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The World Is Loving African Prints, You Should Too

By Akinwale Akinyoade and Obinna Henry 16 September 2019   |   9:15 am

African fashion comes from the combination of various and many African print fabrics such as but not limited to Ankara, Kente and Kitenge and over the years there has been a wider acceptance of African fashion around the world.

These are the top three ways to make African print:

  • Ankara wax print fabric – this undergoes an intricate process whereby wax patterns (which stop color reaching certain parts of the fabric) are transferred onto the fabric, then dyes are added bit by bit
  • Bogolan (mud cloth) is produced via the painstaking process of colors being painted onto the cloth (often via hand) using stencils and natural pigments from the earth and other elements of nature.
  • Kente is a cloth that is intricately woven to produce stunning, colorful fabrics and bold designs that are often used as ceremonial cloths by many Africans and African Americans.

All three can be used to represent culture, status, fashion or personality – it’s all dependent on the person at hand. One thing is certain though – whilst wearing African clothing, you’re bound to always stand out!

Thanks to creatively put together designs, African fashion designers have been able to put African fashion on the global mark and with the increasing patronage of African celebrities also embracing African prints, the promotion of the African heritage has become easier to sell to the rest of the world.

On several occasions, both local and international celebrities have worn designs that are purely or partly designs in African prints on red carpets and prestigious events. The likes of Beyonce, Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Kelly Rowland and other top fashionistas have been spotted wearing African print dresses while local celebs also do the continent proud in their various colourful attires.

In Nigeria, the most popular fabric is Ankara and every weekend is a chance to showcase various Ankara styles. An owambe is not complete without the various captivating aso ebi styles that will surely be present and it has become a signature move to look forward to such events.

Aside from regular clothes; gowns, trousers, tops, jackets, shirts and the rest, African print fabrics are used in making a variety of fashion accessories. From bags, shoes, caps, bangles, headpieces and more, the use of African print designs has grown beyond just outfits.  When a particular fashion and its style is almost complete and can provide everything you need to wear even in a more beautiful and unique way, there’s absolutely no point looking elsewhere, that’s also a good reason why anyone including popular celebrities wear Ankara styles.

If you’re still confused as to why you need to embrace the African prints trend, then consider the following:

  • Unique and sells our unique culture
  • Colorful and pleasing to the eyes
  • Beautifully designed
  • Made into anything wearable
  • Becoming more modern
  • Gaining international acceptance
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