A Modern Take on Vintage African Mud Cloth

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Vintage African Mud Cloth, more formally known as Bogolanfini, is a handmade Malian cotton fabric dyed using a process of fermented mud that dates back to 12th century. It is becoming tremendously omnipresent in the world of home design across the globe, particularly in the Western world, proven by a simple Pinterest search on the topic. I am personally obsessed and am on a bit of a forced mud cloth detox as I have managed to pepper nearly ever corner of our home with this beautiful African art form. I was inspired to write this post not only to provide a little history but to also share the creative ways home design mavens are incorporating this most unique fabric into modern, clean spaces.

A bit on the history first and a collection of my favorite home design snaps featuring this magical fabric after the jump. It's important to note that each piece of mud cloth is unique in character and history. The symbols, the color and the shape of the mud cloth all reveal various secrets. From social status to a persons character or job, each piece of mud cloth carries its own unique plot. There are many African proverbs and other items of historical significance which are commonly represented in mud cloth as well that the naked eye wouldn't appreciate without a bit of background. Even today in Africa people are very explicit about what they wear as each fabric, color, and dress has a different connotation. The unique and exotic colors are hand woven into a rich and elegant textile. Much like all art, knowing more about the meaning can only add to the value of a beautiful African art form.

A Bamana woman from Mali hand painting a Bògòlanfinicloth.  In traditional bògòlanfini production, men weave the cloth and women dye it. Bòg...

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Brought to Life: The Story of Our Mud Cloth Moon Chairs | on the St. Frank blog

Black Mudcloth Tapestry Mud Cloth Wall Hanging African Mudcloth Pom Pom Blanket Mudcloth Throw Tassel Tapestry Bohemian Home Decor (159.00 USD) by iheartnorwegianwood

Veneer Designs, California Cool, boho, luxe, tablescape, holiday table, Thanksgiving, bohemian, modern bohemian, mudcloth tablecloth, modboho, air plant, gourd, brass

modern swedish apartment bedroom decor / sfgirlbybaymodern rustic living room makeover // sarah sherman samuel

 

Written by

Ibby Sasso

Wife, mom, "writer", pun lover, wannabe memory champion, candle and handwriting connoisseur. Public Relations veteran, most recently as director of PR, I oversaw global strategic communications for one of the most iconic American brands, Levi's. I like to travel and talk :P

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