MUD CLOTH: THE ORIGINAL BOGOLAN FERMENTED MUD PRINTS

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Mud cloth from Africa is a trending fabric to use for pillows, upholstery, draped over a sofa or bed, or simply displayed on a rustic ladder as wall art. If you have followed my blog for long, you know there are many African fabrics us westerners call mud cloth. But ask an African textile dealer and you will quickly discover there are as many fabric styles and names as there are African states, and then some. This post will provide some visual clarification as to what the original African mud cloth looks like.
​Photo: Morrissey Fabric
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Mud Cloth, or bogolan, has been hand crafted in Africa in light to dark brown neutral colors for decades. The original mud cloth was created by African artisans using fermented mud as their paint. This original type of mud cloth is more rare because buyers and collectors have snatched up vintage pieces in clean, unstained condition for many years.  Prone to becoming damaged or stained with use because they are a light hue, sourcing this mud cloth in good to excellent condition has become a tough task. Plus, if you attempt to spot clean this very old fermented mud cloth you will literally wash away the pattern, so great care has to be taken when cleaning these old Bogolan fabrics.
Photo: Morrissey Fabric
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Mud Cloth is hand crafted from natural, unbleached cotton fibers. A piece like the mud cloth seen above right, has an all over pattern that resembles that of the Fendi designer logo. As you become more aware of the beautiful mud cloth patterns on the vintage mud cloth textiles you will recognize how the African graphic designs have influenced many other cultures. The pattern is simple yet striking. This particular bogolanfini is a lovely sun washed taupe tribal pattern applied to the natural color strips of hand made mud cloth.
Photos: Morrissey Fabric
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Mud cloth from Mali Africa was made to be worn as a garment. The distressed vintage bogolan cloth has become just as popular when crafted into pillow covers, used for a table runner, or draped over the back of a chair. Interior Designers have always known of the character that vintage textiles lend to a space. With the advent of social media, those who want to get a high-end look on their own can access these vintage mud cloth pieces more easily .
Photo: Morrissey Fabric
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African Mud cloth in earthy brown colors and simple Tribal patterns aren't as easy to find as the black and white Bogolanfini variety. So if you don't see any in the shop, please join my mailing list or follow Morrissey Fabric on Etsy or Instagram where I announce new arrivals of these collectible brown and taupe vintage textiles.
​photo: Sisi Tuta