Iconic textiles

Malian-based company Ndomo teaches young unemployed Africans the art of creating eco-friendly textiles.

Part of the Project

Bogolan Throw by Ndomo.
Bogolan Throw by Ndomo.

Malian-based social enterprise Ndomo provides a positive solution for unemployed youth in Africa. 

Boubacar Doumbia is not just a textile designer but also a social innovator. Ndomo, established in 2004, is a social enterprise created to address the problem of youth unemployment. When he was young, Boubacar Doumbia developed an interest in traditional cloth making techniques. Later when he became an art teacher working at a training college, he realised the need to create more effective youth apprenticeship programmes.

At Ndomo, Doumbia now not only teaches young men the skills to weave, dye and make textiles, but also provides entrepreneurial training and life skills that enable them to start their own enterprises.

The 100% organic cotton fabric Bogolan throw is the product of the social enterprise, Ndomo based in Segou, Mali. The throw is dyed using natural vegetable-based dye and clay mud promoting eco-friendly and sustainable design.

The textiles, a contemporary interpretation of traditional Malian fabrics, are made using age-old natural dyeing techniques that employ earth, vegetables or natural indigo. The base fabric is also hand woven on site using traditional techniques for smaller pieces, and modern looms for wider fabrics.

The Bogolan Throw was displayed at Design Indaba Expo’s groundbreaking Africa is Now exhibition under the theme “Africa is Tradition Reinvented”, which looked at how African designers interpret ancient vocabularies of form, material and craft into a new visual language for African icons.