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What is the meaning behind some of the most highlighted African Print Fabrics


African Print Fabrics

When you think of African Print Fabrics, generally you think of those bright and bold fashion forward designs. Have you ever thought of the meaning that lies within each of those African print fabrics? There are four African prints, which include Kente, Wax, Dashiki, and Mudcloth that are used to create the Afrocentric vibe that attracts so many fashionistas and is full of rich history.


This African Print fabric was first created in the 1100s using real mud – hence the name Mudcloth. They would keep fermented mud in clay jars for around a year and then paint it on white cloth, which left behind the muds pigment creating the desired design. In todays fashion, when we think of Mudcloth we think of bold geometric black designs on a white or solid-colored background. If you want to create a very sophisticated look and wardrobe, try adding some Mudcloth fabric prints into your style with dresses, tops, pants and skirts.


Kente cloth originated back in the 1600s in South Ghana and is made from thin strips of hand-woven silk and cotton fabric that are woven together to create toga like garments for men and skirts and shirts for women. Kente cloth consists of bright colors of interwoven geometric shapes that when combined, they create a contrasting pattern. Today, you often will see Kente cloth patterns in accent hems, necklines, the end of sleeves, and trim on dresses. You will also see many beautiful scarves and head wraps made with Kente cloth African print fabric.


If you love floral, geometric and animal print patterns, you most likely are a huge fan of Wax prints, which are also known as Ankara Prints or Batik. Similar to all African Print Fabrics, these are bold and bright but the process to getting these designs is quite unique. Before the 1900s, mercenaries from West Africa brought back the technique from their time in Indonesia and recreated a process of their own. To create Wax prints, wax is melted and applied to the cloth. That process is then repeated several times with various colors to create multi-colored patterns. While the process may be more streamlined due to todays technology, the basics still exist and this fabric is commonly used to create free-flowing skirts, dresses and much more!


While Dashiki prints, also known as Angelina prints, have been around for a long time, they first became popular in the United States around the 1950s during the Civil Rights Movement. While originally worn by men in West Africa, you can now find Dashiki prints not only on loose men’s shirts, but also on dresses, pant suits and shirts for women as well. Dashiki African print fabric is very versatile as it can be bold similar to the other fabrics that were mentioned or it can be more laid back and calm. If you are just starting to incorporate African print fabric into your wardrobe, Dashiki prints would be the best place to start!

To check our all of our latest African Print Fabrics, click here!

AKN Fabrics is recognized worldwide for selling the highest quality African fabrics and textiles at low prices. With new designs arriving daily, we always have a great selection of African fabrics and textiles to choose from.

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