In recent years the stark black and white designs of Bogolanfini have become, along with kente, one of the best known African cloth traditions around the world. Bogolanfini, which translates as "mud cloth", is a long established tradition among the Bamana, a Mande speaking people who inhabit a large area to the east and north of Bamako in Mali. The production of Bogolan cloth involves a unique and lengthy procedure. Narrow strips of hand-spun, hand-woven cotton are stitched together into a whole cloth, then painted with patterns and symbols using river mud that has been aged up to a year, as well as a variety of natural dyes.
Kuba cloth is the magnificent embroidered and applique fabric of the Kuba people from the Congo. Men weave the fabric and the women embellish it. Kuba cloths are sewn together and used for clothing, currency and prestige. Kuba cloth is a truly unique African gift or African home decor.
Incredibly, the humble potato is still used to produce unique wall hangings, fabrics, cushion covers and pictures. Each morning, potatoes and rubber blocks are cut and prepared for printing. Colours are mixed in a wide array of pigments. The fabric is first dyed and then carefully marked out to guide the designs. Plain blocks are printed as an additional undercolour in many areas of the design. Finally the intricately cut blocks of designs are over printed..
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