Hawaiian Barkcloth Fashions!

Barkcloth is a versatile material that was once common in Asia, Africa, Indonesia, and the Pacific. Barkcloth comes primarily from several tree varities. It is made by beating sodden strips of the fibrous inner bark of these trees into sheets, which are then finished into a variety of items. Many texts that mention “paper” clothing are actually referring to barkcloth.

Presently, barkcloth or bark cloth is a soft, thick, slightly textured fabric, so named because it has a rough surface like that of tree bark. This barkcloth is usually made of densely woven cotton fibers. Historically, the fabric has been used in home furnishings, such as curtains, drapery, upholstery, and slipcovers. It is often associated with 1940s-through-1960s home fashions, particularly in tropical or Hawaiian prints, along with the ever popular abstract, “atomic” and “boomerang” prints. Today if you can’t get an authentic vintage barkcloth you can always resort to the authentic reprints from several manufactures. The HULA HUT is proud to present several of our currently listings that utilize vintage barkcloth in both women’s & men’s fashions.


Vintage 70’s Pineapple Print Men’s Shirt


Vintage 70’s Custom Barkcloth Dress from Lord & Taylor


Vintage 60’s Liberty House Hawaii Tapa Print Men’s Shirt


Vintage 70’s Hawaiian Hibiscus Maxi Dress

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One Response

  1. Somewhere around here I have one of my grandmother’s strapless barkcloth dresses from when she lived in Hawaii. It’s beautiful.

    Nice article, dahlila xo

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