Mali Mud Cloth
The making of Mud cloth or Bogolan ("bokolanfini" in Bambara), is a long tradition in Mali.
A very time consuming procedure is involved to create these wonderful earthy toned cloths.
To begin, men weave plain cotton cloth in narrow strips. These are sown together and then washed and allowed to dry.
Afterwards, the cloth is soaked in a solution of pounded leaves, and takes on a yellow colour. The cloth is then laid to dry out in the sun.
Next step is the application of the mud. The mud is sourced from riverbeds for blacks and greys; from sandstone outcrops for reds and oranges.
Designs are drawn in outline on the cloth with the mud, and then filled in.
The cloth is washed to remove the mud, and now has a black background with a yellow design.
Next step; once again the cloth is dyed with the leaf solution and then the outline of the pattern is repeated.
Finally, a caustic soda solution is applied to the yellow areas, to restore the original white colour. Yes, a long process!
Designs are traditionally geometric and abstract.