Sunday, March 4, 2018

San Diego Botanical Garden and Mudcloth

March 3rd, 2018, San Diego Botanical Garden, California - Zentangle African Mud Cloth project.  We created leather like fabric from Kraft paper to design a ZIA (Zentangle Inspired Art).

Why is it also called Mud Cloth?

In the Bambara language, spoken in Mali, the word bògòlanfini is a composition of three words. Bogo, meaning “earth” or “mud,” lan, meaning “with” and fini, meaning “cloth.” The word is translated as “mud cloth.”
The Meaning of the Patterns
Just one of the many things that makes traditional mud cloth so special is that each piece has a story to tell. Even the arrangement of the symbols on the cloth reveals something secret about the intended meaning, and this language of the cloth was passed down from mother to daughter.

How Bogolanfini is made:

Traditionally, the men were responsible for weaving the narrow strips of plain fabric that were then pieced together into a larger rectangular cloth.
1. The cloth was first dyed in baths of the leaves and branches of trees (this dye acts as a mordant).
2. The now-yellow cloth is sun-dried and patterns were painstakingly painted with a special mud, which had been collected from ponds during the previous seasons and left to ferment.
2. As the cloth dries, the dark black mud turns gray and the cloth is washed to remove excess mud. This process is repeated numerous times and with each application, the mud-painted area of the cloth becomes darker. The yellow areas are painted with a bleach, which turns the yellow patterns brown. The cloth is left to dry in the sun for a week. When the bleach solution is washed off with water, what remains is the characteristic white pattern on a dark background.

It was nice to welcome my childhood friend and fellow CZT (Certified Zentangle Teacher), Susan Bowden to class also.


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