What's African MudCloth Fabric?
Mud Cloth (Bogolanfini) has lately become one of our favorites decor textile pieces, and no wonder why! Their uniqueness and beauty not only gracefully decorate homes but most important represents the traditions and culture of West African society, particularly Malian cultural identity; they have now become a symbol of their individuality.
Let's talk a little about how the MudCloth is made
Mudcloth fabric is handmade in Malian cotton fabric which is later dyed using traditional techniques that include fermented mud. Hence the name Mud Cloth;
the process consists of soaking the cloth or fabric in a bath of dye obtained from the leaves of the n'gallama tree and then hand-painted with motifs that represent the cultures of the different tribes, using a special fermented mud collected from riverbeds, the most common colors are black, white and brown.
Men weave the cloth, and women dye it on narrow looms of about 15 cm wide which are later stitched together to form a more significant piece of fabric.
The designs are made using a piece of metal or wood with a distinctive paint made out of the mud collected from riverbeds and fermented for up to a year in a clay yard.
What's the meaning of the motifs in the African MudCloth?
the motifs presented on the patterns represent a code for a small group of people, they aren't supposed to mean more for the outsiders but only for a community of people, those motifs became their language and a way of displaying messages, social status, historical events or proverbs many have been decodable although some others remain a mystery.
African MudCloth Pillow
How do you wash your MudCloth?
Using a mild soap and cold water, soak the fabric for about 5-10 minutes, you can use your tub for this, stir it and make sure all the fabric is cover in water, do not scrub, remove the fabric from the water and rinse all the soap using running cold water, then gently and taking your time (you don't want to go hard on this fabric) wring all the excess of water from your cloth, lay flat or hang it and let it dry; if you are doing this indoors the drying time might take a little longer since the fabric is heavy, and you didn't squeeze out all of the water, but trust me the waiting time will be all worth it.
Washing a pillow? use the same process
What's your favorite MudCloth fabric? Let me know; I might add some of those to the shop next :)