Tailored for Success: The Bazin Industry in Mali

In the West African nation of Mali, the fabric of choice for formal occasions is bazin, also called damask. According to Reuters, the “polished, heavy cotton fabric with a distinctive sheen, is extremely popular across the region and is worn at almost all formal occasions in Mali.” While an industry has grown up around the tailoring and creation of bazin garments, most of the material is still imported. Some are now looking to bring the production to Mali, hoping for factory jobs to help its ailing economy. Reuters photographer Joe Penney recently photographed bazin fashions at the Festi’Bazin in Mali’s capital, Bamako.
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