African Fashion is Finally Getting The Recognition That it Deserve. The Zarkpas team has put together a list of 15 different African Fabrics, their meaning and which Countries its from.
Adire - Tie-dye produced by Yoruba people.
Akwete Cloth- Woven by Igbo people.
Ankara- By the Yoruba people in Nigeria, aso-oke is hand loomed cloth. Meaning to cloth in English, the fabric is usually used for making women’s wrappers (iro), men’s gowns (agbada) and men’s hats. There are three types of this traditional fabric: alaari – bright red aso oke; sanyan – brown aso oke and etu – dark blue aso oke. Nigeria
Aso- Oke- Woven from Nigeria
Barkcloth- Produced by Uganda tribe, this fabric comes mainly from moraceae trees. Soaked strips of fibrous inner bark from these trees are beaten into sheets and finished in various items. Unganda
Bogolan- Fabric, or bogolanfini, is known as the mud cloth because it’s traditionally dyed with fermented mud. One of the milestones of Malian culture, mud cloth is exported throughout the world for fashion, art and decorative purposes.
Chitenge- Produced in Zambia
Dida- This raffia cloth was created by the Dida people on the Ivory Coast. The Dida craftsmen adapted the plangi technique, creating hand-woven raffia fabric in different colors and shapes. The raffia cloth goes through a three-step dying process, from yellow, to red and then black. Dida fabrics are used for ceremonies, for both women and men’s wear. The most common clothing item made of dida textiles is the woman’s skirt. It varies in length, from short to long and it’s worn on different occasions. Ivory Coast
Kaasa- is a common fabric in Africa used for woollen blankets. It originated in Mali with the Fulani people. These woollen blankets are probably some of the oldest woven materials used by the people of Mali.The blankets are usually white, with dark geometrical motifs. One quite popular and very characteristic element found in the kaasa blankets is the brick-red band at both ends, called “daakul”. Mali
Kanga- Produced in Tanzania
Kente Cloth- Popular among the Akan people in Guinea, Ivory Coast and West African countries, kente cloth is a mixture of silk and cotton fabric. In Akan areas where it is made, it is also known as nwentoma. The fabric can be found in bright colors, multicolored patterns and geometric shapes, with each color having certain significance. For example, black has the power to intensify the spiritual energy, blue means peace, love and harmony; silver represents joy and serenity and gray, healing rituals associated with ash. Through the combination of colors and patterns, the kente fabrics are associated with certain concepts. Obaakofoo mmu man pattern is the symbol of democratic rule, while emaa da symbolizes creativity and knowledge. West African Countries
Kitenge- is an East African, West African and Central African fabric similar to sarong, often worn by women and wrapped around the chest or waist, over the head as a headscarf, or as a baby sling. Kitenges are similar to kangas and kikoy, but are of a thicker cloth and have an edging on only a long side. Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, [Sudan]] Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Liberia, and Democratic Republic of the Congo are some of the African countries where kitenge is worn. In Malawi, Namibia and Zambia, kitenge is known as Chitenge. They are sometimes worn by men around the waist in hot weather. In some countries like Malawi, Chitenges are never worn by men. Kitenges (plural vitenge in Swahili; zitenge in Tonga) serve as an inexpensive, informal piece of clothing that is often decorated with a huge variety of colors, patterns and even political slogans.
Mud Cloth- is a printed dyed cotton fabric widely used for traditional South African clothing. Originally dyed indigo, the fabric is manufactured in a variety of colours and printing designs characterised by intricate geometric patterns. Due to its timeless popularity, shweshwe has been described as the denim, or tartan, of South Africa. The technique is associated with several Malian ethnic groups, but the Bambaran version has become best known outside Mali. In the Bambara language, the word "bògòlanfini" is a composite of bɔgɔ, meaning "earth" or "mud"; lan, meaning "with" or "by means of"; and fini, meaning "cloth". Although usually translated as “mud cloth,” bogolan actually refers to a clay slip with a high iron content that produces a black pigment when applied to handspun and handwoven cotton textiles. South African
Shweshwe- Is a printed dyed cotton fabric widely used for traditional South African clothing. Originally dyed indigo, the fabric is manufactured in a variety of colours and printing designs characterised by intricate geometric patterns. Due to its timeless popularity, shweshwe has been described as the denim,or tartan, of South Africa. is a printed dyed cotton fabric widely used for traditional South African clothing. Originally dyed indigo, the fabric is manufactured in a variety of colours and printing designs characterised by intricate geometric patterns. Due to its timeless popularity, shweshwe has been described as the denim, or tartan, of South Africa.
Wura- means Gold from the Nigerian Tribe Yoruba