Loading... Please wait...
Due to the COVID-19 restrictions on travel, to keep our customers and communities safe, we are offering $9.99 FLAT RATE shipping on all orders within in the US. Be safe and well wishes to everyone impacted.

Understanding the Cultural Significance of African Prints


African Prints

African prints have long been a staple in the fashion world, as they make a statement with their bold colors and beautiful patterns. However, these prints are more than just amazing fabric art. They also have an interesting cultural history based in the tribes and countries of Africa. Here are just a few of the cloths that we offer and some of the history behind them.


This amazing cloth is famous for its bright mix of colors, as well as its use of geometric shapes, often interwoven into contrasting blocks. This cloth originated in 17th century South Ghana and became the fabric used by royalty. According to the Ashanti legend, the kente cloth was created by two hunters who were inspired by the beauty of a magnificent spider web. Authentic kente cloth requires 4-inch strips of fabric to be woven together on a slim wooden loom. Multiple strips are created and then those are sewn together, thus creating the intricate patterns often associated with this incredible cloth.

Ankara Prints (Wax Prints)

These amazing African prints, which are known as Ankara prints, were actually a creation that started with a technique from Indonesia. It was taken to another level with the use of bright African colors, as well as traditional African motifs. The technique involves melting wax and then applying it to the cloth by hand. Afterwards, it is then dyed in a vivid hue. Using a wax and soak process, along with various colors, intricate multi-colored patterns are created. This cloth can be used to create a variety of options for your wardrobe, including free-flowing dresses.

Mud Cloth

With handcrafted mud cloth, there can be some confusion about what it is made with and how the texture is achieved. This thick and rough traditional fabric is actually made of 100% cotton. Using narrow strips of cotton, the cloth is dyed using a bath full of tree branches and leaves. Next, the cloth gets dried in the sun, where its mud decorate is applied. This process can happen several times until the muddy areas are permanently dark. Even the mud takes time to create, as mud is mixed with a tea or water and then set aside for a year before it can be used in the cloth making process.

Clearly, these African prints bring more than just beauty, but also an incredible history of handcrafting and culture. To explore African prints even more , check out our amazing selection of 100% cotton African prints, including African skirts and other garments.

With 20 years of experience in the African fabrics market, AKN Fabrics guarantees you the best product, selection, price and overall service. We are specialists in the finest fabrics from Holland, London, African Gambia, West Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, and India. We specialize in Jacquards, hand embroidery, silks, seersuckers, cottons, quilting fabrics various other West African fabrics.


Recent Updates

Connect with us