Unique Uptown Bucket Bag On Demand Mud Cloth Sensational
My Funky Uptown Bucket Bag is a patchwork purse with side pockets. There are side pockets on either side and can be made with one color or coordinating colors. The one on the website and in this picture used an African mud cloth. Since many people do not know where or what mud cloth means, I thought I would try to explain it.
Mud cloth (bogolanfini) is a handmade West African cotton fabric that was traditionally created by men and dyed by women. Men would weave the cloth and women would dye using a complicated technique that takes days to complete. The colors look similar to earth and or mud colors. The Bambara language states the word “bogolanfini” breaks down to “bogo” meaning earth or mud, “lan” means with or by the means of, and “fini” means cloth.
The men weave using narrow looms, cotton strips around six inches wide and weave into cloths of three feet wide and five feet long.
The dyeing process works like this:
- The cloth is soaked in a dye bath of African birch leaves that have been mashed and boiled.
- Once a lovely yellow color, the cloth is air and sun dried.
- Then painted with designs using a piece of wood or metal.
- The paint is a unique mud, collected from riverbeds and fermented for up to a year in a clay jar.
- The chemical reaction between the mud and the dyed cloth allows the brown color of the mud to remain even after the mud is washed off.
- The yellow coloring is removed from the unpainted parts by applying soap or bleach, which renders the cloth white.
After a very long period of time the dark brown color turns various shades of brown and the unpainted underside of the fabric has a pale russet color.