[ Content | Sidebar ]

A Length of Linden Bark Cloth: Shinafu

Written on July 2, 2010

Today I am showing a length of rustic, asa or bast fiber cloth, this one being woven from yarns taken from the inner bark of the linden tree, the cloth being called shinafu.Shinafu is a very rough cloth–it’s almost abrasive to the touch, the yarns being almost wiry.  The color of shinafu has a characteristically coppery sheen.In order to obtain raw materials for this kind of cloth, women would make many trips into the forest to harvest the linden tree’s inner bark, which would then be arduously processed, washed, dried, split and then plied: this transformation from tree bark to usable yarn was very time consuming and required more effort, time and skill that is imaginable.Shinafu is a marvelous looking cloth; although I am not totally sure of this, I believe it was rarely used for clothing as it was so rough to the touch and seems not to soften with age or wear.   Notice the surface texture of this cloth, which I am trying to show through these detail photos: the surface is a bit irregular and the cloth is very stiff.This particular length of shinafu is a very handsome example for its condition, its length and its fine color.

Tagged: .

3 Comments

Comments closed

  1. Comment by Karen:

    For what purpose do you think this fabric was mainly used? What would be appropriate modern applications?

    July 2, 2010 @ 11:03 pm

  2. Comment by paula:

    fabulous color, and yes, the texture does come through the photos. “rarely used for clothing as it was so rough to the touch and seems not to soften with age or wear. ” Used for mosquito netting, i believe?

    thanks for sharing. *^^*

    July 3, 2010 @ 1:05 am

  3. Comment by velma bolyard:

    just imagine the handwork in this textile.

    July 3, 2010 @ 12:59 pm