Weaving bark fibre

Woven Bark Fiber

I made a rough type of textile from bark fiber. This is the same tree I use for making cordage though I don’t know its name. It has been raining a lot here lately (the video also shows how well the hut stands up to rain) and this caused a large wattle tree to fall down taking a few smaller trees with it. One of the trees was the type I use for fiber. So I stripped the bark from it and divided it into thinner strips back at the hut.

I spun the fiber strips into a rough yarn using a drop spindle. The drop spindle was basically the spindle and fly wheel I used in the pump drill video I made a while ago. A small stick was tied to the top of the drop spindle to act as a hook to make sure the fibers spun. I tied bark strips to the spindle and spun the spindle so it twisted the strip. When one strip ran out a new strip was added and twisted into the thread.

I then made a loom by hammering stakes into the ground and lashing cross bars to it. Stakes were hammered into the ground to hold every first string while a movable cross bar held every second string. When the bar was lifted a gap was formed where every second string was above every first string. Then when the bar was dropped a gap was formed where the opposite was true. So in this way the weaving thread could be drawn through over and under one way and then under over back the opposite way. The alternative was to weave by hand which would have taken longer.

Collecting, stripping and drying the fiber took a few days to do. Spinning and weaving took just over a day per 70 cm square. The result was a rough material about as stiff as a welcome mat. So at this stage I’m using them as mats. In future I will investigate finer fibers, such as those from banana tree stalks, as a possible material for cloth. They take more processing but produce a finer product. I may also make a permanent, portable loom that can be taken indoors when it rains.

Youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/c/PrimitiveTechnology

Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2945881&ty=h

I have no face book page.

20 thoughts on “Weaving bark fibre

      • Done. At least everything on the page links to this blog or your youtube channel so no one is actually profiting from your hard work. I absolutely love your videos, by the way. Thanks!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks. He took down your comment but now others have started to call him out. Originally he copied the description where I said I had no Facebook page which suggests English is not his first language. On the black bean post he starts it off with tarihinde yayinlandi which might be his real name? Any way thanks for the help.

        Liked by 3 people

      • The comment of Nathaniel’s seems to have been removed from the fake FB page. Who ever is “impersonating” or featuring you does a pretty good job, actually. At least for the time being you could look at it as a service. Until they start a patreon page. :/
        Feel free to remove this once you’ve read it.


      • I believe the call-outs is starting to become overwhelming for this user, he have stated that his Facebook page is not the original now, probably as an attempt to relieve the attacks that he have been receiving but I still find this absolutely unacceptable as he is uploading your content without your consent.

        I am trying to talk to Facebook about this but they’re not very efficient at protecting people’s content when it’s not in the matter of a large company, as Facebook is trying to avoid excessive amounts of fan mails.

        In one way or another this will be made known to Facebook. The user seem rather inconsiderate and condescending on the matter.

        Putting this negative energy aside, I absolutely adore your projects, they’re highly educational and inspirational and your dedication and patience is most admireable. Your videos and blogs are very therapeutic.


      • Thanks. He’s a Turkish person I suspect- the words “published on” (in Turkish) were accidentally published on one the posts (the black bean video) he made. He’s stated something about the page not being original but English is not his first language and his Facebook visitors are confused. Wow I didn’t know so many people would care. Thanks to your and everyone help. Much appreciated.

        Liked by 2 people

      • ” Wow I didn’t know so many people would care. ”
        Oh we care! When someone is trying to take credit for or leach on your hard work I get pissed and will do what I can to help out behind my keyboard.


  1. At the end of the video you show the mats near the fire place. If you accidentally drop a coal on one, will the mat burn, would it simply smolder without flaming, or is it even more fire resistant than that?

    Also, I am glad to see the tile roof protecting you from the elements still. Have you had to replace any tiles?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for posting another video! I was getting a little anxious on what new thing you would be working on.

    For metal making I would recommend the Japanese style of using iron sand and charcoal to make blume steel. It would probably be a lot of work but it would be very interesting to see what you could accomplish.

    Have been a big fan of yours since the beginning~

    Liked by 3 people

  3. This is absolutely insane although you told me about it already. The mats look like the kind we Vietnamese used to sleep on before everyone went for mattresses, albeit a different material. Have you ever thought about growing some flax? It could be a great addition as I know some of use really want to see more agriculture. Also, in Vietnam, we first dry the material,make a bundle, then use a big mortar and pestle (made from a big stick of wood and a hollow place, can be on the ground or another hollow wood) to get rid of the stuff leaving only the fiber. Maybe if you do that with your current material it will make them smoother? Again, kudos on this awesome video, Can’t wait another month 😦

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Question? How long was each length of fiber? Did you join them together somehow? I would think from the tree length, you couldn’t get 4 or 5 revolutions on the loom without running out of one strand, and having to start another….


  5. Cool, i never knew how a loom worked but its easy to see what happens when you do it by hand.

    do you plan on doing other things with the yarn like knitting? making paracord bracelets with the yarn?


  6. Howdy,

    I realize this is an older post but hopefully you’ll see this –

    Something you might consider in working with softer fibers in future is a backstrap loom, which is fully portable and still used extensively in Central & South America and Southeast Asia. There’s a blog here on WordPress called BackstrapWeaving.

    I live near what was once the largest pre-Columbian city in North America, today called Cahokia. I mention it as if you don’t already know about it, it might be a useful source of ideas. It’s been studied and written about extensively. The on site museum collection of tools and implements is impressive. http://cahokiamounds.org/visit/

    Thanks for sharing your skills and methods. The world is richer for it.


  7. Ever thought about creating a messenger bag with shoulder strap using this material. Could be good for collecting food etc? Thought about this while re-watching your newest vegetable patch video – particularly the bit where you were scavenging for the seed plants near the old stone house.


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