Bark-Yarn Spinning

Processing tree bark into yarn

Many outsiders found the bark-clothes uncomfortable and itchy, but to the Halivaarans, it's the reason why they've survived all of the tough winters for centuries.
  Bark-Yarn Spinning is the name of a long process which ultimately ends in the production of yarn made from bark-fibres. The technique first originated in Wodila'hei but later, the Halivaara learnt the technique and added their own twists to it, so that it worked with the trees in their region as well.    

The History of Bark-Yarn Spinning

The technique of Bark-Yarn Spinning has been around for thousands of years, though the process has been refined immensely over the last 500 years by both the southerners and the Halivaarans.  

First Discovery

The technique was first discovered by people living in Wodila'hei who didn't have access to wool or other clothing materials made from animals. However, they lived close to a giant forest and through the years they went from utilizing just the leaves to producing nice quality yarn and cloth from the bark.
Original: medium complexity
Halivaaran version: medium complexity
Final Product
Components of the technique
  1. Bark harvesting
  2. Bark soaking (often only in Halivaara)
  3. Bark beating
  4. Bark shredding
  5. Bark spinning

From South to North

Bark-Yarn Spinning made its way from the southern continent and to the northern continent of Morlea due to the Treil. The Treil Iwachi had recently fled from persecution in The Country of Ildres and made a new home in Halivaara; a cold area with very limited ressources.   Once the Sacred Halls were build in Arcmore, they decided to build it out of sandstone, which they imported from Wodila'hei.   These merchants learnt the technique of Bark-Yarn Spinning and brought it back home with them. It has since been common to see clothes made from Bark-Yarn in both Halivaara and Wodila'hei, though the yarn has drastically different colours due to the tree species used.

Wood lumber
by Ninne124


The process of Bark-Yarn Making

1. Bark harvesting

The bark is first harvested from the forests, trees with high water percentage are desirable since the bark is easier to skin off then. Usually, the bark is harvested from already chopped down trees, so that there is no waste. With some tree-types, it's a longer process to get the bark off and it has to be chopped off due to being a lot tougher. This is usually what happens when you try to skin a tree in Halivaara.  

2. Bark soaking

If you're working with bark from Wodila'hei, you can usually skip this step, because the bark is already manageble enough for the next part of the process. If you're working with Halivaaran bark, you might need to soak it in medium-hot water for half-a-day before going to the next step. This will make it easier to process later.  

3. Bark beating

The next step in the process is beating the bark with different tools. Hammers and sticks are common choices for beating-tools when working with bark.   The bark is beaten until relatively flat so that the individual fibre-strands are easier to tear apart later. With Wodila'heian tree-bark it'll take around 1-3 hours to beat bark from an entire tree. It might take anywhere from 2-20 hours with Halivaaran tree bark.

Bark Yarn
by Ninne124


4. Bark shredding

The next part of the process is to tear the now flattened bark apart. It might've already fallen apart earlier in the process, but that's perfectly fine. The bark is usually cut slightly at the top before being ripped into shreds. This takes quite a lot of arm-strength to do and it's often done in a larger group so no one gets extremely sore arms. The bark has to be torn into very fine strands.  

5. Bark spinning

Lastly, but most importantly, comes the spinning. You do the exact same as when you're spinning wool on a spinning wheel, though you have to be very patient with the bark. If you hurry too much, the yarn will be very coarse and not very comfortable to make clothes out of. After the yarn has been spun, it's usually placed in tubs filled with either fat or oil to insolate the yarn. After soaking for around 2 days, it's rinsed off and then it's ready to be used for clothes-production.

Cover image: by Ninne124


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