Bark Cloth Purse with Colorful Stripes
Know the name of who made your purse!
These beautiful bark cloth purses were made by Lydia in Uganda.
We met Lydia a few years ago, she was skilled in making bark cloth, but had no one to buy her products.
We met with her and asked if she would teach some of the ladies in our widows program how to make bark cloth.
She agreed, and after spending time with the widows and hearing them talk about the Bible, Lydia became a Christian!
Now, Lydia is actively involved in her local church.
She, along with the group of widows she teaches study the Rafiki Bible Study together as they make these bark cloth purses.
What is bark cloth?
Bark cloth has been manufactured in Uganda for centuries. It takes strength, stamina, and practice to make traditional Ugandan barkcloth. The producers of this surprisingly soft and supple material first scrape away the outer bark of fig trees called mutuba (usually Ficus natalensis), then slit inner bark with a knife and peel it upward off the tree.
They boil the bark in great pans of water to soften it, and then pound it for several hours with heavy wooden mallets until it is much, much thinner, wider, and softer. This pounding technique gradually increases the size of the cloth from an original width of approximately 18 inches to between two to three meters. The bark cloth is then sun dried and will turn to a gorgeous brown color.
Once it has dried, the cloth is then ready to be used.