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Thing-a-Day – January 26 – cooked kozo fabric and vessel

February 7, 2015

Day 26 of the Thing-a-Day Challenge

Materials: cooked, unbeaten kozo (mulberry) bark, aka Broussonetia papyrifera

Kozo is an amazing substance.  It is a traditional papermaking bark fiber that can be used as a cooked, but unbeaten, source material to make barkcloth as well as in its fully beaten state for fine, strong paper.

dry kozo

bundled dry kozo, ready for cooking

cooked kozo

soaked kozo cooking with soda ash to soften

 

 

 

 

 

cooked kozo strips

cooked kozo strips

2-foot strip, 1 inch wide

2-foot strip, 1 inch wide

spreading out a single strip of kozo

spreading out a single strip of kozo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once it is cooked, the fibers are still happily hanging together

strip now 8 inches wide and 18 inches long

strip now 8 inches wide and 18 inches long

in a cross-hatched pattern, but easily spread gently in to a wider open mesh or lightly beaten into a flattened “cloth.”  I prefer to just spread it out to make a lace effect.

 

 

dried kozo spread sheet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the miracles of kozo is that you can adhere damp strips (much like gampi) or piece of spread/beaten fiber to each other by pressure alone – no other adhesive needed!

simple kozo vessel

simple molded vessel

 

 

 

 

more complex kozo molded, multilayer vessel with delineated lip, approx 6" diameter

more complex kozo molded, multilayer vessel with delineated lip, approx 6″ diameter

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