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Traditionally dying fabric with fermented mud: Mali

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Mali has a long history of skillfully and beautifully hand painting fabric. We came across some pictures capturing the process.

A Malian man called Boubacar Doumbia is one of the many talented designers who uses the technique of traditionally dying fabric with fermented mud.

It takes Doumbia and his team nearly two days to dye, paint and dry these fabrics, covering them in strong-smelling mud. Photo: David Crookes/ Guardian.
It takes Doumbia and his team nearly two days to dye, paint and dry these fabrics, covering them in strong-smelling mud. Photo: David Crookes/ Guardian.
Traditional mud-dyed textile design process. Doumbia on the right. Photo: David Crookes/ Guardian
Traditional mud-dyed textile design process. Doumbia on the right. Photo: David Crookes/ Guardian.
Iron in the mud reacts with the dye and turns it black – three coats for deep black, two for grey. Photo: David Crooks/ Guardian
Photo: David Crooks/ Guardian.
Iron in the mud reacts with the dye and turns it black – three coats for deep black, two for grey. Photo: David Crookes/ Guardian.
Iron in the mud reacts with the dye and turns it black – three coats for deep black, two for grey. Photo: David Crookes/ Guardian.
Malian designer Boubacar Doumbia. Photo: David Crookes/ Guardian
Malian designer Boubacar Doumbia. Photo: David Crookes/ Guardian.

 

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