Mud Cloth Clutch



Mud cloth and leather trim clutch with top zipper. Lined.

The fabric known as Mud cloth or bogolanfini, is made in Mali. They use a soft, yet thick woven Malian cotton that is dyed using a process of fermented mud that dates back to 12th century. Originally, the cloth told stories that were passed on from Mother to daughter. These days, the production of mud cloth is for commercial purposes, nonetheless, the history & technique is fascinating.

The cloth is first dyed in baths of the leaves and branches of trees (this dye acts as a mordant). The now-yellow cloth is sun-dried and patterns are painstakingly painted with a special mud, which had been collected from ponds during the previous seasons and left to ferment. As the cloth dries, the dark black mud turns gray and the cloth is washed to remove excess mud. This process is repeated numerous times and with each application, the mud-painted area of the cloth becomes darker. The yellow areas are painted with a bleach, which turns the yellow patterns brown. The cloth is left to dry in the sun for a week. When the bleach solution is washed off with water, what remains is the characteristic white pattern on a dark background. 

Love it or Return it Guarantee Tinkered by: Kairu