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2024 FIBER is here! Grown straight and tall and cured in the Florida sunshine, this premiuym kozo bark makes beautiful paper whether it be washi [Japanese-style], hanji [Korean-style], amate or any handmade paper technique you choose to use.


IMPORTANT: Two pounds of GREEN BARK are required to generate one pound of "white" (aka scraped bark) for papermaking.





You may have noticed that we refer to our kozo bark as GREEN BARK * (aka partially scraped). Here's why:


Traditionally, unscraped kozo bark is referred to as "black bark." This term refers to bark that is comprised of three layers: The inner "white" bark (that is used to make paper) along with the middle layer of green bark and the outermost layer of brownish black bark.


When harvesting and preparing our bark for sale, we remove 98% of the outer black bark immediately after steaming, leaving only the inner "white" bark along with the green middle layer which is much easier to remove (if you choose to) and less messy. Our green bark can be cooked "as is" without removing the green layer. In fact,  some artists prefer cooking it with the green layer, most of which cooks off and results in the final paper having a very slight greenish tinge. Of course, the green layer may also be scraped off before cooking to achieve that beautiful warm white paper that kozo is so famous for.  


MORE ABOUT KOZO BARK LAYERS: As the kozo plant grows and generates new plant cells within the inner bark (aka the bast fiber layer), the older cells slowly begin to migrate outward to become the middle green layer of bark and eventually migrating to the outermost layer that we refer to as black bark. This constant regeneration of bark cells is similar to the way our bodies generate new layers of skin, with the older cells becoming our outermost layer also known as the "epidermis."


Florida KOZO - GREEN BARK (aka partially scraped)

1 Pound
    • Kozo is the common or generic name used in Japan to describe the inner bark (bast fiber) from the flowering plant Broussonetia papyrifera. In English, it is referred to as paper mulberry. 
    • This plant, which is commonly cultivated as a large shrub can eventually grow into large trees. For many centuries, this fiber has been used to make beautiful handmade paper and bark cloth around the globe. See this webpage from the University of Florida for  more about the plant
    • Our kozo harvest begins by first cutting sticks and saplings, about 1" in diameter, from kozo shrubs and young trees we find in the wild and/or cultivate from our own kozo garden in the front yard. We cut only what we need and leave the main plant and roots intact to grow more fiber for many years to come.
    • Note: It's a long story but by a strangle miracle, a number of kozo plants were growing in our yard when we bought our house. At the time, I had no idea what it was and I kept pulling these "weeds," trying to get rid of them!)
    • The next step in the process is to steam the bark off the woody core of the cut stalks. Once removed, the outer layers of black/brown and green bark are scraped off to get to the golden inner bark (bast fiber) which is used for paper, bark cloth and bark lace.
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