6.28.2011

I couldn't resist ... this african mud cloth

zinThe other day I saw this lovely textile hanging on the wall in Zinc Details, one of the best curated design stores in San Francisco. I couldn't help but buy it, it was calling to me. Honestly, lying it on the ground was the only way to take a picture of it as it's 93" long.


From a little research, I've gleaned that it's an African mud cloth or Bogolanfini traditionally from Mali. It is used for important life transitions such as birth, marriage and death.


Bogolanfini is traditionally made of hand loomed cotton and pieced together in strips. The panel is then soaked in a solution that helps the fabric absorb the dye. The dye is made of iron rich mud, sometimes aged for a year to create intensely rich browns and blacks. The mud is applied using sticks and palm fiber brushes among other tools. The unique patterns hold hidden meanings and the designs are often passed down through generations.


I have no idea where I'm going to hang it but it definitely deserves a bold spot on the wall. To learn more about the history of the cloth, click here. If you want to try to make you own virtually and in real life, click here for an interesting tutorial. And if you're local, Zinc Details is consolidating their stores and having an awesome sale that runs through Thursday, be sure to check it out. Hint, they have more textiles on the wall ...

3 comments:

Ludid said...

very addicting making virtual ones. i've already made about five. just a joy to play with. i am sure the one you bought will hang beautifully.

Kitty Kilian said...

Oh, what a great idea of Ludid! K - just wanted to say I love your new blogdesign! Very beautiful textile fragments! Classy..

Sophie Truong said...

nîce one!!! and one more reason to visit Mali.. love the Columbus quilt too.

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