What Are Some African Print Textiles Found in the Market Now?

If you want to keep up with the latest trends, you have to be observant. Artists such as Rihanna, Kanye West, Drake, Beyoncé, and Jay-Z, along with many others introduced to the world the radiants colors of African culture. African print textiles have found their way into major households around the world.

African print fabrics are considered major textile items because of their high economic value. In a study conducted by the Federal University of Technology, Industrial Design Department in Nigeria it was revealed that even if the African print fabric has the continent’s name, the components that compose it are not necessarily African. The following are some popular African print fabrics that Gen Z and millennial customers love.

Adire

In Yoruba, this means “tie and dye.” Historians said that this indigo-dyeing technique was developed in the Dogon kingdom of Mali in West Africa going back to the 11th century. Such handspun cotton cloths are weaved by Yoruba women in the southwestern area of Nigeria. This specific craft has evolved due to many factors. The Europeans introduced synthetic indigo as well as caustic soda to fabric printing in the ‘30s. Many African artists and political figures supported this craft. One of them is Michelle Obama.

Barkcloth

This African fabric is made from trees that are part of the Moraceae family. This is the type of fabric that the Uganda tribes are proud of. The barks of trees such as Broussonetia Papyrifera, Artocarpus Altilis, and Ficus Natalensis are used in creating this specific textile.

Isi-Agu

The Africans from the Igbo tribe weave this fabric using the velvet and cotton material that is found in Eastern Nigeria. People of royal blood wear this on special occasions such as weddings. The word isi-agu means lion’s head in Igbo. This is often used in producing pullover shirts that can be with long or short sleeves. Traditionally, men wore this when they became chiefs in their tribes. A wearer may show superiority by wearing a robe made of this and fitted with gold buttons and a gold chain. At present, this African fabric type is worn by women on special occasions like weddings and the birth of a child.

Kanga

Kanga is one of the African print textiles that has gained extreme popularity in the West. This fabric came from East Africa. This friendship fabric has the words blessings, love, wisdom, and friendship printed on it. A lot of fashion houses let their customers personalize their dresses by printing words they want on them. Swahili expressions may also be woven into kanga prints.

Kikoy

This fabric is from tribes of Kenya and Tanzania. This material is handcrafted from cotton yarn. To date, several items which can be worn or used at home are made up of this African fabric.