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The Process of Making Nibutani Attushi - Japanese cloth made from bark

 
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Nibutani Bark Cloth (called Nibutani-attushi in Japanese) is a bark fiber fabric produced in the region surrounding the the town of Biratori, Hokkaido. The term Nibutani originates from niputai which is an Ainu (indigenous people of north Japan) language word that means "a land where the trees grow thickly". Ainu people in the region still produce traditional crafts to maintain their cultural practices. The cloth has good breathability, water resistance, durability, and a distinctive texture. Threads spun from the inside layer fiber of wild Manchurian elms growing around the Saru River are woven with a weaving machine called attushi karape. This weaving machine has a unique shape where one end is fixed to a pillar or a leg of a table, while the other side is fixed around the weaver’s waist, and the weaver uses his body to pull the threads. Nibutani-attushi has been produced with almost the same tools and techniques for more than one hundred years. The fabric is used for making kimono, hanten (short coats), aprons, belts and accessories. It was originally used to make durable clothing for family members. However, its functionality and beauty were appreciated by Japanese merchants trading with the Ainu, and eventually Nibutani Bark Cloth was designated as a traditional craft.



More info here - Nibutani bark cloth
 
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That is so beautiful Burra. Thank you for posting it.
How much work goes into the cloth! Obviously the trees are grown specially straight and tall for the fibres. I really like the little waist loom too - much less bulky than a full loom, although obviouslt limited for fabric width.
 
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Nancy Reading wrote: I really like the little waist loom too - much less bulky than a full loom, although obviouslt limited for fabric width.

There's plenty examples of traditional clothing made out of limited width fabric. Having just upcycled a kimono to a pleated skirt, the advantage of having panels that aren't going to fray was noticeable. Patterns that were based on panels allowed for minimal waste of what was considered hugely valuable material.
 
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