All you need to know about African wear

Most people love the African clothing and fabrics. The distinctive designs, bright colours and handmade quality in African wear are fantastic and rich in cultural meaning. Weaves, tie dyes, batiks, and industrial prints are the four types of cloth used to make African wear. Genuine African prints worn across the continent of Africa are mainly 100% cotton. Tie-Dye is believed to be one of the earliest forms of African print. Tie-Dye is developed through tying and dying cotton fabrics to give distinctive patterns. The clothing or Fabric is tied in sections to set the dye’s boundary and the result in a beautiful, distinctive design. Some types of African clothing include shirts, dresses and African print skirts.

Different types of Tie-Dye:


Here are some forms of the Tie-Dye common in most African wear.

Kampala: It is a type of African Print Tie-Dye that includes a substantial amount of wax application. The resulting fabric appears to have sheens due to wax applications. Cotton fabrics with patterns, which are mainly referred as brocades, are used when making Kampala designs.

Batik: It is also commonly used among African print clothes and uses wax application that includes fancy designs that are hand painted. The paints are normally applied with cassava paste, a chicken feather and a string of broom.

Indigo: Indigo dyed clothing are referred as Adire by the Yoruba tribe in the southern Nigeria and are among the most Africa wear available to West Africa.

There are several other forms of Tie Dye techniques used among the Africa wear. Africa prints technologies have evolved and now include more complex patterns with different names that are available in the market. Sunflag, Hollandis, Akosombo and Woodin are some of the Africa print brands available in the market. Most of the Africa prints such as Abanda, Ankara, Kitenge and waxed prints produce Tops and Wrappers that are used in most rural areas of Africa.

There many ways of putting on an African Print wear with younger people gravitating toward old school’ style when wearing African Print Wrapper. Most African men who put on African wear adopt the use of Grand Boubou, which consists of a Dashiki, pants, and a Robe. It is normally worn with a matching African print hat, which is made from a different material.

African prints are available for men, women and children. Some families prefer wearing dresses from the same print, and most African print skirts and tops are lined with materials that are 100% cotton. Other African wears are also lined with 100% cotton material. A number of matching print tops and wrappers in most Africa countries, excluding Senegal and a few other Africans countries, are not lined.

African wears are quality, not see through and have a lot of significant among Africans and are gaining popularity among both young and older people. The popularity increase is not surprising especially if you consider the bold and intricate print patterns. Some icons such as in fashion, music and film industries are using the African Print wears and frequently performs while wearing this African wear. Africa prints for women are available in the form of dresses, skirts, tops, wrappers and other sets for women. It is also common in Africa to see women with Africa print head wraps with either African were or western clothing.

African print top

Colours in African wear

Colours in African wear play a significant role as they possess particular meanings. Meaning varies from communities to communities and fabric to fabric. The Akan people is West Africa, for example, uses red, black and brown in funerals and white during joyous occasions such as naming ceremonies. The Kente cloth, which is common among most Ashanti people of Ghana use gold to represent status and serenity, yellow to represent fertility and vitality, green signifies to represents growth as seen in plants and cycle of birth and decay, and blue to represent the presence of God and omnipotence of the blue sky. The Blue is also used to refer to purity among the spirit and those who rest in harmony. Red among this community usually represents the passion and is typically used to show political determination, defense, and struggle. The Ashanti of Ghana also believes that the red color holds protective powers. They also use black to represent seriousness and union with ancestors and is used to convey spiritual awareness.