Hot Fabric: African Mud Cloth

I’ve noticed that this year’s hot textile trend seems to be African mud cloth. I saw it here and there last year on Etsy as pillows and didn’t know much about it. Now I’ve seen it quite a bit more and really love the natural meets geometric sensibility it has. Real mud cloth is handmade in Africa using thick woven cotton fabric with the patterns painted on using mud, clay and tea dyes. Each symbol means something different and tells a story of the maker or a specific village. No piece of mud cloth is the same if it’s authentic.


Here are some spaces using mud cloth in them- I especially love the way it looks upholstered on chairs and benches. I’d love to see a pair of small x-benches or ottomans in this fabric.




Absolutely GORGEOUS as a table cover!






Here are some ways to add this print to YOUR space! Click images for links please!

A selection of throw pillows:

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A re-upholstered chair:

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A cloth ready to be used any way you see fit:


Framed print of the cloth from St. Frank:

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What do you think about this print?






  1. I LOVE tribal prints. The simple geometries and combinations remind me of a written language, as I’m sure they tell some story or symbolism. It is clean and these simple uses of color make it a bit more timeless, rather than the full African color prints, which I also love. These prints have a more formal, but linguistic feel to them.

  2. Getting a new couch for the living room from crate and barrel and these pillows will look awesome! But, can mudcloth keep you warm in a blizzard?! You guys are about to get hit hard! Stay safe and warm!

  3. Erin,

    I adore you and your blog and have been an avid reader for four and half years. I like your new blog aesthetic; however, the banner at the top that drops down to advertise your book takes up 1/3 of my screen, and I can hardly see entire pictures that you post. As such, I am starting to get very frustrated reading your blog. Can this be made smaller so it is easier for some of us to continue reading your blog? Thank you! Adore your blog. xox

    1. Liz, does that banner not go away when you scroll down? Are you using an old version of your browser? When I scroll down, it disappears and I only see her normal banner, so it doesn’t impede the viewing of the blog post… perhaps you could try using google chrome!

  4. I am undecided – it looks really nice in the rooms you show, but I don’t think I’d like it in my home…. but that’s why decor is great :) we can admire others’ choices and still do what we like!

  5. Absolutely love! Was already planning to ask where I could get framed, when I got to the end of your post and saw the gorgeous artwork. Hope to find in black for my kitchen renovation!

  6. Lovely piece on mudcloth (bogolan) in design! I lived in Mali for over 2 years and when we came back to the states, I shipped back a lot of mud cloth. Each of the symbols tell a story. The black and white is my favorite. I’ve used it in pillows, and plan to use it to upholster a chair.

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