With our move less than a month away (25 days, but who’s counting?!), I thought I’d do a post on one of my current favorite trends – mud cloth pillows.
I’ve always liked the look of mud cloth textiles, but I knew nothing about its origin. In my research, I learned that mud cloth (or bogolanfini) is a well-known African cloth tradition. Mud cloth is made using a handmade Malian cotton fabric, and dyed using a process of fermented mud (hence its name). DesignSponge.com explains that each piece’s pattern has a story to tell, and “even the arrangement of the symbols on the cloth reveals something secret about the intended meaning.”
That being said, I am 99% sure that any mud cloth patterns you find today sold online by Etsy or Amazon do not have any sort of traditional, symbolic meaning to them. Still, it’s interesting to understand the history behind something that today seems so mainstream, yet at one point was such a prevalent symbol of cultural identity.
In any case, today mud cloth inspired textiles are frequently used in modern interior design as a “trendy” accent. The typical pattern features geometric lines and dots sewn onto heavy fabric, often either black on white or white on black. It’s a good alternative for pattern-shy individuals (like myself) to add a bit of character to a neutral space. Plus, it’s pretty gender neutral (which is definitely a plus when you’re moving in with your SO).
Note: All photos were found on Pinterest.com. Please contact me if a photo is your own and you would like to have it removed, or linked to its original source.
You can find evidence of mud cloth inspired decor everywhere, especially Pinterest, where there are tons of mud cloth DIY guides. But, if you’re like me and would rather not put the fate of your precious mud cloth pattern in your own hands, it might just be worth it to buy one pre-made. If I were to actually try it myself, I would follow the DIY Muthcloth Pillows tutorial on the The Beautydojo. And hey – maybe I will try someday. But, for now, I’ll stick with my pre-made pillow covers, because I can truly see that DIY going horribly wrong (helloooo crooked lines and a very unhappy, slightly OCD Jill).
One thing that I struggled with when looking for my own mud cloth pillows was the price. My first instinct when finding this type of item was to look at Etsy – and yes, Etsy has tons (and I mean, TONS) of great mud cloth pillow covers, but I couldn’t justify dropping $50.00+ on one cover, especially since I wanted at least four.
I did some shopping around and finally found the answer to all of my prayers (okay, so in truth it wasn’t that serious, but I did really want these damn pillows). I stumbled upon Hofdeco on Amazon – they offer a wide array of mud cloth inspired pillow covers in a few different sizes. Since I already had pillows I could use as inserts that were around the same size as the Hofdeco 18″ x 18″ covers, I saved some money on pillow inserts, too. I ended up getting two sets of two Hofdeco Decorative African Mud Cloth Pillow Covers (18″ x 18″) in both black and white, along with a two set of their white lumbar pillow cover for my bed (sadly I had to buy the inserts for those, but found cheap ones on Amazon that worked perfectly).
In truth, yes, I was ordering these for our new apartment. But as soon as they arrived, I was too excited to keep them packaged up for the next few weeks. So, my current apartment has been graced with their presence – however, I know they’ll look even better in the new place, and I can’t wait to bring them to their new home.