ARTE | Bark Cloth Panels

ARTE | Bark Cloth Panels



  • Price per panel
  • Random, hand-sewn patchwork of natural Bark Cloth on non-woven backing
  • Panels: width +/- 130 cm / height +/- 310 cm
  • Avaialable in 5 colours (scroll down to see available colours)
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Black Gold Bark Panel

Orange Bark Panel

Black Brown Bark Panel

Red Brown Bark Panel

Green Brown Bark Panel

Bark Cloth can best be described as a fibrous type of textile that is made from the inside layer of bark of the Mutuba fig tree (Ficus natalensis). Some call it vegetable felt. The bark of the tree is opened and the thin interior layer of bark is removed. This is first worked with a hammer to make the fibres soft and supple. Then the bark is coloured and dried in the sun. The tree trunk is wrapped up after this ‘harvest’ with a protective layer of banana leaves. As soon as these are dry, the bark layer grows back again. The tree itself is therefore never in any danger.


This technique is age-old and was first used in Africa. Later also in Asia, Indonesia and South America. Tapa – the word is Tahitian and is generally used for materials that are made of bark – is possibly the first type of textile that man has ever known, long before he learned to weave. Today the authentic rituals where tapa is used, have almost totally disappeared everywhere, but the material used to be used for clothing, shelter, as a covering or bed and at religious or ceremonial events. The oldest written or drawn references would suggest that the technique was already known more than 18,000 years ago.

Manual work

The bark of one tree, supplied only one strip of material. There could be defects and holes in it – natural imperfections in the tree – therefore pieces of bark were stuck together. The final result is a patchwork of bark pieces that are all sewn together by hand! That makes each panel unique. Our Bark Cloth panels are made in Uganda and provided with a fibre base in our factory so that they are just as easy to manipulate as every other type of wallpaper.

A unique result

No two panels of Bark Cloth will ever be identical, but yet Arte has provided five colour schemes that serve as a starting point for the colours of the material. There is a combination of dark brown and black pieces, a patchwork of green and brown tints, a series of earth red colours and an almost plain brown palette. Lastly, there is a jet black variant with an extremely fine golden thread worked into it. Bark Cloth is too precious to cover a vast area. That would be overkill.

But the beautiful thing is that the collection of Bark Cloth can be perfectly combined with a number of other Arte collections. Just consider Carapace, Antelope, Xanadu, Camouflage, Metal X,... The colour matches are truly perfect. And in this sense it is particularly usable. One thing that is sure with Bark Cloth is that your interior is truly unique!

Description: Random, hand-sewn patchwork of natural Bark Cloth on non-woven backing (sold in panels)

Dimensions: Panels: width +/- 130 cm / height +/- 310 cm

Adhesive: Metyl Special (200 g in 4 l of water) with the addition of 10-15% PVA adhesive

Fire retardancy: B-s1, d0

Light resistance: Moderate lightfastness

Washability: Spongeable

How to paste: Paste the wall

How to remove: Strippable

Remark: Each panel is a unique, hand made item. The patchwork is totally random and will vary from panel to panel.


Shipping: We offer free shipping for orders within the UK & Europe. Worldwide shipping available from £39 per order. No minimum order quantity required. 

Return Policy: In accordance with ARTE International's return policy, unopened and undamaged wallcoverings can be returned, however a 25% handling fee and the cost for collection will be deducted from the refund. 

Prices displayed are in British Pound and include VAT.