Tapa: Situating Pacific Barkcloth in Time and Place

Situating Pacific Barkcloth Production in Time & Place is a three-year research project that aims to transform our understanding of Pacific barkcloth manufacture. A multidisciplinary approach lies at the heart of the project, combining the investigation of artefact provenance, style and historical context; the application of cutting-edge analytical techniques for the study of materials and manufacture methods; and research into specific conservation threats, new conservation methods and conservation treatments that will allow us to improve the long-term conservation and care of barkcloth collections worldwide.

Funded by the UK Arts & Humanities Research Council, the project is based at the Centre for Textile Conservation and Technical Art History, University of Glasgow, Scotland. Three internationally important collections of barkcloth form the project's core research material:

The project is analysing these collections to learn how the manufacture, style, condition and degradation of barkcloths changed over the 19th century. We are exploring how those factors varied between cloths made from different bark species and using different pigments. We are discovering how we can use that knowledge today to inform contemporary barkcloth making and use in the Pacific, by engaging with projects in Hawaii that are rediscovering the skills of barkcloth manufacture for the 21st century.


Registration open for the Recent Advances in Barkcloth Conservation Symposium

16th October 2018

Presenting diverse approaches to understanding the making, conservation and display of barkcloth in several tropical regions  More >

Call for Papers: Conservation of Barkcloth Material

10th July 2018

Invitation for submissions for a one day symposium on the conservation of barkcloth from any part of the world  More >

Student Blog: Volunteering for the Barkcloth Workshop

19th June 2018

Four students describe their experiences participating in the three day event  More >

Research Studentship Working on the Barkcloth Project

12th June 2018

Experience from Jennifer Brunton who embarked on a recent research studentship  More >