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Malian Stitch Resist Techniques with Aboubakar Fofana in Brooklyn, NY


Under Aboubakar’s creative guidance, participants will experiment with stitching two to three traditional stitch resist patterns of Malian origin, and will learn traditional construction techniques adapted to finimugu (traditional woven fabric of Mali) that students will be able to apply to hand sewing projects well beyond the workshop.

Throughout our time together, Aboubakar will share his experiences revitalizing indigo growing in Mali to replace synthetic indigo and running his production workshop in Mali, where his remarkable creations are made. Participants will come away with the knowledge to create stitch resist patterns and to apply beautiful seaming techniques.

The workshop is open to all skill levels. We will provide finimugu and lightweight cotton fabrics for dipping, along with the indigo vat, and stitching supplies.

All workshop materials are plant or earth-based and organically sourced.


Finimugu is the traditional and ancestral woven cloth of Mali. Made from handspun cotton, and handwoven on a loom, the strips are stitched together to construct the larger panels of shawls and other garments. Finimugu has an ancient and earthy feel; a beautiful iteration of the landscape from which it comes.


Our time will be divided between stitching and construction at the TATTER studio and cloth dyeing at the Pratt Dye Garden.

BLUE, The TATTER Textile Library is located in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Serving as both an interactive, ongoing art-installation as well as an academic research library, BLUE is an ever-growing home to 6,000 books, journals, exhibition catalogs, and objects that examine and celebrate the global history, traditions, makers, craft and beauty of textiles.

The Dye Garden is located on the Brooklyn Campus of the Pratt Institute. The garden offers workshops to Pratt Institute and the surrounding community, educating on the sustainable and integrative process of natural dyes.


June 24th - 27th, 2024    |    10 a.m. - 4 p.m. EST daily


All materials for the course will be provided. All one need bring is an open mind, and willingness to try new things in a beautiful place, amongst like-minded friends.


Aboubakar Fofana's approach to teaching is much the same as his approach to his own art making.  He brings a practice of deep listening, and a generous spirit. His colorwork is rooted in a cosmology of '12 shades' of blue. These 12 shades are not just variations of color, rather they connect to 12 states of being, or 12 states of understanding of our spiritual world. Aboubakar's knowledge of and relationship to indigo are incredibly deep, as he has spent decades honing the cultivation, growth, and preparation of the plant for dye. To learn with him is a unique and special experience, sure to be enriching and inspiring. 


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TATTER explores the medium of textiles to tell human stories and cultivate understanding.