"Mali Mud " ©2001
Art Quilt by Studio Artist Dottie Gantt

"Mali Mud" copyright 2001 -  Art Quilt by Dottie Gantt

Size 23" w X 24" h

Artist Comment/Statement: 

I am always on the lookout for unusual fabrics.  After having purchased several yards of hand-made mud cloth from the Mali region of Africa, I hesitated to cut into these fabrics because each piece was so very special.  My goal when making this wall hanging was to celebrate the talents of the African fabric makers.

Detail View of "Mali Mud" copyright 2001 -  Art Quilt by Dottie Gantt

Detail View


Pieced and free-motion quilted by machine.  Embellishments of bone beads, wooden beads, cork fringe, and glass beads were added by hand.


Fabrics used were commercial cottons, replicas of traditional hand-printed African cottons, and African mud cloth.  Rayon, cotton and monofilament/nylon threads were used for the free-motion machine quilting and machine piecing.  Embellishments of bone beads, wooden beads, cork fringe, and glass beads were added by hand.  Polyester batting was used.

What is "Mud Cloth"?

This is an indigenous African fabric, which uses actual mud as a dye.  A fabric is created by hand on narrow width looms.  The narrow strips are stitched together with obvious seams to create a whole cloth of desired width.  The cloth is then treated with a tannic acid solution obtained from native vegetation.  Mud is obtained from ponds in the Mali region of Africa, and stored in a covered container for a year to ferment to a dark black color.  The fermented mud is then painted onto the treated fabric.  The tannic acid solution on the treated fabric creates an iron oxide when the mud comes in contact with the fabric.  After two or more applications of the mud, the open areas are bleached back to white.

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Page Last Updated August 21, 2007
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