Mudcloth, Unraveled

West Africa inspired, this hip textile, traditionally known as bògòlanfini, has become a global rock star in home design.

Black-and-white pillow; $17.99 at hm.com.
Black-and-white pillow; $17.99 at hm.com.
Photo courtesy of the manufacturer.

West Africa inspired, this hip textile, traditionally known as bògòlanfini, has become a global rock star in home design. The patterns are reproduced on pillows, rugs, shower curtains, window treatments, upholstery and more. Its roots date to 12th-century Mali, where handmade cotton was dyed with fermented mud. The diverse patterns hold cultural signficance, symbolizing historical events, status, initiation into adulthood, protection and more. Many of the mudcloth textiles in the marketplace today merely mimic the motifs; however, the sturdy, authentic cloth is widely available from importers such as Hackensack-based Africa Imports.

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