Mali Mud Cloths

With a GNI per capita of about $610, Mali is ranked as one of the 25 poorest countries in the world (cia.gov). Plagued with high debt and political instability, the government of Mali has thus been unsuccessful in attracting significant foreign investment in order to grow. Nevertheless, while statistics present a risky investment, fair trade organizations see an opportunity to improve lives.

Take for example MOBIOM (Mouvement Biologique Malien), established in 2002. With a main focus on the production of organic cotton, MOBIOM has successfully expanded in to the markets for mango, sesame, almonds, shea butter, and fonio. Their mission is to provide quality certified organic products to their customers while improving the lives of their workers through training, education, and fair wages (mobiom.org).

Likewise, MaliChic, a boutique founded in 1998 with only 5 employees, now operates with 2 locations and 14 employees providing their international customers with brilliant Malian ethnic products. MaliChic provides their employees with opportunity, training, and fair wages for their hard work and quality outputs (malichic.org).

This week at One World Projects (oneworldprojects.net), we are excited to offer a limited quantity of Malian Mudcloth handbags for only $10 each. For those who do not know about the production of Mudcloth, it is no walk in the park. Artisans must be thoroughly trained and educated about the process. Each piece takes about 4 days to a week to complete and is 100% handmade.

The first step in making the cloth is to set it in a fixative solution made from tea. The mud designs are then hand-painted and the tea  sets IMG_7826into the fabric. Mud used to make mudcloth is usually mixed with water and set aside for about a year. Using twigs or metal instruments the artist paints the designs with the mud,  saturating the area so it will not  wash out. After being washed the process is repeated and then dried and put in another solution to make patterns stand out more. On black and white fabric, a soda is painted on the areas with no patterns causing then to be white.

Mudcloth communicates social statues, characters and occupation. Even now African people are very careful about what they wear, as each fabric, color and dress is interpreted by others. What you wear shows what kind of person you are!

If you would like to order one of these beautiful mudcloth bags, please contact us at: sales@oneworldprojects.com or call us at 585.344.4490. There are only 17 bags in stock so please do not hesitate.

If you would like to see more mud cloth work or other fair trade products, please visit us at oneworldprojects.net

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