Bark Cloth

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- story by MaterialDistrict

Barktex is a bark cloth combined with the purely water-based acrylate resin. The Bark cloth is harvested from the permanently renewable bark of the East African “Mutuba” fig tree and produced in cooperation with small-scale organic Ugandan farmers. The bark is harvested once a year without felling the tree. Each strip of bark produces just one cloth, each with its own particular history. The shown contract chairs owe their stable yet flexible design to BASF’S innovative binding agent Acrodur, with which hemp, kenaf, sisal and decorative banana fibres are moulded into a structural part.

Not only is the cloth’s appearance multi-faceted, the applications for this unique Ugandan product are wide-ranging: Whether used as a wall covering, trade stand, furniture component or awning, it lends a unique character to every application.

Tree bark fleece from Uganda is reputed to be the most ancient textile in the history of mankind. Until the end of the 19th century the nest of these cloths were exclusively reserved for the monarchs of the nearly millennial kingdom of Buganda.

Acrodur opens up totally new design opportunities for processing and shaping natural fibre composites. It even allows three-dimensional objects, such as the ergonomic 3D shell of the atlanta 2.0 and the logochair swing, to be manufactured effciently and easily in an industrial production process.
The resulting molded part also displays considerable mechanical strength. Consequently natural fibre composites produced with Acrodur are also ideally suited for use in the automotive industry where they provide lightweight solutions for door interior trims, parcel shelves or trunk floors, replacing far heavier metal or plastic components. Acrodur natural fibre components can be finished in various ways resulting in a natural, high-quality design and an attractive look.

Acrodur therefore contributes significantly towards sustainability, from the processing stage right up to the finished product. As a purely water-based acrylate resin, it does not release any organic substances such as phenol or formaldehyde. Furthermore shorter pressing cycles make for a more energy efficient production process. A sustainable alternative to conventional binding agents therefore which also highlights the excellent properties of natural fibres.

Material Properties