Vatulele Fiji Tapa Masi Barkcloth

Vatulele Fiji Tapa Masi Barkcloth

I have always been intrigued by textiles - at least since I started sewing on my mother's treadle Singer when I was about 11.

Olde Kitchen & Home received some interesting place mat size textiles marked Vatulele on reverse. Vatulele is a coral and volcanic island south of Fiji's main island. The mats are from the estate of a ship's captain who worked world wide into the 1970s and collected remembrances as he went.

I learned the fiber is made by pounding strips of bark from the paper mulberry tree, flattening and softening the fibers to make the masi tapa and then are traditional symbol decorated. Used centuries for clothing, blankets, decor pieces, they are currently very popular as framed wall decor presenting an island exotic theme.

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