From The Bark
Of This Tree An Infinite Number Of Excellent Sacks Are Procured,
With Very Little Trouble Or Preparation.
The tree being felled,
the branches are cut into logs of the length required, and
sometimes these are soaked in water; but this is not always
The balk is then well beaten with a wooden mallet,
until it is loosened from the wood; it is then stripped off the
log as a stocking is drawn off the leg. It is subsequently
bleached, and one end being sewn lip, completes a perfect sack of
a thick fibrous texture, somewhat similar to felt.
These sacks are in general use among the natives, and are
preferred by them to any other, as their durability is such that
they sometimes descend from father to son. By constant use they
stretch and increase their original size nearly one half. The
texture necessarily becomes thinner, but the strength does not
appear to be materially decreased.
There are many fibrous barks in Ceylon, some which are so strong
that thin strips require a great amount of strength to break
them, but none of these have yet been reduced to a marketable
fibre. Several barks are more or less aromatic; others would be
valuable to the tanners; several are highly esteemed by the
natives as most valuable astringents, but hitherto none have
received much notice from Europeans. This may be caused by the
general want of success of all experiments with indigenous
produce. Although the jungles of Ceylon produce a long list of
articles of much interest, still their value chiefly lies in
their curiosity; they are useful to the native, but
comparatively of little worth to the European.
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