The process of making this textile is incredibly complex beginning with the growing of their own cotton and also the gathering of mud which is left in jars to ferment for about one year before use. If you want to learn more about this intricate process and some of the symbolism found within the different shapes and patterns, just google "bogolanfini" and read up on it. It's impressive!
For this project we used brown craft paper and tempera paint to make our own imitations of mud cloth. Some of the students folded their paper 4 times to get 16 squares to use as a guideline for their designs. I allowed my students to either come up with their own pattern or to replicate one found online. The results were very satisfying for all, and the students thoroughly enjoyed working with a limited palette of black, white, shades of brown, and even some ochre. My older students worked in groups to create larger sized mud cloths.