WHAT IS MUDCLOTH?

Bògòlanfini, also know as mudcloths, are textiles from Mali, made from hand-woven cotton dyed in multiple processes with leaves, branches and river mud.

mudcloth pillows, mudcloth cushions

THE MAKING

Traditional mudcloth is made with 100 percent cotton. The cloth is usually a cream colour before it’s dyed. 

The mudcloth treatment technique dates back from the 12th century. Narrow strips of hand-woven cotton are dyed in a bath full of tree branches and leaves. The branches and leaves dye the cloth a yellowish hue. The now-yellow cloth is dried in the sun and patterns are painted with a special mud, which had been collected from ponds during the previous seasons and left to ferment.

black and white mudcloth cushions and pillows

The mud then turns gray and the excess is washed out. This process of applying and removing mud is repeated several times until the muddy areas become permanently dark. The mud is actually mixed with a tea substance, and set aside for a year before it is put to use on cloth. 

The yellow areas of the cloth are bleached and the cloth is left in the sun longer so the bleach can stay permanently. When the excess bleach is removed, the desired pattern of white on a dark background is left behind.

HOW TO DECORATE WITH MUDCLOTH:

Mudcloth cushions are a fun way to add patterns and texture to a room. We like to mix and match different colours for a playful look, or stay in the monochromatic look for a modern, less eclectic feel.

mudcloth cushions, indigo cushions, handmade pillows

Mixing and matching mudcloth cushions with other textiles really brings a more "well travelled home" feel.

mudcloth cushions and peruvian cushion

mudcloth cushions on lounge chair

Photo Acknowledgements: AFK Insider, Design Sponge, House of C, One Affirmation

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