark inherently possesses unique variations. Each sheet is one-of-a-kind, exhibiting minor differences in color and size.

Mulberry Bark QC

We've seen how the Flexi Mulberry Bark is crafted from start to finish, combining traditional methods with eco-friendly practices. For those who appreciate the finer details and natural materials in their craft, Flexi Mulberry Bark presents an intriguing option.

Mulberry Bark

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