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Bogolan Fabric Manufacturing

nilare african design african art contemporary bogolan textile

Bogolan fabric is a handmade West African textile, which is dyed and fermented with mud. Bogolan means, “made from mud” in Bambara, the language of Mali. The manufacturing method is organic and respects the environment. It is made of tree bark and dried leaves. It is mainly made in Mali and around the river Niger. It has an important place in Malian culture.

The fabric is made using narrow strips of cloth sewn and stitched together to create a large fabric. The fabric is then dyed with natural leaves of the n’gallama tree. Cloths are then hand painted with mud coming from riverbeds. Mud is then used to create patterns and graphics on the cloths. The designs usually represent objects of the natural world or stylised shapes of animals. Bogolan fabrics have a strong cultural meaning, and traditionally they are used to refer to historical events.

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