Mali Mud Cloth: My Mood Board

On my recent trip to New Mexico I went to a local artists market located in Sante Fe & discovered a new supplier of one of my most treasured fabrics – Mali Mud Cloth.

Overwhelmed with choice, I stuck with the basics & bought some charcoal for Kaz to make some cushions for her tan leather sofa & I bought a large cream cloth for myself. At the time I purchased mine I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with it so I put together a little mood board to inspire me & narrow down my ideas.

The texture in this pale cotton fabric is superb & the coloring is creamy with a traditional pattern hand printing from fermented african mud. I have settled on the idea of using this bespoke cloth to upholster a bedhead for our guest bedroom. This monochrome simple, yet captivating pattern will make the perfect backdrop for a layered bed.

Although usually translated as “mud cloth,” Bògòlan is the traditional name for this printing technique. It refers to a clay slip with a high iron content that produces a black pigment when applied to hand spun & handwoven cotton textiles.

In traditional bògòlanfini production the men weave the cloth & the women dye it. These beautiful cloths are created on narrow looms using strips of cotton fabric about 15 centimetres (5.9 in) wide. They are then hand stitched together with the seams visible into larger cloths & range in sizes. 

To source the perfect piece of Mali Mud cloth for your next project, try these places, Water Tiger , Few and Far & Hendrix & Harlow. You can also alway just search on Etsy or Ebay.

My Ideas for your Mali Mud Cloth: Cushions, upholstered chair or ottoman, tablecloth, bedhead, wall hanging, framed art or even use the cloth to update a lampshade.

*A great trick to stretch the fabric twice as far when making cushions is to use a plain fabric to back the cushions and use your special Mali Maud Cloth only for the fronts.

Steph x