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Re: Birch Bark

I have a little bit of information on making tapa cloth, if that's any

I have used tapa cloth for covering books - it's great, with a very
distinct grain.  The Polynesians paint, stencil and imprint relief designs
using the mid-ribs of coconut leaves.


Kathryn Mercer
MLIS student
New Zealand

-----Original Message-----
From:   Jack C. Thompson [SMTP:tcl@xxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent:   Tuesday, November 03, 1998 7:39 PM
To:     BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject:        Re: Birch Bark

>A former student is interested in using birch bark for book covers and/or
>as "paper" for printing and has contacted me for assistance.

>Tom Trusky
>Idaho Center for the Book

I have a small book printed on leaves of birch bark, from Michigan.
Nice stuff and flexible; somewhat like thin leather.

Somewhere out there amongst one of the piles of primary stuff in the
garage is a roll of white birch bark which I once tried to separate into
leaves.  It was soaked for a couple of days in water; it unrolled,
more-or-less, but would not split neatly.  Then I soaked it in hot
water and poured boiling water over an edge as I tried to separate
it into leaves.  That didn't work either, but my finger tips were
really clean once the new skin grew in.

Based upon my limited experience, it may work best if the birch bark
is separated very soon after removal from the tree.

Good luck,


Jack C. Thompson
Thompson Conservation Lab.
7549 N. Fenwick
Portland, OR  97217

503/735-3942  (voice/fax)


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