Did anyone else notice all the mud cloth love on the season finale of Fixer Upper last week? It was mud cloth heaven my friends. I love that show. I love mud cloths. Heaven.
I started noticing mud cloths about a year ago. I have no idea how long they’ve been a design trend, but I doubt they will ever go out of style (kind-of like classic midcentury modern pieces). Bògòlanfini (aka mud cloth) originates from Mali, Africa and is a symbol of Malian cultural identity. Its production has been described as “cumbersome” and when you read the process you’ll see why. To summarize, the Malians soak strips of cotton in a dye bath made from leaves of the n’gallama tree, turning the fabric yellow. Then they paint intricate motifs on the fabric with mud that has been fermented for up to a year in clay jars. A chemical reaction between the mud and dyed cloth causes the brown colour to remain after the mud is washed off. Finally, the yellow dye is removed from the unpainted parts using soap or bleach. Wow…no wonder the cloth is so expensive.