~*~ Vintage Fabrics ~*~

I used to live in Nashville, Tn. I used to find amazing antiques and collectibles when I live there. That's how my passion for vintage fabrics started, especially my love for bark cloth. I went to a yard sale and the lady had plastic bins full of her "lesser" pieces of vintage bark cloth, to me it was the most wonderful thing I'd ever seen. Most of it dated from the 1930s-40s. I'd never seen or heard of bark cloth until that sale. I was so taken with the prints and color, I bought almost everything she had and asked if she had more. I made 2 or 3 more trips to her house where she showed me her extensive collection and she sold me ton's more. She bought the fabric because she designed fabric herself. This was probably a year or so before I started my bear business. I believe it's all strangely connected in some cosmic way. :) That pile of bark cloth started me to think about things I could make myself. I never had the heart to cut up most of it, only if it was already damaged could I cut it up. That did lead me on my way to where I am now...how fun that trip has been!

Here is a definition of bark cloth I found from an online dictionary. Below are some samples from my collection.

Columbia Encyclopedia: bark cloth
primitive fabric made in tropical and subtropical countries from the soft inner bark of certain trees. It has been made and used in parts of Africa and India, the Malay Peninsula, Samoa, the Hawaiian Islands, and the Fiji Islands and perhaps reached its highest perfection in Polynesia and parts of Central America. Lengths of branches or of young stems are cut from trees, such as the fig, the breadfruit, or the paper mulberry. The outer bark is removed; the inner bark is cut in narrow strips and then alternately soaked and beaten with a grooved or carved wooden mallet, or beetle, until the fibers are well matted and become thin and flexible. Gum is sometimes added, and pieces may be joined and beaten together to form large sheets. The peeling and beetling are usually done by the men; the decorating, by the women. Patterns, often elaborate, may be sketched or may be applied by block printing or by leaves dipped in dye and pressed on the cloth. The cloth may be gummed or oiled to make it waterproof. Tapa cloth is a fine variety made in the Pacific islands. Bark cloth is used for loincloths, skirts, draperies, and wall hangings; in thick layers it makes an excellent bed. So ancient is the art of making the cloth that it is deeply involved in religious and ceremonial life. In Borneo a strip of the cloth signifies mourning. In Malawi it has traditionally formed the initiation dress of girls. In India some sects prescribe bark cloth as the dress of a religious recluse.

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♥ Welcome to my blog ♥

My name is Karen Brady Hammontree, and I am the creator of Brady Bears Studio. I design one of a kind, antique style, mohair teddy bears, and other animals. I am also a mixed media artist.

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