Mudcloth (also known as bògòlanfini) is a Malian textile, usually cotton, that is resist-dyed with fermented mud. Artists create decorative pattern designs that are usually abstracted images representing everyday life and objects.
I've always loved mudcloth and appreciate seeing various interpretations of the cloth for fashion and home:
Stay warm this winter with deliciously chunky handmade knits, like cowls, scarves and shawls (for men and women) from DC based brand DeNada. Founder, Virginia Blanca Arrisueño, pulls from her Peruvian heritage to design the pieces and then has them produced in Peru by skilled artisans. I purchased a beautiful chunky cowl a few weeks ago and can't stop wearing it!
The surface design brand, Moniquilla, has always been a favorite of mine with it's beautiful palettes and pattern mixes. I was more familiar with Moniquilla's paper products, like notebooks and stationery, but recently found these fun tie-dyed t-shirts and beautifully printed scarves. After digging a little deeper and found other clothing applications from the brand. I want to rock everything!
Textile and surface designer Shabd Simon-Alexander has just released a new book, Tie-Dye: Dye It, Wear It, Share It, which shares tips and tricks for creating your own wearable tie-dyed creations. She spoke with Fly about her inspirations, shares a peek in her studio and some advice about creating a brand.
Tell us about the book, how did it come to be?
When I started playing around with tie-dye, I couldn't find any books so I created one that people could use for inspiration and reference.
Favorite project in the book?
How can you choose a favorite?! I loved being able to take the time to do really beautiful but time-consuming pieces that I wouldn't be able to do in a large scale for production, like the polka dot dress, the shibori napkins, or the ombre gown. I also love that some of the simplest pieces to make produce the most stunning results, like the watercolor dress and the crystalline scarf.
Your earlier work was inspired by nebulas and galaxies, what is currently inspiring your work?
My summer collection is all sunshine yellow, sky blue clouds, kaleidoscopic rainbows, and the stark contrast of black & white.
Can you share some advice for artists and textiles designers looking to create their own textile/surface design brand?
Find your own niche, look out there and see what's missing, not what's popular. And don't start a business based on what you like to look at or wear, start it based on what you enjoy doing, because you'll be doing it every day. Honestly, I didn't own any tie-dye or even like it that much before I started doing it, but I had so much fun working on creating designs.
My wardrobe is pretty basic, but I love mixing prints when I can. My criteria for mixing includes one or more of the following; the scale of the print on each piece has to be different, the palette has to be fairly similar, and the motif has to be different enough to show the intention of the mixing combination.
What about you, do you mix and match? What is your criteria for doing so?
I've been on the lookout for one-of-a-kind handwoven rugs, so I was pleasantly pleased to see former FGOTW, Kera, launch her new project Interwoven (I love the name). This online shop is a highly curated collection of textile beauties she finds in her travels and home of Abu Dhabi. I'm a fan of Kera's eye for beauty so I am totally excited about what she's doing with her new brand.