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Mudcloth Handbag Purse Fair Trade Oshun Spirit Rust Gold Bone Black

This striking Mudcloth purse measures approximately 10" x 9" with a 21" strap. Easy Velcro Closure. Deep inside Pocket. Purse is padded for extra sturdiness and protection of purse contents.

This piece is handcrafted in Mali. Everything you purchase from Oshun Spirit Fair Trade and African Imports helps feed a hungry child in Africa. Your order of $50 provides 8 meals in addition to providing a living wage for the craftspeople who have produced these goods. Shop our collection of clothing and accessories, textiles, home goods, totes and bags and BE the change you wish to see in the world.

The making of mudcloth is a time-consuming process, normally taking four days to a week to complete depending on weather. Each piece is made of 100% cotton, and is completely and totally hand-made. Normally mudcloth is made totally from scratch. The men start the process by weaving cotton thread on a loom. The loom is normally hand-held and makes a strip of cloth five to six inches wide. For a normal sized (6'x45") piece they will weave nine panels and then sew them together. From then on the women have traditionally painted and designed the cloth.

A mudcloth artist is much like any western artist dealing in a specific field. Each concept must be taught and learned over a long period of time. A person wishing to work in the art of mudcloth has to be taught how to make each of the different dyes out of organic substances, as well as how each of the substances will react with the fabric and fixatives.

The first step in making the cloth is to set it in a solution that dyes the cloth yellow and acts as the fixative: typically this is a tea made from the Bogolon tree which is native to Mali, West Africa. The mud designs are then hand painted onto the cloth with the tea acting as a fixative for the mud dye. The mud used to make mudcloth is usually mixed with water and then set aside to sit for about one year.

Using twigs or metal instruments the artist will paint the designs with the mud, being sure to saturate the area so it will not wash out. The fabric is then washed and another layer is applied over the first. The fabric is then dried and put in an organic solution to make the patterns appear darker. Finally, on black and white fabric, a soda is painted on to the areas that have no patterns. This bleaches the fabric causing it to regain its original cotton white.

$28.00 Out of stock

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