African fabrics and textiles have stimulated the fashion senses of people from different social backgrounds, age groups and different body shapes with its vibrant colors, handmade quality and unique artistic designs.
Rich cultural heritage behind each of the African fabric being sold today is not just a mixture of bright colours and patterns to entice people to use it. These colours symbolise and represent important roots in African people from all sectors of the society.
A variety of items, more especially for women, have been made out of this fabric that is also known as Ankara. Many items such as hats, earrings, blazers, and shoes to mention but a few have a touch of this fabric. This is because African print is versatile. Many people are seen blending this fabric with other fabrics such as lace, chiffon, silk, and spandex for clothing to give their outfits a more vibrant and classy look.
Even though in Botswana African print attires are worn in different events such as weddings, cultural events such as Letlhafula, Son of The Soil to mention a few, it does not have more definition than making a fashion statement. Most of the local ladies use this modern African print to look glamourous.
AKN Fabrics stated that colours symbolise and represent important roots in African people from all sectors of the society. The administrator explains that the Akan people of West Africa wear red, brown and black for funerals; white is used for festive occasions.
The Ashanti people of Ghana use gold to represent status and serenity; yellow stands for fertility and vitality. The colour green refers to renewal and growth, stands for birth and death. Blue signifies their belief in God and the supremacy of the blue sky. Blue also symbolises purity and harmony.
The colour red generally means political passion, resistance and protection. The Ashanti also believe that red provides protective powers. Black conveys spiritual awareness and union with ancestors, they stated.
The fabrics were made from any of those clothing production techniques like dyeing, weaving, printing and embroidering methods. Fibers used are mostly cotton, silk, raffia, bark and linen. African fabrics are rarely produced with just one method. The skills and craftsmanship exhibited in each hand made assembly is truly admirable making these African textiles an important art authentic collection.
African Prints Botswanaâ€™s business development manager, Oshalle Monyatse said that African print fabrics leverage the fashion icons and continues to gain more exposure in the fashion scene as more popular personalities and celebrities include them in their wardrobe collections.
Monyatse added that as a way of promoting African print fabrics, her company decided to come up with different strategies that will raise awareness about the local fashion industry by shining a light on locally produced modern African print apparel and accessories.
The ultimate goal is to generate demand for local fashion products resulting in a stimulated industry and employment creation particularly for the youth. It aims to demonstrate that African print products can be won anywhere and are not expensive.
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