We are familiar with most African fabrics like Kente, Aso Oke, Ankara, and others. However, most of us have not heard about the Barkcloth from Uganda.
Over the years, designers from Uganda have brought barkcloth to the limelight during fashion shows around the world. Barkcloth is rare and indigenous to the people of Baganda people of southern Uganda.
When you see Barkcloth, the uniqueness might make you forget about the making of the fabric. For those who have no idea about this fabric, it is used for creating bespoke outfits for men and women. Before you buy the fabric, it has undergone its transformation just like other fabrics. While many people buy fabrics without wondering about their production, the uniqueness and beautiful designs of the Barkcloth can give you a reason to ask questions about its production.
The Baganda people are the largest ethnic group in Uganda and they are famous for preparing Barkcloth fabrics. They produce this venerated fabric by pounding the inner bark of a tree called Mutuba. The process is not simple because it requires laborious stages to make it beautiful. During the process of making the Barkcloth, it produces a cognac-brown material.
The Barkcloth is not the normal fabric you buy in the market, the locals hold the fabric in high spiritual regard. The locals tie seven sheets of Barkcloth fabric around a deceased before the burial. They believe that the fabric possesses magical power that transports the souls of their dead to the land of the Baganda’s ancestors.
This fabric is linked with the afterlife and death. That explains the reason we see Barkcloth fabrics mostly on spiritual mediums and witches. These set of people believe that when they wear it, it acts as a magnet for spirits or ghosts. They can wear them as special headbands to cover their eyes. It is said that the arboreal veils work as a window into the world of the dead.
While the fabric is held in high regard as a spiritual outfit, it does not stop others from rocking the outfit. We have seen bespoke suits, tuxedos, and other designer outfits created out of Barkcloth. You can rock the fabric for your important events. Interestingly, high-end fashion has fallen in love with fabric.
What can you do with this fabric? Whether you want to pull a fashion stunt or want to dress uniquely in an event, Barkcloth can help you with your fashion sense. If you can get your hands on the fabric, you can give it to your tailor to change your fashion narrative with Barkcloth.
How do you see the outfits that we have displayed in our article? Do you see yourself rocking these outfits? If you think you can transform Barkcloth into something extraordinary, you get the fabric and change the way Ugandans rock this fabric.