New Offering! The Malian Kimono: A Master Class with Aboubakar Fofana


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The Malian Kimono: A Master Class with Aboubakar Fofana

July 17-22, Seattle Washington


The Japanese kimono is a deceptively simple and graceful design that lends itself to infinite variations. Inspired by his time studying calligraphy in Kyoto, Aboubakar designed a rustic kimono style using handwoven finimugu (stripcloth). In this Master Class with Aboubakar Fofana, he will work with you to create a kimono from traditional traditional Malian finimugu (stripcloth) to create a custom-fit, hand stitched short kimono or haori.

The kimono is an elegant, flattering unisex design. The pattern is comfortably fit through the shoulders and bust/chest with a drop shoulder and mid-length sleeves and hangs open in the front. Each participant will learn how to measure and create a simple pattern, then cut and join the panels to make the kimono.  We will learn the specific stitches for joining and hemming the garment.

This is a rare opportunity for an in-depth exploration using traditional finimugu (Malian cotton strip cloth) for individual creative expression. All the raw materials are plant-based, undyed and organically sourced.

The finimugu strip cloth is part of a cotton revitalization project that Aboubakar has worked on for years and forms the basis for all of his custom designs.

Each participant will receive enough handwoven stripcloth to make a kimono according to Aboubakar’s design. He will instruct you how to join panels and hem the fabric. As a special treat, Aboubakar plans to bring dallifini, hand-dyed and indigo striped fabric that will be available for purchase. The dallifini may be used to add design interest to the kimono pattern. We will also have indigo vats available for dipping the neckband.

The workshop includes:

  • Six days intensive study with Aboubakar in Seattle, Washington
  • Class size is limited
  • 15 meters Finimugu fabric to make a kimono according to Aboubakar’s pattern (a value of  $390)
  • Dallifini woven patterned fabric from Aboubakar’s atelier will be available for purchase.
  • Needles and thread
  • Storytelling about Aboubakar’s revitalization projects in Mali and beyond.
  • Light refreshments will be served.

Materials list

Please bring any tool that you normally use for handstitching, including a thimble. We will be supplying mattress needles but if you have a large needle that you prefer (such as a dollmaker’s needle) you may bring that.

  • Scissors, pincushion, thimble if you use one.
  • Measuring tape
  • Notebook and pen
  • Straight edge, ruler or quilter’s ruler
  • Fabric marking pen that washes out with water (available from your local sewing store or online).
  • Third hand, sewing bird or kakehari.  This is a clamp tool that allows you hold the heavy finimugu fabric taut for even stitching.


All sales are final. This workshop is non-cancellable and non-refundable. We are not able to accommodate schedule changes.

Botanical Colors reserves the right to cancel classes in the unlikely event of circumstances beyond our control. If a class is cancelled, Botanical Colors’ responsibility and liability are limited to a refund of paid class fees.

All Washington State, King County and CDC Covid-19 guidelines will be followed.   Our workshop will be held outdoors under covered tents.  We strongly recommend that all attendees be fully vaccinated.  Depending on the status of the pandemic we may ask for proof of vaccination and results of a rapid antigen test.

Installment payments

Installment payments are available.  Please contact [email protected] for information.



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