Eight Years' Wanderings in Ceylon by Samuel White Baker




















































 -   From the bark
of this tree an infinite number of excellent sacks are procured,
with very little trouble or preparation - Page 260
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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 necessary.

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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