Behind the print: Riverbed

Toghal Riverbed Print Chair Hot Water Bottle Bag Umbrella

Going behind the print

One of the things we love most about doing events such as Africa Utopia and The Barbican Christmas Market, is all the interesting conversations we get into with you!

We’re often asked about the inspiration behind our designs and for this reason, we’ve decided to start a new series on our blog: ‘behind the print’. If you browse the blog, you’ll already find quite a few posts about heritage textiles but, in this series, we’ll be talking specifically about the rationale behind our interpretations.


Riverbed inspiration

Mbuti Bark Cloth

First up is our Riverbed design which, we currently use on bags, umbrellas, cushions, hot water bottles, canvas chairs, custom upholstery and more!

The design is a reimagining of the intricate abstract barkcloth drawings, created by the Mbuti women in the northern Congo rainforest.

The barkcloth canvas is made by beating flat the inner layer from a particular tree (see the modern day making of the cloth here). The women then use natural dyes sourced from the forest, often using their fingers as brushes.

The resulting artworks are dreamy interpretations of forestscapes and star constellations.


Our take on Mbuti bark cloth

Toghal Riverbed Prints

In our interpretation, the subject is a dry riverbed – the lines seen in drifts of dry sand, left by a fast-flowing temporary river, as well as the boulders and snags of tree branches scattered in its wake.

This design is our tribute to the Mbuti women who, own very little in material terms but, make time to create beautiful ethereal work.

One of our guest bloggers, Vanessa Drake Moraga, talks more about Mbuti art in barkcloth here.


Riverbed on sale

2 items in our Riverbed print are currently on sale. Our roomy tote bag is now £28 (I personally love it as it can fit so much. I use it to go grocery shopping, on trips to the the beach and when lugging things across town to presentations!) and our exquisite understated umbrella is down to £48.

Stay tuned for more print stories over the coming months!
(Image source: Mbuti barkcloth photo)

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