Archive for September, 2012

African Prints

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

Genuine African prints are generally 100% cotton. They are worn across the continent of Africa, most especially, in West Africa. Tie-Dye is generally believed to be one of the earliest forms of African print. Tie-Dye is a process of tying and dyeing clothing or fabrics (usually cotton) to give distinctive patterns. The Fabric or Clothing is tied (typically with strings) in sections to set boundaries for the dye. This in turn, yields a distinctive pattern.


There are also some other forms of Tie-Dye:

Kampala: A type of African Print Tie-Dye with a substantial amount of wax application. The fabric would appear to have a sheen at the end of production because of the wax application. Brocade (solid cotton fabric with patterns in fabric) fabrics are generally used when making Kampala designs.

Batik: Batik prints are also another form of tie dye also using wax application. The Fancy designs are hand painted (mostly applied with cassava paste, a chicken feather and a string of broom).

Indigo: Indigo dyed clothing, also known as Adire by the Yoruba tribe in Southern Nigeria.

There are several other forms of Tie Dye techniques.

With technology, African prints have evolved into more complex patterns. Several name brands have also evolved. Sunflag, Akosombo, Hollandis, Woodin are some of these African print name brands. Ankara, Abada, Kitenge, Wax print, are some other names for African Print. African prints are generally made into Tops and Wrappers in the rural areas in Africa.

There are several ways of wearing an African Print Wrapper. Typically, younger people gravitate towards the “Old School” style below when wearing an African print Wrapper.

And for Men, here is an African print Grand Boubou below. A Grand Boubou generally consists of a Dashiki, Pants and a Robe. It can be worn with a matching African print hat or a hat made out of a different material.

Below are some African print Dashiki tops and pants for Men

African prints are worn by Men, Women and Children. A whole family can also be dressed in the same print.

Matching African print skirts and tops are usually lined with a 100% cotton material. Many African print dresses are lined as well. Matching African print tops and wrappers (excluding Senegal and a few other African countries), Men’s African Print matching sets and children African print sets are generally not lined. African prints are generally not see through. Some African print patterns have some significance. However, most of them are abstract.

Modern day prints over the past few years have been picking up steam amongst both the young and the old. This is not surprising when you take into consideration the bold and intricate print patterns. Icons, especially in the Fashion, Music, and Film industry have been spotted wearing African print clothing. African prints can be made into dresses, tops, skirts, wrappers, and sets for women. It is also common to see women wear African print head wraps with African print Clothing as well as western clothing.

For a wider selection of African print clothing for Men, Women and Children as well as African print fabrics, click here