Bògòlanfini [a.k.a Mud Cloth]

Have you noticed mud cloth (translated from the native Bògòlanfini or Bogolan) popping up everywhere lately? I have, and I loooove it!

I did a bit of research into it when I was looking at fabric to cover the desk chair for my studio, but in the end I did a mud cloth inspired DIY, as I didn't want to buy a big piece only to cut it up - it seemed such a waste when it was only for one chair. That, and I found some tutorials that intrigued me to give it a go, especially as I had nearly everything I needed already.

French For Pineapple Blog - Mudcloth
My DIY mud cloth inspired version!

But I do love the real thing, and I think a large piece would make a gorgeous wall-hanging. I came across some fab cushions along the way too, so I thought I'd share those resources here today, incase you're thinking of adding a touch of tribal chic to your home. The neutral prints are really easy to incorporate into an existing scheme.

French For Pineapple Blog - Mudcloth
Images: Hide & Seek
The African Fabric Shop have an ever-changing selection of mud cloth (the pieces tend to be around 1m x 1.6m) for £59. Really not a bad price at all considering the work that goes into making this beautiful fabric.

Mud cloth originates from Mali where it is exported all around the world for clothing and interiors. The finished pieces are made up of smaller thin strips of handwoven cotton that are stitched together before having the design hand painted on using natural dyes and mud that's been fermented for up to a year, before being dried in the sun and rinsed away. The process is painstakingly repeated to achieve the deep dark browns and blacks.

At the time of writing several beautiful pieces were available including the monochrome designs I prefer...

French For PInepple Blog - Mudcloth
Images: The African Fabric Shop
Make sure you also check out the equally beautiful Kuba cloth from The Congo, which is a combination of embroidery and flat weave raffia. They have pieces that are the perfect size to make into cushions for around £50.00. Aren't they beautiful?

French For PInepple Blog - Mudcloth
Images: The African Fabric Shop

And the Korhongo cloth is obviously perfect for wall-hangings too. A brilliant way to add large scale art to the wall for a fraction of the cost of a large bespoke framed print. Simply glue a wooden batten to the top back, and attach to the wall using suitable wall fixings.

French For PInepple Blog - Mudcloth

And there are plenty of mud cloth cushions to be found too. These ones from Nomad Design and Hide & Seek really caught my eye. Cushions are always such an easy way to freshen up a room, and of course with these, give a nod to the tribal trend too.

French For Pineapple Blog - Mudcloth
Images: (Left) Hide & Seek (Right) Nomad Design

Tribal Takeover

If you're already on to the Tribal trend, then read on at your leisure, or take the day off. Well done you. If not, then I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there's a new trend in town and it's going to make your bright tropical prints seem a little last year. Say hello to Soft Tribal. Yes, that's right, it's time to retire your tropical brights and get a bit muddy. No, not literally, though you can if you want to.

Don't worry, you don't need to throw away everything you've ever bought and start again, there are some really easy ways to introduce this trend into your home without breaking the bank or your back. Well, there are some break the bank options too of course.

The key here is to think muted, natural, earthy tones. We're talking muddy browns, warm tans and caramels, and texture by the bucket-load. As with any trend, don't go too overboard, we want a nod, not a themed room. Removing some of the brighter accessories in your room might help you on your way, then consider adding a couple of pieces from my picks below, to nail the look. Easy!

Get the Soft Tribal look the easy way by following some of my tips! Think muddy browns, warm tans and caramels and texture by the bucket-load. Use animal print, hides and sheepskins, and natural fibres like jute, mudcloth and leather. But remember, don't go overboard - we want a nod to the trend, not a themed room!

For textiles, go for animal prints, hides and natural fibres like jute, mud cloth, sheepskins and leather. Add some accessories like chunky ceramics and even trawl ebay for some fun African artifacts. For walls, a Juju hat is a total winner (watch out for moths though!) and maybe some abstract black and white art. If you want to add some furniture, you can never go wrong with a classic Safari Chair, like the one above from Aram Store, or check out Pamono for a fantastic vintage selection.

Plants will really enhance the look and bring a bit of colour in, so if you haven't already got a Kentia or Parlour Palm, maybe now's the time. The bigger the better. For smaller specimens, keep your eye out for things like Snake Plants/Mother-In-Laws Tongue, ZZ plants and a Ric Rac/Fishbone Cactus.

You can glam it up a bit by adding some brass accents (never a bad idea!) and go for more of a Glam Safari look.

Oh, and what about wall colour? Well, grey is on the out. So if you're thinking about changing your wall colour, hang in there because I'll be sharing my thoughts on that very soon, along with loads of colour suggestions.

1. Benni Rug - Plantation Rug Company
2. Cow Hide - City Cows
3. Jute and Leather Rug - French Connection Home
4. Albany Wood Bead Chandelier - Abigail Ahern
5. Fernanda Vase - Habitat
6.Viktigt Basket - Ikea
7. Juju Hat - Rockett St George
8. Safari Chair - Aram Store
9. Carpet Cushion - French Connection Home
10. Mudcloth Cushion - Hide & Seek London
11. Shaggy Palm Lamp - Abigail Ahern
12. Black Tyres Original Painting by Al Fears - Fears And Kahn
13. Etched Calabash Gourd Bowl - French Connection Home
14. Dunston Ceramic Elephant - Habitat

Would you add a touch of Tribal to your home? Let me know what you think of this trend...