Naturally Hand-Dyed Workers’ Jacket


by Karim Hadjab (France)

Naturally Hand-Dyed Workers’ Jacket


by Karim Hadjab (France)

Description & Product Details

This soft yet structured jacket is a one-of-a-kind. The garment is a 100% cotton 1950s workers jacket, dyed by Karim Hadjab according to the Malian Bogolan method. In Bambara, Bogolan means “made from mud”. It is a dyeing and printing technique that is entirely organic using plant leaves and iron rich mud from the bottom of the Niger river. It produces a rich black colour that infuses the garment from the inside out. The process takes several days, as the infusion in plant leaves, the application of mud and baking in the sun has to be repeated several times. The result is a unique piece of clothing, a piece of art that lasts a lifetime!

Composition & Colour

100% cotton; naturally dyed with n’gallama leaves and Niger river clay. Four buttons. Patch pocket sat the hips. Chest pocket on the left. Two belt loops.


  • Unisex size – it can be worn by both men and women!
  • Male model in photos is 1m80
  • Female model in photos is 1m65


Hand wash in luke warm water with natural soap.

How it is made

  • French Work Clothing

    Before the rise of global markets and the outsourcing of production to other countries, many small ateliers in France were making functional and durable workers’ clothes. They produced specific styles of uniforms for certain jobs, mostly in indigo blue colour from which the distinction blue and white collar originates. It is the clothes from these ateliers that Karim acquires. He selects pieces dating from the beginning of the century until present today and carries particularly brands, such as AU MOLINEL.

  • The Bogolan Technique

    To transform the workers’ clothes into unique pieces of art, Karim travelled to Mali to learn the Bogolan technique. In Bambara, Bogolan means “made from mud”. It is a dyeing and printing technique that is entirely organic using plant leaves and iron rich mud found at the bottom of the Niger river.

  • An Infusion of Leaves

    To prepare the garment for mud dyeing it has to be soaked in an infusion of leaves from the n’gallama tree. This infusion acts as a natural dye and gives the cloth a deep saffron colour.

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    Applying the Mud

    The mud is carefully applied to each garment from the inside. The mudreacts with the natural dyes and through oxidization a rich black colour is produced. Mud has many medicinal and therapeutic uses and in Malian culture hunters or women after child birth wear Bogolan garments, as they are considered to protect from male volent forces.

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    Letting Nature Work Its Magic

    Once the mud is applied, the garments remain in the sun to “bake” for an entire day.To achieve a deep black colour, the garment is dipped into the boiled leaf concoction, coated with mud and baked in the sun several times. Sometimes this almost meditative process has to be repeated 7 times.

  • The Finished Piece

    Each garment on which Karim works has a history that is as important to him as the processes he uses to create a finished piece. He guards a fascination and respect for the garments he develops; giving old, unwanted, rejected, dejected, and rotten pieces a new life and value.

Find out more about Karim Hadjab (France)

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