Birch Bark Shoe

$35.00

This Woven Birch Bark shoe is handmade Finland. The workmanship is traditional craftwork. Wear with thick wool sock and hop around on one foot as we only have one. It's also lovely to hang on your wall for decoration.

Product Details:
  • shoe size: 40-42
  • Height: 3"
  • Width: 5"
  • Length: 12"
  • Material: Birch Bark


  • The Wonders of the Birch Tree and it’s Bark

    Birch is one of the most useful trees as well as one of the most graceful. Birch has symbolized purity, goodness, summer and warmth. They are the most common deciduous trees in Finland. Birches can live up to 300 years and the tallest can grow to 40 meters high.

    This lightweight yet strong, pliable, and impervious bark from birch trees is a very versatile material. In addition to knife handles, birch bark has proved its worth for many other uses including bowls and baskets for cooking, storing, and transporting food, a substance to write on and as a canvas on which to paint. It could be made into twine, rope, mats, shoes and canoes as birch bark repels water and decays slowly.

    Birch bark peels easily from the tree and is slow to decay. Removing the bark from a living tree can threaten the life of the tree, but due to the remarkable preservative properties of birch bark, it can easily be harvested from dead or fallen trees, where it still retains its wonderful properties. Birch bark can be removed easily in spring or early summer from the trunk or branches of dead wood by pulling or prying it from the wood.

    Birch bark has two different surfaces, there is the one that is next to the wood and the other is the outer surface. The surface against the wood is always the final surface in products. It is cleaner, smoother, and softer to the touch. The soft, velvety inner surface of birch bark is pleasing to the touch. The strong and water-resistant bark can be easily cut, bent, and sewn, which has made it a valuable building, crafting, and writing material, since prehistoric times.

    Birch bark also has powerful anti-fungal and antiviral qualities. Not only is birch bark pleasing to the eye, it is also a naturally clean material with antibacterial properties. It is well known that birch bark is rich in botulin (a strong antioxidant) which also has fungicidal properties that help preserve bark artifacts, as well as food preserved in bark containers. Bread kept in a birch bark container stays fresh longer than in other containers. The birch was dubbed “White Gold in the Boreal Forest” because of its beneficial biological effects.

    In Finland and Scandinavia, in the time when birch bark was commonly used, it was used under sod roofs and for birch bark roofing, for making boxes, casks, buckets, fishing implements, containers for salt and water, shoes (virsu), hats, belts, knapsacks (kontti) and sheaths for puukkos (tuohituppi). Birch bark also makes an efficient tinder, as it will stay dry even through rainstorms.

    It was said in the olden times that a birch tree gives you warmth in the winter (as wood in the fireplace), provides drink in the spring time (as birch tree sap), pleases one’s eye in the summer, and serves the entire year as birch branches (vihta) in the sauna.

    Planting a Birch Tree at the front entrance of property will provide protection and repel evil influences and spirits.

    The Silver Birch is the national tree of Finland. The Finnish word for birch is koivu.

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  • Item ID: BBshoe


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