Mud Cloth, traditionally known as Bogolanfini, is an African textile sourced from Mali. Bogolanfini is a handmade Malian cotton fabric and is dyed with fermented mud and plant dyes. In the Bambara language, spoken in Mali, the word Bogolanfini is a composition of three words: bogo, meaning “earth” or “mud,” lan, meaning “with” and fini, meaning “cloth.”
The word is translated as “mud cloth.”
HOW IS MUD CLOTH MADE?
Each piece of mud cloth is 100% cotton and is completely handmade.
Traditionally created by men - cotton thread is weaved together on a hand-held loom. Next, those narrow cotton strips are sewed together into a large rectangular cloth. The cloth is then dyed in baths of leaves and branches of tress and is sun-dried.
Once dry, traditionally the women paint the patterns with mud that has been collected from ponds during the previous seasons and left to ferment. After partially drying, it is washed to remove excess mud. The mud cloth is left to dry in the sun for about a week - the final step in completion.
Mud cloth can have looser knits and be more dense than commercial fabrics.
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