African clothing has always had some of the most vivid and meticulous patterns compared to other fashion trends. However, many people don’t realise that these amazing designs originate based on traditions and practices carried out by ethnic groups from West Africa such as the Ashanti.
With the globalisation of modern fashion brands and their new age scheme of designs, it is difficult for people to track back to what their ancestors’ individual style of clothing was, and this was a big part of tribal culture. These tribes would use sight to comprehend the color and pattern of the cloth, and hence determine the mood, origin and phrases(ex: adolescence) in what they referred to as the “the circle of life”.
Many people tend to forget that there is a history and an old indigenous tradition behind African clothing. In many of the modern pictures and documentaries that are portrayed to us many Africans are seen as semi-naked. Indigenous Africans use a lot of resources to make their fabric which includes, tree bark, treated animal hides, furs, feathers, raffia palm, jute, flax and silk which was used in the development of woven textiles in most parts of the country. A lot of the African societies also weave clothes from local cotton, and women would weave camel and sheep wool. These fibers are easy to dye by using vegetable and mineral dyes. Two of the most popular dyeing techniques in Africa are tie and dye, and resist dye.The two most renown types of looms in Africa are the double-heddle loom, which is used for narrow strips of cloth and The single-heddle loom, which is used for wider pieces of garment. The narrow strips are usually sewn together then cut into different patterns for clothing. The larger looms are mostly handled by male weavers, who weave it in color threads and create richly textured fabrics. This is fascinating because Africa has some of the most unique designs that cannot be replicated anywhere in the world