Malian Mud-cloth, a talking textile form Africa

Mud-cloth or in the local Malian language called Bogolanfini is a handmade Malian cotton fabric dyed using a process of fermented mud, dating back to 12th century. “Bògòlanfini” is a composition of the words, bogo meaning “earth” or “mud”; lan, meaning “with” or “by means of”; and fini, meaning “cloth”.The cloth is being exported worldwide for use in fashion, interior and fine art. 



In traditional Malian culture, bògòlanfini is worn by hunters, serving as camouflage, protection and to show one’s status. Women are wrapped in bògòlanfini after their initiation into adulthood and immediately after childbirth, as the cloth is believed to have the power to absorb the dangerous forces released under such circumstances.


Bògòlanfini patterns are rich in cultural significance, referring to historical events (such as a famous battle between a Malian warrior and the French), crocodiles (significant in Bambara mythology) and other objects, mythological concepts. Since about 1980, Bògòlanfini has become a symbol of Malian cultural identity and is being promoted as such by the Malian government.


Nowadays we can find the beautiful use of mud-cloth in contemporary design. Here a few examples of interior design pieces.