The making of barkcloth has been a part of Ugandan culture for centuries. It is a sacred fabric which defines the spirit of the Buganda kingdom. Barkcloth remains a ceremonial dress code for royalty, chiefs, and heirs during coronations and funerals. The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has named it among the world’s collective heritage.
The art of making barkcloth is slowly disappearing to the modern conveniences of the twenty-first century. Barkcloth is harvested from the mutuba tree and does not harm the tree. The bark of the tree regenerates and can be harvested repeatedly over dozens of years. It is a great example of an environmentally-friendly, renewable material.
This unique fabric can be incorporated into many modern uses, including fashion, accessories, housewares, interior design, and art. Creating a global demand for barkcloth can help to create sustainable jobs in Uganda .
Planting mutuba trees is good for the environment. The tree does not harm the soil where it grows and provides a natural habitat for the wildlife of Uganda.