Rare to find this traditional textile that originated in China dating back to the Ming Dynasty using a special iron rich mud. Must read article here
for fascinating details. In Paris, I visit the tiny Sophie Hong shop to admire and examine the garments made from this special esoteric fabric. Watch this splendid Sophie Hong video
to see examples of mud cloth like this one from her line.
Soft black (with a red cast), on one side, deep red on the back, with a smooth hand and crisp drape. This fabric will age naturally, the crisp mud finish on the right side has a patina, a crackle, so the brown on the back side shows through - part of the organic nature and appeal of the fabric. It will soften a bit over time, but retain the crisp nature. Right for a jacket, coat, vest, accessories, home dec.
Hand launder cold, air dry - test a swatch first. Or, dry clean
PRICED AND SOLD BY THE 4 YARD CUT
1. The yams/dyestuffs are dried, finely ground and simmer in a large clay basin until the water is a deep orange-brown color.
2. The silk fabric is delicately soaked in the dye, and laid out in a large grass field to dry. The soak and dry process is repeated about thirty times depending on the depth of color one wants to achieve!
3. The now fire orange fabric is laid out by a river and mopped with mud, which gives the fabric its buttery texture.
4. The silk is rinsed in the river and set to dry through midday and over night to set the dye.
5. Finally, a thin layer of anthracite coal is applied to cover the silk with a precious varnish.
Like Hawaii’s hundred words for rain and eskimosk four hundred words for snow, the Chinese have several — approximately nine — words for the bi-colored mud silks. From xiang-yun-shā, meaning perfumed cloud clothing, fragrant cloud silk cloth, and singing silk cloth the art of mud dyeing is once again, in fashion.