Mud cloth, also known as 'Bògòlanfini' is a handmade Malian cotton fabric. It is one of Africa's most unusual and unique textiles.
Narrow strips of hand woven cotton are stitched together and traditionally dyed with fermented mud. The strips are woven on small looms looms and stitched to make a piece around 1 metre wide by 1.5 metres long. These cloths have an important place in traditional Malian culture and have, more recently, been widely used in fashion, fine art and interior design. Each cloth is completely unique.
The dying and printing can be a long and cumbersome process. The cloth is soaked in a dye bath made from mashed and boiled leaves from the N’gallama tree. This turns it a yellowish colour. The cloth is then sun dried and painted with designs using a piece of metal or wood. The paint made from mud is collected from riverbeds and fermented for up to a year. Thanks to a chemical reaction between the mud and the dyed cloth, the brown colour remains when the mud is washed up. The N’gallama tree dye is removed from the unpainted parts of the cloth using soap and rendering them white.
The abstract designs found on Mud Cloth have symbolic meanings or represent everyday objects.
Ceremonial mud cloths can be very intricate and hard to get hold off. Our Mud cloths are made specifically for resale and are therefore a little simpler in design.
ARTISANS & VALUES
Hand crafted by a rural Malian group, sourced on Bee's travels to west Africa.
Read more about our product values here.
Materials: Cotton, Fermented Mud & Plant Dye.
Sizing: 120cm x 170cm Approximately.
Dry Clean Only. Mud cloths are dyed using naturally fermented clay and plants, this means that they are not suitable for harsh machine washing or tumble drying. You may spot clean small stains using a damp cloth. Keep away from light fabrics, as some dye may transfer.