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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

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Gwen Hedley permalink
    May 19, 2021 11:29 pm

    Hi, where can I purchase these Kozo strips please?

    • May 20, 2021 5:21 am

      You can purchase uncooked strips of kozo (Japanese or Thai) bark from most papermaking supply stores/businesses. In the US, I usually get them from Carriage House Paper in New York (https://carriagehousepaper.com/thai-kozo). But also, if you can find a grove of the right kind of trees (they grow invasively along the Anacostia River here in Washington, DC), you can harvest the bark off of c 1-2″-diameter branches.

    • May 26, 2021 5:05 pm

      You can purchase uncooked (Thai paper mulberry) kozo strips from Carriage House Paper in Brooklyn NY (https://carriagehousepaper.com/thai-kozo) and then you have to cook in an alkaline solution (as described in the info they send you with the bark fiber). After cooking and rinsing thoroughly, I pull the strips apart to make the lacy pieces.

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  1. Thing-a-Day – January 25 – cooked gampi strips into string | Beyond Garbage Blog

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