Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Spirit of Africa in a Piece of Cloth

The African fabric has stirred the fashion industry and has gained worldwide popularity by rocking the international runways and fashion magazines.  Celebrated designers have grown to favor the intricate and rich designs of this fabric to give glory to their creations.  Most of African fashions can be rooted and highly influenced by the amazing artistry of the African fabrics.  It is unique and embodies original creativity like no other fashion style can.

The African textile has been a significant part of African history.  According to ancient accounts, the textiles of Africa were used as their form of monetary exchange.  The value and width of every strip of cloth was standardized in each region making it easy in the business trades.  Other than that, textiles were also used to identify the members of the tribe.

Every fragment of African fabric is an embodiment of African culture, arts, wealth, and history. Every weave and spin of the thread was believed to have profound symbolic and spiritual meanings.  Today these fabrics remain to be celebrated and appreciated for its unequalled craftsmanship, vibrant colors, and elaborate patterns.

Among the most popular fabrics known to many are the kente, adinkra, and bogolan.  The kente is a beautiful piece of cloth hand-woven on a loom wherein about four inch strips are sewn together to form a larger piece of cloth in various patterns, designs, and colors.  Adinkra textile is a kind of hand printed fabric divided into squares by dye lines and stamped with traditional symbols.  The bogolan (or sometimes called as Bògòlanfini) is a traditional fabric dyed with fermented mud featuring exquisite designs.  These fabrics have played very important roles in the many social and religious gatherings of the African regions.

Although the textiles have much great societal and spiritual relevance to Africa, nowadays, it has been the primary source of occupation and income to the absolute majority of Africans.  Do you know that we can see many textile manufacturers who have gone out of their way not only to sell and market their fabrics but to help Mother Africa as well? Find out more at


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