Vintage African indigo is hand crafted from 100% unbleached cotton and hand dyed with natural indigo dyes. In Asia, the technique of resist dying where thread is used to bunch the cloth to prevent the dye from penetrating the fabric is called shibori, in Africa it's simply called tie dye. Whatever the name, vintage African indigo is available in a full range of blue hues and it's a wonderful cloth to repurpose into clothing, accessories, pillows, and upholstery. The poncho vests seen above are a stylish way to recycle vintage African indigo mud cloth.
Not all African indigo is created equal. As with any hand made textile, the quality and craftsmanship varies widely. Some vintage African indigo has been woven and dyed by expert artisans practicing their craft for decades. Other vintage indigo is not as beautifully woven or lacks a master's touch in regard to the tie dyed pattern on the cloth. This is why I sort through hundreds of pieces of vintage African indigo to find the textiles my discerning customers expect from the Morrissey Fabric shop. Above, the stylish tote crafted by Kin and Kind and is an example of just how on-trend a repurposed African indigo textile can be.
Pillows made from vintage African indigo are extremely popular in casual home decor settings such as coastal/beach cottage, rustic farmhouse, Americana, Boho, and eclectic style. Each pillow is one of a kind because the vintage African indigo mud cloth is unique to begin with. The pillows will vary in quality based on the African indigo used, the type of filler, and the cloth used on the back side of the indigo pillow. For Morrissey Fabric custom pillows I prefer to use 100% linen backs and I also fuse a woven interlining to the vintage African indigo front to prevent fraying or tearing of the vintage textile.
Another way to repurpose vintage African indigo textiles is to style the fabric into a casual tote bag. The casual bag above was crafted by Mira Blackman in Oakland, California. The vintage African indigo combined back to simple leather handles certainly makes a relaxed style statement.
A bed topped with a quality one of a kind vintage African indigo textile is a show-stopper and nobody does it better than the Beach Lodge. I enjoy following them on Instagram because the Beach Lodge folks are expert at casual chic coastal design. Layering vintage African textiles with vintage rugs and pillows from around the globe gives their rooms a character that only comes with the patina of vintage finds.
Vintage African indigo comes in a variety of weights depending on the original cotton yarn selected by the artisan weaver. Selecting the correct African indigo textile weight for a project is key to accomplishing the look you are after. The easy pullover top by Mira Blackman seen above is made from just the right weight of vintage African indigo for this garment. When styled with a black and silver beaded necklace the African indigo top has that gallery-owner, it-girl look.
Excited about vintage African indigo fabrics? When you are ready to work with these one of a kind African indigo textiles be sure to visit the MorrisseyFabric.com on line store or my Esty shop for a quality selection of these one of a kind pieces. You can message me to let me know what your project is and I will gladly recommend which pieces would be best for your project.